You are hereCounter Recruitment

Counter Recruitment

Pentagon Data on Student Testing Program Rife with Errors and Contradictions

Student Privacy Compromised by Massive Program

By Pat Elder

In late December, 2013 the Department of Defense released a database on the military's controversial Student Testing Program in 11,700 high schools across the country.  An examination of the complex and contradictory dataset raises serious issues regarding student privacy and the integrity of the Student Testing Program in America's schools.

The data was released after a protracted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 

See the State ASVAB Databases and the National Database.

Before You Enlist

Lead contamination in the high schools from military marksmanship programs

By Pat Elder

The Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun Shooting  produced by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), 2013, is a misleading publication that may seriously jeopardize the health of millions of high school children and staff across the nation who may come into contact with lead particulate matter as a result of inadequate supervision and maintenance of indoor firing ranges.  The CMP provides mandatory training and curriculum to Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force JROTC Marksmanship Instructors.  The course covers how to safely and properly conduct air rifle live firing in the nation's high schools.

This CMP publicationisbased on dated and questionable science. It minimizes the health risks associated with indoor firing ranges using air rifles and pistols.

HET exhibited gross technical incompetence

Technical aspects of the CMP guide rely on the findings of Health & Environmental Technology LLC (HET), an environmental testing firm from Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The sole employee of HET is Mr. Robert Rodosevich. HET has come under scrutiny in Colorado for "gross technical incompetence in technical compliance."

HET was contracted last year by a listing Realtor to prepare a "Preliminary Assessment" of the degree of contamination of a house used as methamphetamine lab. HET came very close to giving the house a clean bill of health before properly licensed professionals were called in to conduct a thorough and legal evaluation of the highly contaminated residence. 

A Colorado regulatory audit,  resulting in findings of "noncompliance and regulatory misconduct" dated May 29, 2012, and performed by Forensics Applications Consulting Technologiesfound HET's work to be "fatally flawed". The audit reported, "The HET document was not prepared by an individual documented as being capable or authorized under regulation to perform such work. .The document prepared by HET exhibited gross technical incompetence in technical compliance.."

The state auditor continued, "Mr. Robert Rodosevich has violated state regulations by entirely failing to demonstrate that he has any kind of knowledge in performing the work at all."  The auditor's report documented 35 violations of state regulations.

Rodosevich's message contained in the CMP's Guide may be similarly fraudulent:

From The Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun Shooting  (page 7):

"The issue of whether air gun firing creates airborne lead was re- examined in 2007 tests conducted by Health & Environmental Technology (HET), a professional environmental testing firm from Colorado Springs, Colorado. These tests were conducted on an air gun range at the U. S. Olympic Shooting Center. For these tests, air samplers were placed in the breathing space of the air gun shooters while they fired and next to the target backstops. No measurable airborne lead was detected by any of these monitors during air gun firing."

Firing air rifles or air pistols at muzzle velocities prescribed for target shooting (<600 fps) does not generate any detectable air- borne lead. There is therefore no need for special ventilation systems on air gun ranges since there is no airborne lead to exhaust from the range. Normal ventilation achieved by modern HVAC systems provides more than adequate ventilation for air gun ranges."

Rodosevich says the air is safe to breathe in hundreds of high schools across the country with indoor firing ranges.

Is it?

Amazingly, there's little to substantiate or repudiate this claim regarding the air, but no one disputes the health risks associated with the accumulated lead particulate matter on the floor at the muzzle of the firearm and on the floor around the target area. For instance, many jurisdictions across the country have discontinued the use of lead ammunition at indoor police firing ranges.  The high cost of non-lead ammunition is typically cited as a reason for continuing the use of lead ammunition.

In Montgomery County, Maryland, for instance, the police have switched to non-lead ammunition at the indoor firing range, but the local high schools have not. In a 2013 report, Sean Yarup, Environmental Team Leader of the Indoor Air Quality Office, Division of Maintenance of the Montgomery County Public Schools denies the possibility of elevated blood lead levels in firing range participants. The Montgomery County, Maryland report cites the study performed by HET.

