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The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

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Arlo Dibble
Staff Writer

Military recruiters out of place in Commons

Photo+by+Olivia+Beauchemin
Photo by Olivia Beauchemin

Life after high school is a very tricky thing to plan for. Decisions that will shape the future are difficult ones to make. The world influences the choices people make, especially the choices of those who are younger. This comes with a huge responsibility for those who take advantage of that opportunity to influence younger people.

The options for careers seem endless, especially for students who are in the midst of high school. A popular choice, however, is joining the military. This is an insanely important decision to make; the risks are high and the reward seems low.

Military recruiters are often seen in the Tualatin High School (TuHS) commons, whether it be for the Navy or the Army; they come with flyers and cheap prizes to entice the students passing by. Oftentimes, they encourage students to engage in some sort of physical competition, like push-ups or pull-ups. Each seems to be based solely on proving one’s masculinity. After observing the competitions, it is clear that the targeted audience is male, regardless of the fact that women join the military, too.

Relevance is a huge factor in question when these particular competitions are encouraged. How does the number of pull-ups a freshman does matter when it comes to a decision about joining the military? Does the number of push-ups a junior does determine their future success in the Navy? The answer would be no, not in the slightest. Sure, being fit is important to being in the military, but so is knowledge, passion and background.

Something that is often overlooked when recruiters are visiting is that they don’t seem to regularly engage in conversations about anything other than surface level requirements to join said branch of the military. They rarely even give scholarships too, despite that being something they advertise. After interviewing the recruiter for the Marines, I learned that only five students from the entire West Coast get a scholarship each year through the Marines. And the scholarship only applies to certain schools that partner with ROTC; there are only around 180 of those in the country, he said. That being said, the extremely competitive nature of these scholarships makes it very difficult to actually receive financial aid from the military. 

The recruiter also stated that he sees a lot of students from many different demographics, but only went into detail about the financial aspect of it, and that was that.

After asking him about what he brings to the school and why – in this case a pull-up bar – he stated that the reason he brings it is because he wants to get kids active and he “has an ego.”

Not only are scholarships scarce, but the number of recruitments are as well. The Marines recruited no students from TuHS last year, and so far they have only recruited three students this year. This makes me wonder why there is such a vast difference in the number of students engaging in the physical activity – in this case pull ups – versus the number of students actually interested in joining the military. This goes to show how surface level and almost disconnected the recruitment process is from its actual outcomes.



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Arlo Dibble, Staff Writer

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