military training program for teens expands in US

military training program for teens expands in USfrom afp: Dozens of teens dressed in uniforms provided by the US Marines stand at attention in the gym of a Chicago public high school as a drill sergeant goes through a list of the day’s do’s and don’ts.

Bring your books to class. Come for extra help if you need it. And wear your uniform with pride…

One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes – including how to shoot a gun properly – from retired veterans.

That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme.

Proponents of the junior reserve programs say they provide stability and a sense of purpose for troubled youth and help to instill values such as leadership and responsibility.

But opponents say the programs divert critical resources from crumbling public schools and lead to a militarization of US society.

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