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View Diary: If You Truly Want To Honor Those Who Serve... (5 comments)

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  •  3 and 4 (0+ / 0-)

    I think you let your "jaundiced view" colored your writing in 3 and 4.

    Im going to assume you are not currently on active duty and I am going to further assume you are not the spouse of, parent of or child of anyone on active duty.  I assume that because you seem to assume that most of us on active duty have come to the military as an employee of last resort.  While this certainly happens, it is by far the exception, not the rule.  The vast majority - like 95% - of Soldiers serve by choice.  We haven't been the employer of last resort for a LONG time and in fact we turn away unqualified people daily.  

    We had a brief surge in "adrenaline junkie" enlistments after 9/11 and again when the Iraq war started but that passed.  I call them that because they seemed more interested in being part of the "hero" culture than anything else.  That time has passed and we are back to getting people committed to the Profession of Arms.  The majority of all new Soldiers are either the children of Soldiers or have a close, direct relative who is a Soldier.  They know what they are getting into - especially the boring parts.

    As for holding people accountable - 2 years ago (last year I have data for) the Army discharged over 40,000 soldiers for misconduct.  40K.  That is about 8% of the active force.  We hold people accountable - far more so than any other large organization that I know of.  

    As far as being "part of the tapestry of American life" - the total force, active and reserve is less than 3 million - less than 1% of the population.  Of that the vast majority serve a single term of 2-5 years.  The remaining "professionals"  number less than 300K across all services - or less than .1% of the population.  That is just a little more than the capacity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  If there were a tapestry we would make up a tiny square yet bear a huge burden while being held to the highest standards.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:26:16 AM PST

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