by Michael Orange, VVAW Newsletter, “The Veteran,” Fall 2012 [link to article]
[ed. note: we understand from reliable TiR sources that the answer to #2 is rather dated and should not be used. The underlying notion is relevant however, i.e., that military training does not translate well to civilian employment.]
Truth in Recruiting: Questions
By Michael Orange
This information is adapted from the leaflet I use when speaking to students. This is updated as of 1/11/2012.
Jot your answers and I’ll provide the answers as I proceed with my presentation.
- What is the length of military obligation when enlisting: 2, 4, or 8 years?
- What percentage of veterans made use of the skills they learned in the military on their civilian jobs?
- How many people died during the Vietnam War?
- Of the total deaths in modern wars, what percentage are civilian deaths?
- How many times has the US intervened militarily in a foreign country? How many times since the end of World War II (1945)?
- How many military bases does the US maintain outside of the US?
- The US accounts for what percentage of the world’s total defense spending?
- What percentage of the annual federal budget goes to support the country’s military operations?
- What percentage of combat soldiers develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
- What percentage of women in the military reported sexual abuse?
Answers to Questions are on the back
but please don’t peek just yet.
- “Addicted to War: Why the US Can’t Kick Militarism” by Joel Andreas, 2004. Available to order or read in its entirety on line: www.adictedtowar.com.
- “Advice From Veterans on Military Service and Recruiting Practices: A Resource Guide for Young People Considering Enlistment,” free download at http://www.vfp56.org/VEOP.html
- Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan, sponsored by the Iraq Veterans Against the War (www.IVAW.org). See also, “This is Where We Take Our Stand” and complete testimony at at:http://www.ivaw.org/wintersoldier/testimony
- Project YANO: Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that provides young people with an alternative point of view about military enlistment and alternative services information. Resources are available at http://www.projectyano.org/
- The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth provides resources about alternative service. See http://www.nnomy.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=62&&Itemid=147
- Additional information on Truth in Recruiting, refer to http://www.vfpchapter27.org/recruitment.htm
- “Vietnam”, a comic written by Julian Bond and published in 1967, after he was expelled from the Georgia House of Representatives for opposing the war in Viet Nam. Available to read online at: http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/sixties/HTML_docs/Exhibits/Bond/Bond_comic_page_01.html
Answers to Questions:
- Length of military service obligation: 8 years, typically with a combination of active duty, active reserve duty and inactive reserve duty.
- Transferability of military skills to civilian careers:
12% of male veterans and 6% of female veterans made use of the skills they learned in the military on their civilian jobs.
- Vietnam war deaths: 6 million in Southeast Asia. 60,209 US soldiers dead or missing. 305,000 US soldiers wounded. 4.7 million civilian deaths.
- Civilian deaths as a percent of total deaths:
- WWI: 15%
- WWII: 65%
- Korea: 70%
- Vietnam: 85%
- Iraq: 93% Between 800,000 and 1.2 million civilian deaths. 4,384 US soldiers dead or missing. 31,716 US soldiers wounded.
- US military interventions in foreign countries: 147 total: 44 since the end of World War II.
- US military bases on foreign soil: 737.
- US military spending as a percent of the world’s total spending: 45%.
- Military budget: More than 50% of the annual federal budget goes to support the country’s military operations. Since the “Black Budget” for the military is secret information, the actual percentage is higher but not public.
- PTSD and suicides: About 30% of veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts develop long-term debilitating PTSD. Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts between the ages of 20-24 are between 2 and 4 times as likely to commit suicide as their civilian peers.
- Sexual abuse of women in the military: 30% of women in the military reported being victims of rape or attempted rape and 75% reported being sexually harassed.