Should the Military Recruit in High Schools?

It happens every year in schools all over - Should the Military Recruit in High Schools? introduction. There are fairs where high schools present their students with choices that will impact and shape their futures. Some students are sought after by universities, some by athletic programs, and others by employers. There are even career counselors both in high schools and universities to help with this transition. These emerging adults are being offered assistance in making this most important decision: “What will I do with the rest of my life?” Should government jobs be an option for these teens? What about the military?

The age at which a child becomes an adult is, “generally, is 18 — the age when the United States, and the rest of the world, considers young people capable of accepting responsibility for their actions,” says Rampell (2009). Coincidentally this coincides with the age of many graduating high school seniors. So it makes sense to offer these teenagers their choices. “We want to make them understand that we have the facilities and resources that will help them succeed,” Edenzon (2012) said. When these students understand what their choices are and where they are likely to succeed in the future they can make the best decision for themselves. The simple fact is that the military is one option.

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The military can often be a good choice for families for many different reasons. Despite the fact that higher education has become commonplace, there are still families that are unprepared when the time for college comes. Barnes (2008) states that, “Historically, military recruiting has been easier in periods of a weak economy and dim job prospects. If… financial turmoil translates into a deep recession and job losses, more high school graduates may consider military service.” In this case, a short term of military duty can provide a means for these students to earn their degrees at a later time with little to no debt. Other students may have no idea what to do with their future and can use the military as a sabbatical or even an avenue through which they can find their destiny.

Something else many parents do not even wish to consider is that their child may even be suited for a military career. If these students can cope sufficiently with the danger associated with their job they can reap many benefits. There is often a higher salary given to those in the military, advancement is encouraged, there is an amazing opportunity to travel and experience new things, the benefits are usually impeccable, and the retirement is refreshing, in a time when retirement has become uncertain for many. Also students should be reminded there is risk of endangerment with many careers; law enforcement, carpentry, medicine, ect.

While everyone is going to have their opinion about the military, it will always be an option. It is a legitimate career path that provides young people with many opportunities both in the military and civilian worlds. The military can be a good choice for many students and while some parents may want to guide their children away from it, it is ultimately an individual’s decision to make for themselves. It may be best to offer the military as a choice and then trust that fate will either steer them in a different direction or provide them with safety and success in their choices.


Barnes, Julian E. Better days for military recruiters. Los Angeles Times.2008.

Edenzon, Irwin. Ingalls Shipbuilding hopes to recruit workers through high school career fair. The Mississippi Press.2012. Retrieved from:

Rampell, Cathrine. How Old is Old Enough?. The New York Times. 2009. Retrieved from:

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