The Montgomery report does cite a 2012 study by the National Research Council that found "overwhelming evidence" that 30-year-old federal standards governing lead exposure at Defense Department firing ranges and other sites aren't strict enough to protect workers from ailments associated with high blood lead levels. "In the summary section of the report, the National Research Council specifically states that the OSHA standard provides inadequate protection for DOD firing range personnel and for any other worker populations covered by the general industry standard. In other words, the study addresses occupational (worker) exposure as opposed to non-occupational exposure."

While denying the health effects on students, Montgomery officials admit the potential for worker exposure. They admit the janitors are at risk.  (See the CMP guidelines on downrange cleanup below.)

Washing hands with soap and water isn't enough

After stating the air is safe to breathe, the CMP's guide states that high school children who fire lead pellet rifles in classrooms and gyms are safe from lead contamination if they wash their hands, keep open food and drink away from shooting activity, and refrain from chewing on the lead pellets.

From the CMP:

Even though all available medical evidence indicates that handling lead pellets during air gun firing does not create elevated lead levels, lead is still a toxic substance and ingesting lead into the body has a potential risk to one’s health. For this reason it is important that all air gun shooters take certain precautions while handling lead pellets.

In 1988, William L. Marcus, PhD., a researcher at the National Institute of Health, examined the issue of lead exposure for air gun shooters. He concluded that if young target shooters follow a few simple precautions, their use of lead pellets during target shooting does not constitute a health hazard. Dr. Marcus worked with shooting sports leaders to develop two simple rules that are still the basis for health guidelines that are taught to shooting coaches and shooting sports participants. Those rules are:

1) Anyone who handles air gun pellets during shooting must wash hands their hands, with soap and water, after they finish shooting.

2) No food or open beverage containers may be taken into the range and no food may be consumed on air gun ranges. It also should go without saying that pellets should never be placed in a shooter’s mouth."

The view in this 2013 document is based on 25 year-old research which has been discredited.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health  washing hands with soap and water is not completely effective in removing lead from the surface of the skin. NIOSH researchers developed and patented a novel and highly effective skin decontamination/cleansing technology. NIOSH recommends use of this technology to reduce the risks of lead exposures after firing weapons.

Lead fragments on the floor

As stated,  lead fragments are deposited on the gym or classroom floor in front of the gun muzzles and on the floor in the area around the backstops.  The CMP recommends school personnel dispose of these fragments according to strict guidelines.  "Lead residues on range floors can be very effectively cleaned and removed. If shooters do not move past the firing line to go downrange except as authorized, and if personnel who go downrange follow the Guidelines for Air- gun Range Design, Cleaning and Maintenance, there is no immediate health hazard to shooters or other person who remain behind the firing line."

This is a big "if"and this is where people may be getting very sick.  Can you imagine the janitorial staff at your high school following the procedures below every evening?  (In some Maryland schools shooting ranges are set up in classrooms which are then re-converted to a normal instructional arrangement.)

Last year, researchers commissioned by the Pentagon said that decades-old limits on lead exposure are inadequate to protect the health of workers on military firing ranges. Additionally, the National Academy of Science has reported that lead from ammunition fired on Army, Navy and Air Force ranges in the last five years has "frequently exceeded" those limits, "in some cases by several orders of magnitude."

Sen. Ben Cardin expressed concern about the report's implications for workers at Maryland military installations with firing ranges.  They're at risk," the Maryland Democrat said. "This report shows that exposure to lead from firing ranges is a health hazard, and we can do a better job of protecting the public health." Cardin, however, has not responded to concerns that several dozen firing ranges located within the state's high schools that are run by the military as part of the JROTC program, may also threaten public health.

Here's a list of the necessary procedures in the CMP Guide designed to protect the health of children in high schools with shooting ranges.  Can you imagine your local high school meticulously following these procedures?

·         Pellet traps designed to effectively contain the pellets and pellet fragments must be used.

