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Militarisation of Youth

Resisting the militarisation of education

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Kai-Uwe Dosch, Sarah Roßa and Lena Sachs (amalgamated by Michael Schulze von Glasser)

The militarisation of the education system in Germany

In Germany, hardly a week goes by without coming across ‘Germany's heroes’ in uniform. They grin from billboards, television screens, student magazines, and booklets on trains, advertising a ‘career with a future’. The slogans ‘In the line of duty for freedom’ or ‘We. Serve. Germany.’ appear to be the mantras of a new militarisation: one that wishes to bring the population to a martial ‘peace course’.

In schools, the German Armed Forces give lessons and impose their influence on the training and development of teachers. Military service counsellors are invited to schools to advertise the career possibilities in the armed forces, or to build their advertising playgrounds in the schoolyard (the so-called ‘career meeting places’). The armed forces even have a say on the content of the school curriculum; they increasingly install youth officers in the schools: young, well-educated and rhetorically-trained soldiers who act the part for political education. The cooperation between schools and the armed forces, which has existed since the forces' foundation in 1955, reached a new height in 2008 and subsequently with the finalised ‘cooperation agreements’ in eight of Germany's sixteen federal states between the armed forces and the responsible Ministry of Education. This new involvement is hidden under the guise of political education, but serves as recruitment and the legitimisation of the policy to militarise security.

The role of military veterans and current service members

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Kelly Dougherty

As long as there have been wars and the military, soldiers around the world have resisted, deserted, and refused combat duty for both moral and political reasons, and civilians have supported them. From the formation of the St. Patrick’s Battalion made up of soldiers who deserted the U.S. Army to join forces with the Mexicans during the Mexican-American War, to the Bonus Army in the 1930’s where thousands of U.S. veterans marched and occupied Washington DC demanding back-pay for their service in World War I, to the huge GI[1] resistance movement during the Vietnam war, the United States has a rich and varied legacy of military members refusing to be used by their government to further political and economic agendas. GIs are the work force that make war and military occupation possible and, as such, have a critical role to play as leaders in the struggle to end war and militarism.

Quotes from WRI's Countering the Militarisation of Youth conference: Gender and sexuality

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The image of masculinity...the model men that go to war, that compete. - Jorge Veléz, Colombia

The Ministry of Women, for example, was created in 2006 and since then one of the main goals that the Minister for Women has proposed is to provide two million female members to the militia. She has already set in motion a first stage where she promised 150,000... - Rafael Uzcategui, Venezuela

Survey findings: Gender and sexuality

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Of the thirty-two countries surveyed, there is only an active attempt to recruit LGBT people in four. Eight countries don’t allow LGBT people to enlist at all, although of those, Kenya is the only one where homosexuality is actually illegal. In Turkey men can be exempted from military service if they can 'prove' (including by providing photos or video footage of them having sex with men) that they are homosexual. But in the majority of countries, sexuality is simply not a recruitment criterion.

The military's influence in UK education

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Emma Sangster

The armed forces are increasingly being provided with access to young people within the UK education system – mainly at secondary and further education level but also within universities and even primary schools. In addition to armed forces presentations and other visits to schools and colleges which have been going on for many years, there is a new push to make 'military ethos and skills' a part of school life.

Young people in Turkey besieged by militarism: Past and present

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Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu

Militarism has a long history in Turkey. It is therefore surprising that there are very few studies in the Social Sciences and in Education on how the militarisation of young people has operated. With a few exceptions, social scientists have remained silent when it comes to questioning the military and the way militarism has been instilled in young people, one generation after another.

Militarism after the Ottoman Empire

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