Friday, October 19, 2018

Geographic and Demographic Representativeness of Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

By Libby Frank

Reprinted from the July-September 2018 issue of Draft NOtices, newsletter of the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft,

A 2017 report by the RAND Corporation attempts to address whether the schools participating in JROTC programs are representative with respect to geographic area and demographics. The report is in response to congressional interest in this issue and was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Accession Policy.

The report concludes that the JROTC programs are diverse demographically but not geographically. Rural areas are under-represented. They cite a number of reasons, including small school size, isolation, difficulty in attracting qualified instructors.

They also offer a list of eight recommendations which, as counter-recruitment activists, we should note: 1) explore program alternatives such as the National Defense Cadet Corps (like JROTC but fully financed by the school); 2) raise awareness of JROTC in rural areas; 3) consider flexibility in instructor requirements for rural areas and small schools; 4) provide rural schools with more discretion in allocating travel funding; 5) possibly consider reducing instructor  salary support to 10 months instead of 12; 6) consider changing program selection criteria so rural schools have an edge; 7) make changes in the standardized data so that it’s easier to track; and 8) ask Congress to consider appropriating funds dedicated to JROTC.

Although it isn’t clear why Congress is concerned that rural areas are under-represented, one would have to assume that since the report is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Accession Policy (which is responsible for policies and programs relating to the overall recruitment and accession of both officer and enlisted personnel) an underlying factor involves recruitment. Which is ironic since JROTC strongly denies it is a recruitment tool.

As activists we should make a commitment to monitor the eight recommendations listed above. The full report is chock full of useful information, such as calculating the percentage of public high schools in each state that have a JROTC unit. Available for download here:

Libby Frank is a volunteer with the Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project (; a counter-recruitment organization based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Military Gear for School Police? Bill Introduced to Require Greater Oversight

By John Lindsay-Poland, American Friends Service Committee, California Healing Justice Program

Reprinted from the July-September 2018 issue of Draft NOtices, newsletter of the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, (reprinted with permission)

As many readers of Draft NOtices will know, President Obama’s Executive Order 13688 established a requirement, later rescinded by President Trump, for jurisdictions that acquire military equipment through federal grants to have a civilian governing body review and approve these acquisitions. This requirement applied to elected sheriff departments as well as police departments of cities, towns, and even school districts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Opinion- What can we do about school shootings?

By Darrell Mitchell

The culture behind our school shootings.  So far, this year of 2018, we have had over 20 school shooting in our United States. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

“Remembering Hiroshima/ Nagasaki: When Will We Stop the Killing?” Observance held Aug. 6, 2018 in Des Moines

By Christine Sheller

Approximately 60 people attended the annual observance of the U.S. atomic bombing on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that happened over 73 years ago, August 6th, 2018 in Des Moines. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Reflections from Weldon Nisly's presentation on his experience in CPT/ Kurdistan

By Verna Zook

            Around fifty persons attended our last JPOG meeting at Wellman Mennonite Church on Saturday, July 7, 2018, to hear Weldon Nisly address the topic "Building Peace in the Ancient-Contemporary Land of Iraqi-Kurdistan" about his work with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

National Commission on Public Service Meeting Held in Vinton, IA

By Roger Farmer

At 6:30 pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, I attended a public meeting of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service at the Wesley Methodist Church, Vinton, Iowa (about an hour north of Iowa City).   Following are a few memories and comments about this meeting.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Malala Yousafzai: A Life of Bravery and Stardom - What is she doing now?

by Meghan Kodiaga

            A non-profit and numerous schools exist in her name; she has met with politicians around the globe: now this is a girl worthy of a memoir.  She is most well-known for a blog that she wrote as a youth documenting the life of a child in the war zone and being shot in the head by the Taliban and surviving nearly a 100% recovery. 

Friday, June 29, 2018

National and Personal Interests in Negotiations Between North Korea and the United States

By Kelly Lundeen, Nukewatch Co-director

Reprinted with permission from Nukewatch; see  See end of article for more contact info.

Note: This article in the summer 2018 Nukewatch Quarterly was published June 8 just before the North Korea-US summit. For updates on this topic check our Facebook page or Nukewatch website; scroll down the Issues tab for North Korea. Updated June 21, 2018

Extreme fluctuations in relations between North Korea and the rest of the world in recent months have kept war hawks and peace doves at the edge of their seats. At one moment the United States and North Korea were lobbing nuclear threats at one another, sounding closer than ever in recent history to a potential military conflict.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“What is Justice?” Prayer Service for Peace & Social Justice held in Des Moines Mon., June 11, 2018

By Christine Sheller

A moving prayer service and peace walk occurred Monday, June 11, 2018 in Des Moines, sponsored by the Iowa Chapter of MFSA (Methodist Federation for Social Action), along with several other cosponsors of organizations within the United Methodist Church.