·         Only authorized adult personnel who follow proper procedures should remove lead from pellet traps or target holders.

·         With this type of pellet trap, you must still ensure all residues fall behind the target line by carefully inspecting the areas behind and in front of the target line before establishing the range map.

·         Lead consisting of spent pellets or pellet fragments that is re- moved from the pellet traps is regarded as a recyclable material. After a quantity of this lead is accumulated, take it to a recycling center.

·         If you are working with an older range that does not have a smooth floor, consider replacing or covering the floor to achieve a smooth surface that is easier to clean.

·         In order to carry out recommended air gun range management procedures, range managers should have these supplies and materials available to them:

·         Shop or industrial vacuum cleaner and mops and disposable mop heads,

·         Container (bucket) with secure closure for spent pellets 

·         Container (bucket) with secure closure for vacuum filters and mop heads

·         On ranges where the target system allows lead pellet residues to deposit on the floor forward of the targets, it is recommended that the range staff establish a lane (paint or tape a line) to provide a designated walking path for the coach or authorized athlete to follow while moving to the target line.

·         At the target line, it is recommended that the designated target changer put on disposable shoe covers before walking over any residues that may be in front of the targets.

·          Once targets are changed, the designated target changer should remove the disposable shoe covers before stepping onto the walking path and returning to the firing line. Shoe covers are disposable, elasticized paper

·         If the air gun range is in a multi-use facility where other activities will take place in the downrange area after air gun firing concludes, that area must be cleaned after every training or competition session.

·         After firing activities have ended, have the athletes remove shooting equipment from the firing line, ensuring that they do not step over the firing line. Using a shop vacuum, start from behind the firing line and move parallel to the firing line, carefully vacuuming from the firing line downrange for ten feet. Start again from ten feet in front of the target line and move parallel to the target line, vacuuming to the tar- get line (or beyond if there is lead pellet residue behind the target line.

·         Ensure that the shop vacuum’s cord, wheels and hoses do NOT drag through un-vacuumed area. Always keep the vacuum and the vacuum operator in the clean area of the range. The operator should not step on or stand in a potentially contaminated area.

·         Range floors that are roughly textured or porous may require mopping with tri-sodium phosphate, a buffering solution that suspends particulates long enough to be picked up by the mop.

Interview: Students, Faculty Protest Presence of David Petraeus at CUNY Honors College

Cross-Posted from FireDogLake

On September 9, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus -- who also formerly headed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) International Security Assistance Force for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and co-wrote the Counterinsurgency Field Manual -- began a new job as an adjunct professor at City University of New York (CUNY) Macaulay Honors College.

USDA Wants More Rural . . . Cannon Fodder

By Joel Salatin

Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany
I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic
gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe. I did and still do consider it a distinct honor for his staff to invite me as
one of the 25 dignitaries in Virginia Agriculture for this think-tank session in Richmond.

It was a who's who of Virginia agriculture: Farm Bureau, Va. Agribusiness Council, Va. Forestry Association,
Va. Poultry Federation, Va. Cattlemen's Ass., deans from Virginia Tech and Virginia State--you get the picture.
It was the first meeting of this kind I've ever attended that offered no water. The only thing to drink were soft drinks.
Lunch was served in styrofoam clam shells--Lay's potato chips, sandwiches, potato salad and chocolate chip cookie.
It didn't look very safe to me, so I didn't partake. But I'd have liked a drink of water. In another circumstance, I might
eat this stuff, but with these folks, felt it important to make a point. Why do they all assume nobody wants water,
nobody cares about styrofoam, everybody wants potato chips and we all want industrial meat-like slabs on white bread?

But I digress. The big surprise occurred a few minutes into the meeting: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
walked in. He was in Terry McCauliffe love-in mode. And here is what he told us: for the first time--2012-- rural America
lost population in real numbers--not as a percentage but in real numbers. It's down to 16 percent of total population.

