Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Your military"

I feel like I will keep coming back to this question again and again: What is my moral obligation as a career advisor to expose kids to military options? What is my moral obligation as someone who opposes the war in Iraq to advise kids against joining the military?

Yesterday I had a wonderful speaker - who also happens to be a parent - come in to hold a session at lunchtime. He had been an Army National Guard recruiter for many years, but now works in the private sector, so he had no (blatant, anyway) ulterior motives behind the information he gave to the students. My student who seems like he's been brainwashed by his recruiter sat down with the speaker and got some really excellent advice.

Afterwards I was talking about it with an administrator who said, a little disapprovingly, "When are you going to bring someone in from the other side?" I hadn't thought about that, but my gut reaction was, would that be helpful to me as a career advisor? Will I lose all credibility with the students who are planning to go to the military if I bring in a peace activist? Would they just choose to ignore all my previous advice and find themselves in a more dangerous situation?

Meanwhile, what message does it send to the rest of the school if I bring in a speaker who talks to the students about "Your Army," "Your Navy," "Your Coast Guard," etc., and don't bring in, for example, a soldier who has been to Iraq and come back totally disillusioned with the system?


Dan Callahan said...

This is an excellent question.

I, too, am opposed to the Iraq war, but in your capacity as a career advisor, I think that you don't have the option of bringing in somebody from "the other side." You wouldn't bring in somebody to tell the students NOT to become a teacher, or an accountant, or a librarian, or any other single job. I would see your role as a career advisor to expose the students to their options, encourage them to use their own critical thinking abilities, and ask intelligent questions. Any student that pays even the slightest attention to the world today is aware of the negatives in the military right now.

thepowerguides said...

Difficult question , I suspect as a career advisor you have no choice but to bring the Army and Navy if for no other reason to tell the children the options the forces offer as a career plus a number of students do gain the opportunity to attend college with funding from the forces .

I also think you may be right to bring in somebody who has "done the job" to give his or her views , but maybe that should apply to all careers when ever possible

best of luck with the moral issue