The Real Deal on Joining the Military

from soldiers who have served

explaining the full story

that you won't hear from recuiters.

Before You Enlist!

A video production by Telequest, Inc. with support from the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY)

"Before You Enlist!" (2018 version)


“Before You Enlist!” video 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.

Spanish: "¡Antes de Alistarte!" (2020 version)


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.

Subject matter includes: The human cost of war ... training to kill ... risk of death, injury and psychological damage ... loss of individual freedom ... realities of college and job opportunities after service ... limits on veterans’ benefits ... recruitment sales and marketing strategies ... and what to do if you are being pressured to enlist by a recruiter.


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 HERE

National Partners

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY)

Project on Youth And Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)

Regional Sponsor

Coalition for Peace Action (Princeton, NJ)

Truth in Recruiting Links

Project on Youth And Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO)

Peaceful Career Alternatives

War Resisters League (WRL)

Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project (NWSUBPEP)


Contact: info@beforeyouenlist.org


The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the 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.


©2020 Telequest, Inc. Before You Enlist! is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.