I'm sitting there thinking he's going to say that number needs to go up so we have more people to love and
steward the landscape. More people to care for earthworms. More people to grow food and fiber. Are you ready
for the shoe to drop? The epiphany? What could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning
sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to
encourage farming and help more farms get started? What could be the driving reason to have more farmers?
Why does he go to bed at night trying to figure out how to increase farmers? How does the President and other
cabinet members view his role as the nation's farming czar? What could be the most important contribution that
increasing farmers could offer to the nation? Better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals?
Better care for plants?

Are you ready? Here's his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives
40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it's all said and done, at the end of the
day, the bottom line--you know all the cliches--the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon
fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back,
and if we lose that value system, we'll lose our military might.

So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It's not about food, healing the land, stewarding
precious soil and resources; it's all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the
military. This puts an amazing twist on things. You see, I think we should have many more farmers, and have
spent a lifetime trying to encourage, empower, and educate young people to go into farming. It never occurred
to me that this agenda was the key to American military power.

Lest I be misread, I am not opposed to defending family. I am not opposed to fighting for sacred causes.
I am violently opposed to non-sacred fighting and meddling in foreign countries, and building empires. The
Romans already tried that and failed.

But to think that my agenda is key to building the American military--now that's a cause for pause. I will
redouble my efforts to help folks remember why we need more farmers. It's not to provide cannon fodder for
Wall Street imperialistic agendas. It's to grow food that nourishes, land that's aesthetically and aromatically
sensually romantic, build soil, hydrate raped landscapes, and convert more solar energy into biomass than
nature would in a static state. I can think of many, many righteous and noble reasons to have more farms.
Why couldn't he have mentioned any of these? Any?

No, the reason for more farms is to make sure we get people signing up at the recruitment office. That's
the way he sees me as a farmer. Not a food producer. When the president and his cabinet have their private
conflabs, they don't see farmers as food producers, as stewards of the landscape, as resource leveragers.
No, they view us as insurance for military muscle, for American empire building and soldier hubris. Is this
outrageous? Do I have a right to be angry? Like me, this raw and bold show of the government's farming
agenda should make us all feel betrayed, belittled, and our great nation besmirched.

Perhaps, just perhaps, really good farms don't feed this military personnel pipeline. I'd like to think our
kind of farming has more righteous goals and sacred objectives. Vilsack did not separate good farmers from
bad farmers. Since we have far more bad farmers than good ones, perhaps the statistic would not hold up
if we had more farmers who viewed the earth as something to heal instead of hurt, as a partner to caress
instead of rape. That America's farms are viewed by our leaders as just another artery leading into military
might is unspeakably demeaning and disheartening.

Tragically, I don't think this view would change with a different Democrat or Republican. It's entrenched
in the establishment fraternity. Thomas Jefferson, that iconic and quintessential agrarian intellectual, said
we should have a revolution about every half century just to keep the government on its toes. I'd say we're
long overdue.

Now when you see those great presidentially appointed cabinet members talking, I just want you to think
about how despicable it is that behind the facade, behind the hand shaking and white papers, in the private
by-invitation-only inner circles of our country, movers and shakers know axiomatically that farms are really
important to germinate more military personnel. That no one in that room with Terry McCauliffe, none of those
Virginia farm leaders, even blinked when he said that is still hard for me to grasp. They accepted it as truth,
probably saying "Amen, brother" in their hearts. True patriots, indeed.

It'll take me awhile to get over this, and believe me, I intend to shout this from the housetops. I'll incorporate
in as many public speeches as I can because I think it speaks to the heart of food and farming. It speaks to
the heart of strength and security; which according to our leaders comes from the end of a gun, not from the
alimentary canal of an earthworm. Here's to more healthy worms.

Army Teaches Wrong Lesson in Nation's High Schools

                   Historical evidence, statements by military leaders of the era
                             show JROTC version of Hiroshima is misleading

By Pat Elder

This summer the world will pause to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Most Americans are still supportive of Truman's decision despite overwhelming historical evidence the bomb had "nothing to do with the end of the war," in the words of Major General Curtis E. LeMay.

Truth in Recruitment

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.