Watch Video “Before You Enlist” 2018 version

Before You Enlist 2018

Straight talk from soldiers, veterans and their family members tells what is missing from the sales pitches presented by recruiters and the military’s marketing efforts.

The real deal on joining the military, as told by veterans … and what the military recruiters won’t tell you.

OBJECTIVE: “Before You Enlist!” provides a rational voice to counter the seductive and often deceptive recruiting practices of the U.S. military. The message is not “don’t enlist” but rather to provide young people and their families a more complete picture of the life-altering consequences of joining the military – especially in wartime. Latest version: 2018. Length: 16:34.

APPROACH: The content of the program is carried by interviews with combat veterans and family members of military personnel killed, wounded or still on duty. Straight talk from soldiers, an ex-recruiter, veterans and their family members tells what is missing from the glamorous and exciting pictures presented by military recruiters and their marketing efforts. Strong visuals provide a vivid picture of the human costs of war and the realities of enlisted life and beyond.

AUDIENCE AND PROGRAM DISTRIBUTION: The primary audience is high school students and their families. The program is available for free Internet viewing and for airing on broadcast and cable outlets. The program may also be distributed via high school guidance counselors and by various groups seeking to provide alternative information at schools, shopping malls and wherever the military is actively recruiting teenagers.

You may download a copy to view and present to audiences where no internet connection is available. But we ask that you NOT upload it to other websites (we update the program periodically and want to make sure audiences always get the latest and best information). English download available HERE; Spanish download coming soon.

The American Friends Service Committee, National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY), About Face: Veterans Against the War, Veterans For Peace (VFP), Military Families Speak Out, the Coalition for Peace Action and other groups worked with the producers to develop the program.

Community Service Opportunities


Truth in Recruitment encourages students to take ownership of peace issues and the meaning of citizenship– to voice their perspective on recruiters and militarism.

Our community service opportunities for students include: creating and helping set up displays, designing artwork for social media, flyers and informational materials, working and meeting with school clubs, administrators, staff and parent groups. We welcome your involvement in this effort!

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Artists and activists

beetlebailley_why-copyThe arts inspire social change and have historically been used in political movements. Social justice activists work for freedom and justice for all people. Here are some examples…

Beyoncé performance Freedom at BetAwards2016

Bayard Rustin- Brother Outsider – the Life of Bayard Rustin

Bob Dylan – God on Our Side

Donovan – Universal Soldier

Phil Ochs – What are you fighting for?

San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus – Orlando Tribute – –Singing For Our Lives & Irish Blessing

Holly Near – Singing For Our Lives

(Photo Credit)