Why join the armed forces?
The United States armed forces can be an interesting experience. Why join in today's age?
Enlisting into any branch of the armed forces will teach a person many things.
1. Discipline. Personal and professional.
2. Value of teamwork. Everyone depends on each other to help accomplish one task.
3. Pay attention to detail. With so much input from others, one learns, over time, to see any situation from many angles at one time.
4. Skills learned beyond innate talents. When assigned to do tasks outside of normal rating, one learns many skills that most civilians will not learn or utilize while in their careers.
5. Travel. The military will take you all over the world, which means meeting new people, discovering new cultures and seeing wondrous things.
6. GI Bill. With student loan deferments, one can use the GI Bill as an extra income while earning a college degree.
7. Respect from many. Wearing the uniform is something that always brings admiration and respect from most, especially people that didn't know before you joined the military.
8. Looks great on a résumé. Many jobs give veterans preferential status during hiring process. In these economic times, competition is fierce, and every little bit helps.
I got a lot out of it, but I did it the smart way and it was a stepping stone for the rest of my life. It's interesting in some ways, but I found it mostly uninteresting. After going through thorough training, the soldiers are typically about 30 years behind the rest of the country in terms of understanding and processing current information. (they still talk about the threat posed by "commies" for example) Travelling and seeing the world through the military vacuum is not the same as seeing it in an ordinary way. It's like the North Koreans and the bad information they are constantly fed. The army in particular is like the worst of anti-cultural and anti-intellectual America on steroids. They're homophobic, guarded/frightened, racist, don't read, watch lots of tv and play lots of video games, totally ignorant of economics, law, or politics. But then, Afghanistan is a waste of life and money.
There are a number of considerations that run beyond that of service to country, patriotism, etc. Ufortunately, many who have never served in the military seem to be that is the only reason to be there...that a one of the "justified wars" that might miraculously come along and fit their perspective. Having served over six years as a former Captain and flyer with the USAF, I can tell you that first and foremost, the experience will change your life and your future in ways that you cannot measure. It will change you in the same manner. Had I stayed away from the military, stayed in the place where I grew up, and never gone outside those circles, I would not have the experience and the knowledge that I have today, nor would I know my limitations and abilities as well either. The armed forces can be a place to confront your inner strengths, apply them, and gain confidence from the process. It can also be a place where you are forced to confront your fears and deal with your shortcomings and maybe do something about them. These are just a few of the things that come to mind when I read your question...the military is far more than preparation or execution of war. In terms of the individual it is more about self-respect, self-esteem, courage, faith, dedication, perserverance, and determination. All these things roll together to form or discover a new part of yourself. The comaraderie with others is great too! WB
As far as self discovery is concerned, a good shrink can do just as much, but they don't require you to kill and destroy or support a war machine that does. Many people say they're serving their country when, in fact, they're just serving themselves.
Back in the days of the American Colonials, this was the question of the day. They debated about whether or not America should have a standing army. Many people thought that a standing army would buffer corrupt politicians from the people and give the people reason to fear the government.
They also could not think of a reason why a young man would want to do such a thing with his life, unless he had no occupation or no direction in life.
This was still hotly debated in the days of the Revolutionary War. It was thought that it would best serve our fledgling country if we enlisted a small number of professional soldiers and the major majority of our freedom fighters would come from citizen soldiers. This way the government could not use the military against the people or use the military to invoke fear in the people.
Unless our country is on the verge of being attacked, there really is no good reason for people to enlist. As things are now, recruits are used as henchmen to keep markets open and to put money in Corporate America's pockets, while furthering the agenda of the New World Order.
General Pershing warned against the standing army in 1919 and so did Dwight Eisenhower in the late 50's, which he assured, would usher in the military/industrial complex. By the looks of things...he was spot on.
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