A report issued yesterday by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizes US miltary recruitment practices, including the use of the popular America’s Army game franchise as a tool to attract potential recruits.
In Soldiers of Misfortune , The ACLU maintains that the US has:
…failed to uphold its commitments to safeguard the rights of youth under 18 from military recruitment and to guarantee basic protections to foreign former child soldiers… U.S. military recruiting practices… target children as young as 11…
The ACLU’s claims submitted to the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child. the group oversees compliance with a U.N. protocol which requires countries to shield those under 18 from military recruitment. The ACLU’s Jennifer Turner said:
Military recruitment tools aimed at youth under 18, including Pentagon-produced video games, military training corps, and databases of students’ personal information, have no place in America’s schools…
Of America’s Army, the ACLU report says:
The Army uses an online video game, called “America’s Army,” to attract young potential recruits at least as young as 13, train them to use weapons, and engage in virtual combat and other military missions… According to Army personnel testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the goal of the then-new recruiting effort that included the “America’s Army” video game was to penetrate youth culture.. the Army’s video-game development team found that about 60 percent of recruits had played… more than five times a week, and four out of 100 said they had joined the Army specifically because of the game.
The full ACLU report is available here.