FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MILITARY RECRUITMENT AND STUDENTS’ RIGHTS
The US Military is aggressively recruiting young people for military service. While enlisting in the armed services may be the right choice for many people, it is important that students and families know how to protect their rights in recruiting situations.
Recruiters often target immigrants, students from poor families and people of color. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) gives military recruiters access to students’ personal information and allows them to recruit at public schools, where they often spend time with students in class, during breaks and at extracurricular activities. In addition, the Department of Defense (DOD) spends millions of dollars on a database called JAMRS that is used to collect information about young people for purposes of recruiting.
You can keep your personal information—or your child’s—private by opting out of NCLB and JAMRS. This pamphlet will tell you how to opt out, and answer some of the questions you might have about recruiting. For more information, visit the NYCLU’s Project on Military Recruitment and Students’ Rights at www.nyclu.org/milrec.
WHAT INFORMATION CAN MILITARY RECRUITERS GET FROM MY SCHOOL?
Military recruiters can ask for students’ names, birthdays, home addresses and telephone numbers. This information is called “directory information.” Your school is required to give directory information to recruiters unless you or your parents opt out.
CAN I STOP MY SCHOOL FROM GIVING MY INFORMATION TO RECRUITERS?
Yes. The school must give students and parents the chance to “opt out.” The school cannot release directory information for students who have opted out (or whose parents have).
HOW DO I OPT OUT?
Schools must provide students and parents with opt-out forms. Fill out that form or a written request and return it to your school. There is also an opt-out form in this pamphlet that you can fill out and give to your principal. Either a student or a parent may opt out. Students do not need a parent’s signature, but if a student opts out, the school will usually notify the parent of that decision.
DO I HAVE TO BE 18 OR OLDER TO OPT OUT?
No. Students of any age can opt out of NCLB and do not need parent’s permission to do so. To opt out of the JAMRS database, students must be 15-and-a-half or older (see below).
IF I OPT OUT, WILL COLLEGES AND JOB RECRUITERS HAVE ACCESS TO MY INFORMATION?
Your school should allow you to opt out of military recruitment while remaining on college or job recruiting lists. It should also give you the option of keeping your information private from all types of recruiters.
WHAT IS THE ASVAB EXAM?
ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, is a standardized test that the military uses to determine if you are qualified to enlist. It is also used to collect your personal information—even if you have opted out. Only your principal can keep your information private on the ASVAB. To do so, he or she must select privacy “Option 8” on the ASVAB administrative forms. Before you take the ASVAB, ask your principal about the type of information your school releases. The ASVAB exam should be voluntary, and no student should be forced to take it.
I AM A NON-CITIZEN. ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES FOR ME OR MY FAMILY IF I OPT OUT?
No. You have the same privacy rights as other students. You do not have to answer recruiters’ questions, including questions about your immigration status.
DOES THE MILITARY HAVE OTHER WAYS OF GETTING MY INFORMATION?
Yes. Information from schools is only one part of DOD’s military recruitment effort. There is also a program called JAMRS—a registry of 30 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 25. JAMRS may have your name, birthday, address, email address, phone number, GPA, college plans, standardized test scores, race, ethnicity and other information.
OPT OUT OF THE JAMRS DATABASE
JAMRS Database Opt-Out Form
The other side of this page contains an opt-out form that any parent, legal guardian or student aged 15-and-a-half or older may use to keep to keep the information in the JAMRS database out of the hands of military recruiters.
To use the form, cut along the dotted line, fill out the form, place it in an envelope and mail it to: Joint Advertising and Marketing Research & Studies
Direct Marketing Program Officer Attention: Opt Out 4040 North Fairfax Drive, Ste. 200 Arlington, VA 22203-1613
NCLB HIGH SCHOOL OPT-OUT FORM
The other side of this page contains an opt-out form that a student, parent or legal guardian can use to stop a school from releasing directory information to recruiters. To use the form, cut along the dotted line, fill out the form, and give it to your principal or other administrator.
To Find Out More, Report a Violation or Get Involved:
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL NYCLU OFFICE
New York, NY
CENTRAL NEW YORK CHAPTER
NASSAU COUNTY CHAPTER
LOWER HUDSON VALLEY CHAPTER
White Plains, NY
CAPITAL REGION CHAPTER
GENESEE VALLEY CHAPTER
SUFFOLK COUNTY CHAPTER
Central Islip, NY
WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE