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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:51 pm 
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timwalsh300 wrote:
Even on the enlisted side, a lot of bright, highly motivated kids are drawn to the prestige of being an Airborne Ranger or Marine infantryman.


I think the question should be WHY are they drawn to that? Is it sane to want to put your life at risk? Is it sane to want to kill people? I hope not. Most of those kids are drawn to a myth. They are deluded by recruiters.

I believe we need a military. Frankly, right now I think every single one of them should be at home because there are simply no fights in the world we should be in. Nearly every country in the world is smart enough not to have more than a token force standing by the US in any current mission.

I grew up in a (small) military town. I worked for 20 years on military projects in close contact with military people, mostly O-3/4 and then in another role most 0-6/7+. I've been in small meetings with commanders of some major commands in the US. They do indeed often have PhDs advising them (I have a PhD). But most of these PhDs are not going to be any where near combat.

The PhDs you are talking about usually get their PhD as a way OUT! or a way in to a better job closer to home.

You should not take this post as anti military. I want a competent military to defend us. I'm perfectly willing to fund them with taxes to buy whatever toys are necessary. But I know better than to believe that the rank and file is an elite force. The Ivy league grads you point to are far less common than the type Kombat refers to. There are a lot of kids in the military that have few other alternatives. The fact is, recruiting standards have been lowered considerably because there have recently not been enough volunteers to provide the troops needed to fight the senseless "wars" going on right now. This is clear evidence that the military is NOT an attractive option for most kids who have other alternatives.

Of course there are some good people in the service. But there are plenty of not-so-good people as well. Most of the higher ranks you point to who are good advanced because they were good. The military rejects or processes out plenty of deadwood.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:59 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:29 pm
Posts: 1627
Location: Seattle, WA
Kombat's insinuation matches my experience in the military in the late 90's. I wasn't an officer, so I can't speak to their average intelligence. In the enlisted ranks, both at training (mix of active duty and reserves) and in the reserves, I encountered what seemed to me to be an above average number of people who were below average. Many of them could not have gotten a decent job elsewhere. Some were crazy (or maybe they just wanted to seem crazy so as to avoid hazing?) In the reserves I worked with a number of people who had day jobs as low-level fast food employees, but one weekend a month they got to preside over others.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:01 am 
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Posts: 636
I'm not asserting that everyone in the military is Ivy League Ph.D. material. Several of my enlisted troops are taking classes to learn fairly basic math and writing skills. A lot of the others probably should be taking such classes. I'm often stunned by poor decisions they make. But none of them are high school dropouts, and I believe them to be brighter and more reliable than most of the retail and restaurant workers I see (where else do 19 year-olds work?). I don't believe that my troops would choose to trade places with those people. I also know that a lot of retail/restaurant workers have been rejected by the military (especially in the last two years) due to criminal records and low aptitude test scores.

More importantly, I'm trying to point out that a number of military personnel, albeit a minority of the total force, are just as intelligent as anyone you work with in the civilian world. Aside from service academy graduates, I've worked with junior officers from places like Harvard, MIT, Notre Dame, and Chapel Hill. One of my college roommates, at another fairly respectable institution, earned a combined BA/MA in mathematics with high honors in four years. He chose the infantry, and you can see him in "Restrepo" - definitely out on the front lines. He's also one of the most mature 20-something year-old individuals you'll ever meet. My own degree was in computer science, and a Fortune 100 company was offering me a software engineering job a few weeks before graduation. Despite the higher salary, I turned them down to go on active duty.

I take offense to the assertions that we are either (1) delusional, (2) insane, or (3) bereft of alternative employment opportunities. I'm not asking you to praise us for heroism; I'm asking for you to have some respect instead of looking down on us with pity.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:59 am 
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timwalsh300 wrote:
I take offense to the assertions that we are either (1) delusional, (2) insane, or (3) bereft of alternative employment opportunities. I'm not asking you to praise us for heroism; I'm asking for you to have some respect instead of looking down on us with pity.


Tim, no one is saying everyone in the military is a loser. But you've got to admit there are plenty of grunts who are a little too "gung ho" and just want to shoot someone. I have known enough of those that I know they exist. And stories of misbehavior like that are rampant in spite of the effort to cover them up. We could list at least a dozen incidents of illegal behavior including rape and murder committed by US troops just in the last few years. I hope you'll admit those guys were losers that did get in, and in a few cases were put into leadership positions at the platoon level. We knew most of this even before wikileaks revealed the extent of the attrocities.

And it's no secret that recruiters have to be pretty aggressive to "sell" a dream rather than portraying the reality. I mean, c'mon, the guy that shot my Congresswoman a couple of weeks ago was only rejected from the army because he failed the drug test. The recruiter gladly signed him up. Even a clerk at Walmart recognized he was nuts and wouldn't sell him ammo. That's NOT indicative of high standards.

As I've said, there are plenty of good people in the military. But there are plenty of losers as well, like any large organization. I'm sorry if you are offended by the reality but I have never said it applies to everyone. But the organization as a whole clearly has problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:55 pm 
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DoingHomework,

I'm only really offended by kombat who did, indeed, basically say that everyone in the military (later modified to include only "the actual soldiers putting their lives at risk") is a loser.

You've been fair, appropriately using words like "some" to qualify your statements.

I don't think I'm in denial of reality. I've spoken candidly about the intelligence and decision-making skills I see among our troops. I am well aware of how recruiting standards (for enlisted and officers) were lowered in the middle of the last decade. It is a point that many of us bemoan, as we are now dealing with the consequences.

