Jill Dillard announced to her Instagram followers Monday that some of the Duggar brothers might join the U.S. Military. The declaration came as viewers questioned why the Duggar family would promote paramilitary organizations such as Alert Academy, when none of them chooses to serve in any actual military capacity as adults. Jill responded to one such comment, in order to argue that, while none of her siblings have chosen to join the military, they still might.
ALERT (it stands for ‘Air, Land, Emergency Resource Team’) Academy is a program created by Bill Gothard’s IBLP (Institute in Basic Life Principles), before Gothard stepped down from his official positions due to numerous allegations of sexual assault by young women who had worked for or been enrolled in his programs. Its stated purpose is as follows.
“…to forge extraordinary men who influence their world for Christ.”
Though the Duggar family has promoted ALERT and other Gothard programs, as Jill Dillard’s critics were quick to point out, they’ve shown little to no interest in the secular military of the United States of America.
At this point, eleven of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s offspring are over 18 — six of them are male, which may not matter to the military, but could in the belief system the Duggar family follows, which enforces strict gender roles.
Not everyone joins the military, of course, but Jill’s social media posting promoted ALERT as great training to prepare for military service.
“We support the military too. Consider ALERT great prep. Actually a lot of the guys who go through their program end up serving in the military or law enforcement.”
Another Instagram user commented to point out that the “lot of guys” who join military or law enforcement after ALERT doesn’t include any Duggars.
Jill responded, tagging the user and answering with a single two-word hashtag: #notyet.
There are four Duggar boys who haven’t yet turned 18, and of course, some of the boys who are already adults could still choose military or law enforcement careers. Of course, considering that Jinger Vuolo has been branching out and defying the strict gender rules she was raised with by wearing jeans and even shorts, it’s also possible one of the Duggar women will decide to do so at some point.
As Inquisitr previously reported, when Jeremiah Duggar attended, ALERT differs from the U.S. Military in some big ways, including required Bible memorization and punishments that would be forbidden to use on young enlistees in real boot camp.
In fact, according to Daily Kos, Bill Gothard first came to public attention when a reform school he was running was revealed to use such punishments as locking children in prayer closets for days at a time.
Another obvious way that the ALERT program Jill Dillard was promoting differs from all branches of the U.S. military is the focus on religion. The program is divided into three stages The first is described in its own literature as promoting “Godly manhood,” and “confront[ing] the unhealthy self-focus you were born with.” Throughout the program, young men are also trained to promote their conservative Evangelical Christian beliefs to others.
Also unlike the real military services, IBLP mentions in one ad for the program Jill Dillard was promoting that requirements include being a “[s]ingle, young man at least 17 years of age.”
None of the Duggar men have publicly expressed an interest in joining the military, though John David Duggar ha served in an unpaid position as Constable, according to Bustle. It’s not clear if Jill Dillard is revealing some desires or plans her brothers haven’t yet made public, or if she’s just guessing herself.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]