Militarism of Youth

Militarism of Youth (As amended at the March 2017 General Assembly)

Militarism is harmful because it consumes both natural and human resources which could be better employed in useful endeavors. People have a basic right to decide how they will serve their society and contribute to it. This choice should be based on the individual's religious, moral and ethical beliefs.
Today, most youth aged between 18 to 25, regardless of citizen status, are still required by law to register with the Selective Service System, even though actual conscription has not been used since the Vietnam War

The military's propaganda ("Be All That You Can Be"), and its invasive recruitment tactics in schools, have resulted in a so-called “all volunteer force” that is, in effect, a "poverty draft." Young men and women are enticed into the armed forces as an escape from poverty and may then find themselves obligated to fight wars that they don't believe in, or that they find morally objectionable.

The Green Party urges measures to counter the injustice inherent in militarism:

• Abolish the Selective Service System.

• Respect the right of all people in and out of the military to follow their principles in claiming conscientious objector (CO) status. Currently, COs can only file a claim not to be drafted when called to the draft. Congress should monitor the military's procedures in processing CO claims.

• Service members should have a period to opt out that does not endanger their benefits and be able to finish that obligation in some other capacity.

• The military including the ROTC and all other recruitment programs should be kept out of schools.

• Deny access to the names of students under 21 from driver license records or school lists by military recruiters, unless the students, or their parents in the case of minors, sign a release authorizing access.

• Hold military recruitment materials to the same "truth in advertising" standards that are required of businesses.

This revision was passed at the Bakersfield General Assembly March 12, 2017.