I'm just trying to pull the discussion back to the center. All I'm saying is that (1) our 19 year-old privates are no less capable than their 19 year-old counterparts doing entry-level work as civilians, and (2) a good number of us actually chose to be Soldiers or Marines despite having plenty of other opportunities.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:23 am
Posts: 22
I know I may be digging up an old thread but this one raises an eye-brow for me. Why did I join? Tough economic times and to pay for a degree, some people don't have the same options that some are fortunate enough to have and the Military is a way of giving people those options, for a great sacrifice. The military generally is a reflection of the general civilian population at least I can say this without a doubt for the Navy. Yes there are screwed up people IN the civilian world AND in the Military, some just haven't got caught yet in the Military and when they are they will be kicked out. My job is to take care of newborn babies, I've changed diapers on more newborns than you will ever see in your life. I work alongside doctors and nurses and sometimes when babies come out that aren't breathing or a new mom loses a lot of blood we save lives too. Yes I could be sent with the marines tomorrow, do I want to go? No, I don't, but this is what I signed up for.

To those who say reduce the Military, this is a bad idea. You want a lot of people around who are fully trained "in case" shit happens, we are the countries insurance. If China or Russia wants to invade tomorrow for whatever random reason, you're going to be happy that we are around. America does not have enough militias or any real ones (gun law makes it impossible) for the country to defend its self should shit happen without a real Military force. I'm not saying that we are going to be invaded, it is the threats and plans in motion that we DO NOT know about that should make us worried. If you don't believe that America has a target on its back being what many would consider the best country on earth, You're wrong.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:35 pm
Posts: 451
Location: USA
I was just going to add what Stripes fan said. Why would someone join the military? My parents broke up when my brother was a senior in high school, and there was no provision made for him to go to college. His grades were not such he would be getting scholarships. He did consider going into the military. It is a calculated risk, that he would serve and be able to fund a college degree out of it. I felt it was too much of a risk (in fact the first Iraq war happened about a year later) and he decided against it. My father and grandfather were drafted and served, my uncle was a merchant marine. We can have civil arguments whether we need as big of a military as we have, but there is no need to disparage someone going into the military as a career choice as there are often compelling financial arguments to enter service.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:37 am 

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:18 am
Posts: 3
I just want to go back to the original post and say way to go! You did an honorable thing. I think it was big of you to do something instead of just filing for bankruptcy... so congratulations! :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 6:37 am 

Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 2
kombat wrote:
cjscully wrote:
Any man or woman who voluntarily enlists in military service in any country should be given the utmost respect. They are willing to put their lives on the line for their country and they are doing it by choice. The US military is entirely a volunteer service. No one is required to serve by law. Therefore they command some respect from our citizens no matter where they are sent in the line of duty. My guess is that those of you from other countries would feel the same about those serving in your armed forces. It has nothing to do with whether they're "defending" anything. It has to do with the fact that they're serving.


This is going to sound awful, but it needs to be said.

People who join the military are not selfless heroes-in-waiting. They're high school dropouts with no other job prospects.

Let's be honest - the military is a job interview you can't fail (unless you're too fat or a convicted felon). That makes it pretty attractive to 20 year old high school dropouts with an invincibility complex and a string of bad job interviews.

How many Ph.D's are serving on the front lines in Afghanistan? I'd say none. People with real job prospects just don't join the military to "defend your country" from the dangerous Iraqis who have obviously repeatedly attacked you (huh?). does that mean uneducated dropouts are more patriotic than educated scholars? Or is it possible that the military is actually little more than a patriotic jobs program, willing to sacrifice innocent young Amerian lives for oil and political gain?

I think it's pretty clear which answer I believe.



First - of all I would like to say I graduated high school. I have been to Iraq, and was thanked by many of their citizens, so your opinion is definitely outweighed by theirs.
Second - I can spell, you however lack that ability.
Third - Iraq lacks the ability to even get the oil they are sitting on out of the ground, it was destroyed in the Iraq- Iran war, and first Gulf war, so if you could please stop spreading that lie around that would be wonderful.
Fourth - I deployed with people who graduated from Harvard, which you clearly did not do. The military pays for people to go to college. One of my drill sergeants had 2 masters degrees, every single other one had atleast a bachlors degree. Doctors, PAs, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, people who have earned their PhD do join the military, and they go to war.
Fifth - mulitple people have pointed this out, but you NEED a high school diploma now to join the military, if you only have a GED now, you need to take college classes before you can join, because the military actually teaches a lot. There are a lot of classes to go to, and we need to ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have the ability to absorb the information. There's also a test called the ASVAB that must be taken and passed before joining. Also, there are many physical reasons why people aren't allowed to join, only 10% of the population would meet the standards, and only 1% step up. I also worked in Corporate America before joining, so I didn't fail job interviews.
Please stop posting lies, the military would reject you, because the only drop-out here seems to be you.


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 Post subject: Re: Joined the military.
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 6:47 am 

Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 6:18 am
Posts: 2
RICKLEE wrote:
If there is a link between Wealth and any Military, I'd like to offer a few ideas:

War erodes wealth on a net basis
The tools of any military are designed to destroy property and lives
Peaceful and productive living takes place when all soldiers leave

Disclaimer: I used to be a hawk, but now I'm a pacifist.


So Germany isn't a peaceful country? We are still there. How about England? Dubai, is that a peaceful area that people go to vacation? How about Australia?
When I deployed I met the first Buddist Priest - he had asked personal permission for the Dalai Lama, who told him he SHOULD join, he was still unsure - until he noticed the body guards around him. You see peace isn't everyone's goal, people hate the Dalai Lama for who he is, and his goal of peace. Pacifism is all well and dandy, until you realize that that other people don't care that you're a pacifist, don't worry though the military will protect your right not to fight. I saved lives when I was in the military, and didn't destroy one single life. War took us out of the Great Depression.


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