Thursday, March 26, 2009

Newsvine - 'Mandatory' National Service Corps Bill Clears Senate

The US government already has a secondary-school program, JROTC, it was called back in the tail-end of the Selective Service Draft lottery (co-sponsored by a NY legislator) and was in my high school in Selden, NY named after the "character witness" judge at Susan B. Anthony's trial for dressing as a man to vote in Upstate NY. The "Junior Reserve Officer Training" program whereby a single branch of the armed services, my school the US Marine Corps, at Newfield on Marshall Drive, is part of the curriculum for volunteers. Last I heard there were 20,000 of them in mostly poor school districts costing $1 billion a year, reported by the "Defense Monitor" back in the 1990s, though touted as the alternative to the draft back in the then ending lottery I was part of. The "Defense Monitor" asked "Are they worth it?" before they went off PBS television. It seems a contradiction to ask this new proposed corps to be "mandatory" and the military one "volunteer" when one looks at a majority of countries with mandatory military service.

As a once NYPIRG employee I would rather see the organizations attract the "right stuff" rather than force compliance or in a much shorter time we might be asking "Are they worth it?" - also NY Times comment

No comments: