McClatchy writer, Matthew Schofield, in a hand wringing piece in the Stars & Stripes, contemplates the all-volunteer military and worries that we’re creating a warrior class and a government which doesn’t feel repercussions from sending warriors to the field.
In the wide halls of the Pentagon, the military often is referred to as “the world’s largest family business.” The fear among some military leaders, politicians and experts begins with the belief that as fewer segments of society have family or friends in uniform, others become desensitized to the risks and stresses of military service. The feared risks range from a reluctance to fully support those who serve to an almost cavalier willingness to wage war, reasoning, “That’s what THEY signed up for.”
Historically, problems with such classes have ranged from the military having too much influence in all walks of society — Prussian officers collected taxes — to being marginalized, as with the so-called “barbarization” of the Roman military, which relied heavily on non-Romans.
Yeah, well, we don’t collect taxes and we’re Americans fighting for our country, so your historical references are empty. The real problem isn’t us. It’s the same problem the rest of the country has – it’s the culture. Teachers in schools tell their students that somehow military service isn’t a way forward in their lives. They demean the life, mostly because they don’t understand it either. That educator class which has no experience outside of academia, never worked during summer months, but act like they know everything.
Journalists and politicians like John Kerry (Halp us John Cary) have no problem propagating the myth that the folks who join the military are taking the only route available to them because we’re all miserable failures. And in a culture which touts success, somehow that doesn’t resonate with today’s youths.
Yeah, military service is a “family business” because most of us have parents and grandparents who have served and we can filter out the cultural bullshit. On another forum which I participated years ago, I had some bonehead hippie turd try to convince me that because he was so smart, recruiters didn’t want to even talk to him, let alone recruit him. Such are the misconceptions of the types of people who join the military.
One of my workmates complained that he’d been beat out of a government job because of a “10-point” veteran and he couldn’t figure out why employers put such a heavy significance on military service. Probably because folks who are hiring are learning the value of hiring vets despite the cultural bullshit.
Maybe it’s because “the best and the brightest” join the military and it’s society’s dregs who spend their hours figuring out who they should vote for in the latest “American Idol” competition and can’t get out of their own way. Maybe it’s not the military service that makes us better people, maybe it’s the other way around.