Spammed By The Marines

I recently received this message from “Captain DeStefano” at my Northeastern University email address. He has this to say:

My name is Captain DeStefano. I am the Marine Corps Officer Selection Officer here in Boston. The reason that I’m mailing you is because I want you to be aware of an awesome summer training program called the Platoon Leader’s Course (PLC).

Interestingly, this is an opt-out spam, and apparently I’ll continue to receive them unless I “click here”:

This email was sent to you to assess your interest in U.S. Marine Corps Aviation. If you prefer not to receive future emails, click or copy and paste this URL into your browser. Please review our privacy policy at

I wonder if the Marines actually harvested all of the email addresses on the web or from some third party source; or if Northeastern willingly turned them over, for fear of reprisal under the Solomon Amendment, which has been used to threaten educational institutions that receive federal money if they refuse to let military recruiters on campus.

In either case, it strikes me as inappropriate and vaguely desperate. The email is clearly directed toward current undergraduates—I wonder if they actually emailed all graduate students as well as law school alumni with active email addresses such as myself?

(I can just see the slashdot headline now: U.S. Military Resorts To Spam For New Recruits).


  1. Michael Olson Jan 28

    I used to work at a small college. The Navy, Air Force, and Army would each request information once a semester due to the Solomon Amendment. The email address is one of the commonly-requested data items, IIRC, along with class year, local address, etc. So much for privacy.

  2. Rachel Dines Jan 28

    I got one of those emails too, and a letter in the mail from them. I guess they send it out to Smith students too, which seems funny to me!

  3. UG Jan 28

    Thank you for taking a stand on this issue and carrying on the tradition of my generation. During my 4 years at Tufts the issue of Resrve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) chapters on campuses around the country came to a head and schools like mine were forced to disassociate with the “military industrial complex” due to the activism of my compatriots. Tom Brokaw may think the WWII Veterans comprise the “Greatest Generation” of Americans but in the 60’s and 70’s, we, in our own, mostly non-violent way, changed the world for the better…forever.

  4. Ron Jan 28

    It quite disappointing to see the confusion of service and that of our civilian leadership with the aforementioned inept and short-sighted views. In light of recent events (Iraq), the disappointment is not that of the Military but that of the civilian leadership which has their respective roots from the generation which supposedly in their “own, mostly non-violent way, changed the world for the better…forever”. If we look upon the past those that served were reluctant to repeat the past (i.e. see the Powell Doctrine) than those that did not serve (both Bush and Clinton were Draft Dodgers in one form or another). Yes, Clinton did little to nothing to insure safety from terrorist attacks. An email from a young Marine Captain is far less irratating then the opeates we must engage everyday (peace marches to makes us feel better, watching monday night football, reading comments as empty and shallow as those listed above etc). Our world, here in America is far different than that of especially Asia and Africa. I doubt any person on this board has gone without food for a day or was ever concerned about having their throat slit in the middle of the night. My best suggestion to you is grow up, think for yourself, and question authority.

Leave a Reply

(Markdown Syntax Permitted)