Why Do We Need Alternatives to the Military?
The Pentagon spends billions of dollars every year targeting low-income youth and youth of color for enlistment in the military. The 'poverty draft' ensures that those with less resources and less opportunity are disproportionately represented in the military. Lesbian, gay and transgendered youth may find that their needs are not served at all outside of the military and certainly not inside it. Finding nonmilitary sources of jobs, health care, housing and other basic necessities can be a challenge. The following resources and web sites may be helpful for youth seeking alternatives.
Alternatives to the Military Guides
"It's My Life" (national guide to be used anywhere in the U.S.) details alternative options to military service that still satisfy a taste for adventure and commitment to high ideals. Specific ideas for travel, adventure jobs, youth exchange, skills training, career training and paying for college are explored in this 92-page book available for $9.95.
To view an electronic version of It's My Life with the 2009 updates included in the text, click here.
The following guides (listed by state) are available for download or from the offices that produced them.
It's My Life California - Additions to the It's My life Guide with Bay Area local opportunities. Free Download. (PDF)
For more information or a printed copy contact the San Francisco office at (415) 565-0201.
Great Careers - Alternatives to the Military Booklet (2nd Edition). Created by AFSC's Los Angeles office. Twenty pages filled with many local and national career opportunities: peaceful jobs and careers that offer what the military promises—without giving up your rights and supporting the war machine. The booklet also includes career planning, personal growth, youth leadership and independent living. It will be updated constantly.
Produced through a collaboration of AFSC Los Angeles with CAMS, Coalition Against Militarism In Our Schools.
For more information, contact the AFSC Los Angeles office at
(213) 489-1900 x122
Free download (PDF, 359 KB).
Higher Education Information - Available from AFSC's Los Angeles office. For those thinking about college, a flyer with lots of information.
Free download (PDF, 56 KB).
It's My Life
Created by AFSC's Great Lakes Regional Office. Twenty-nine pages filled with many local and national career opportunities: peaceful jobs and careers that offer what the military promises—without giving up your rights and supporting the war machine. The booklet also includes career planning, personal growth, youth leadership and independent living. It will be updated constantly.
For more information, contact the AFSC Chicago office at
Florida: Free download (PDF, 3.24 MB).
Illinois: Free download (PDF, 2.2 MB).
Indiana: Free download (PDF, 2.0 MB).
Kentucky:Free download (PDF, 3.23 MB).
Michigan: Free download (PDF, 2.8 MB).
Ohio: Free download (PDF, 2.8 MB).
Texas: Free Download (PDF, 3.34 MB).
Wisconsin: Free download (PDF, 2.8 MB).
Free download (PDF, 542 KB).
For more information, contact Rosalie Tyler Paul of the AFSC Maine Program on Youth and Militarism at 207-371-2077 or email@example.com.
You Don't Have to Join the Military to Go to College, Get a Good Job and Serve Your Country - Created by AFSC's Baltimore office. The 15-page brochure lists information on paying for college, free job training and apprenticeship programs.
Free download (PDF, 241 KB).
What’s Next? A Guide for North Carolina Teens Wondering ‘What’s After High School?' Created by AFSC's office in Greensboro, NC. Learn about CHOICES for adventure, job training, skill training, money for college, and a chance to serve your country.
Download the PDF's for free.
- Introduction - Pages i-viii (39 KB)
- 1. Surviving the Next Few Years - Pages 1-22 (196 KB)
- 2. Thinking About Jobs and Careers - Pages 23-38 (79 KB)
- 3. Serving Your Country - Pages 39-52 (92 KB)
- 4. Skills Training Opportunities - Pages 53-70 (108 KB)
- 5. Green Jobs - Pages 71-84 (81 KB)
- 6. College: You Can Do It! - Pages 85-96 (100 KB)
- 7. So You Think You Might Want to Join the Military? - Pages 97-106 (70 KB)
Alternatives to Killing/Alternatives to Enlistment is an online database of jobs and opportunities from the Center on Conscience and War. It has opportunities around the country that offer more promise for a peaceful life than joining the US military.