While the counter-recruiting movement focuses on opt-out forms and limiting recruiter access to students in school, a widely used “career exploration program” developed by and for the military goes largely unchallenged.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) ostensibly exists to help vocational-minded students select a trade, but is largely geared to helping the military target potential recruits. The test is offered for free to high schools and community colleges, and 1.25 million senior and juniors in about 14,000 high schools take the test each year, according to Tod Ensign, author of America’s Military Today. Test results provide recruiters with far more extensive personal information – name, address, phone number, age, sex, grade, test score, analysis of aptitude and interests, as well as information about the students’ plans after graduation – than the basic contact information high schools are required to hand over under the No Child Left Behind Act.

“Your ASVAB program is the seed from which the best leads will come,” notes an Army recruiting manual. “Many recruiters have already discovered that mandatory ASVAB testing can convert a very difficult task into a pleasurable project.”