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View Diary: Noted military expert (see Iraq War) Dick Cheney complains about food for the poor (171 comments)

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  •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
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    Please show me ANY evidence to support ANYTHING you are sprouting here.

    Im looking around the room and I see a lot of very talented people who get bombarded by headhunters daily.  I see a lot of people who have multiple college degrees.  I see people who love what they do and choose to do it.

    I blew past 20 a long time ago.   Ive been working for less than half pay for almost a decade.    

    Since you know NOTHING how about you STFU!

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

    by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:05:50 AM PST

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    •  DBAD (0+ / 0-)

      Or: Lighten up, Francis.

    •  serious question (7+ / 0-)

      How many of the talented people that you see around you that have multiple college degrees are ACTUALLY at risk of coming home in one of those flag-draped coffins?

      The people you are describing are the kind of people that probably would have been successful inside or outside the military.

       The people that I think the original poster is talking about are not these people. There is definitely a class of people joining the military that are doing so because it is the only way to earn a living that would allow them to be self-sufficient. That's who is getting thrown into the military/industrial/government wood chipper; the Americans that would have been a whole lot better off if only they had some real opportunities OUTSIDE the military.

      •  Serious answer (2+ / 0-)
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        BlackSheep1, 2dot

        Looking at the Army folks its easy to answer - 100%.  Every one wears a combat patch.  More than half have a CIB/CFMB/CAB.  Of my Army peers every one has multiple tours in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Most of us have been to BOTH Iraq and Afghanistan.  And a lot of us have been to other places that get less attention but are just as if not more dangerous.  

        For my Navy and Air Force Peers its a little harder to tell but I can count the number with more than 10 years and no deployments on one hand.  

        Sorry but its a myth that the military is an employer of last resort.  Our standards are too high for that.  We accept a TINY number of "CAT IV" - low IQ folks.  We stopped giving "moral waivers" when Chaney stopped living in an undisclosed location.  We have an almost year long wait to join the Army because we can be picky.

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

        by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:26:47 AM PST

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        •   (4+ / 0-)
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          Darmok, entlord, gffish, Kymidei

          I don't think that anyone is claiming that most people in the military joined as a last resort. I do think that if young people with only a high school education had more opportunities to make a decent living outside of the military you would probably see a lot less of them trying to join the military, and this would be a very good thing.

          •  Why exactly would it be a good thing? (2+ / 0-)
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            BlackSheep1, 2dot

            Compare the military to other employers:

            Equal pay - male, female, black, white, brown, green everyone gets the same pay for the same work.  Oh and the difference between the bottom and the top - about 15X.  No disgusting CEO pay here.

            30 days paid vacation - from day one.  Oh and that too is equal.  The Chairman of the Joint chiefs gets the exact 30 days as the kid who joined yesterday.

            Full medical and dental - no cost share, no deductible.

            No sick leave - being sick is no different than working.  You get paid no matter what.  1 day or 1000 days, you still get paid.  No one in the military has to choose between seeing a doctor and paying rent.

            Tax free pay for food and housing - We have this novel notion that what it costs to hit the bottom of your Maslow should be untaxed.

            REAL retirement with a defined benefit plan that fully vests at 20 years along with a defined contribution plan that has the lowest fees in the industry.  And retirement includes medical and dental for life.

            Education benefits - $4500 a year in tuition assistance from day one until retirement.  Multiple additional programs for education.  I spent 18 months getting a Masters and not only did it not cost me a dime I got paid my regular pay the entire time.

            Skills training - I have spent roughly 1 year out of 4 in some kind of formal training.  We invest in people.

            Name ONE civilian company that has all this.  You cant because they dont exist.  yet there is no reason they cant.  They CHOOSE not to do this.  Maybe people join the military because it offers a BETTER future than anyone else does.

            Oh and lets not sugar coat it.  The OP was very clear that the military is full of uneducated losers with no prospects.  never mind he/she probably couldn't last a day doing what I do.

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

            by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:36:43 AM PST

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        •  I look around the local community and I see (1+ / 0-)
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          one KIA who was a cop and joined the NG for the one weekend a month spiel, never thinking he would be deployed.  I see another Gold Star widow who lost the farm because her husband also signed up for the NG and ended up KIA.  I would suggest that certain areas of the country are more likely to produce recruits for the military, are more likely to have a family tradition of military service, and are more likely to be economically depressed where the only real alternative is the military.

          I would note that mandated budget cuts will reduce the Army to its smallest size since WWII and final cuts, if not blocked, may result in the smallest US Army since the end of WWI.  To compare the present condition of the military in regards to its present needs vs its historical needs, say 1945-2010 seems to be a bit intellectually dishonest.  Sure the military is picky today because they can afford to be.  That is how a peacetime military operates.

          The question is how long it will remain a peace time military and when will we see another escalation and how will such an escalation be manned?  After all, my grandfather thought WWI was our final war and my father thought WWII would be the final war and I was sure that VN would have been our final major conflict.  Goes to show the prescience of my family I guess    

          •  NG can be unhealthy (0+ / 0-)

            Sadly the Guard and reserves seem to have a much higher percentage of KIAs and WIAs.

            Lots of contributing factors.  War is not a part time job.  Some units were let down by their leaders.  Different type of leader to get folks to show up for drill than keep them alive in combat.  Some units had less than great relationships with their Active Duty peers and superiors.  Some units had folks way to old in positions way too junior.  A 45 year old PFC in an infantry unit does what PFCs in infantry do - walks point.  That's a young man's job for a reason.  The Guard and Reserve units I was around were losing as many to heart attack and stroke as to the enemy.  Those guys had no business being there in the first place.

            Lot of guys got sold the weekend a month thinking they would never have to go all in but that is on them not the system.

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

            by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:47:32 AM PST

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        •  How many Purple Hearts in the room? (0+ / 0-)

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

          by itsjim on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:35:51 AM PST

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    •  here is one source (0+ / 0-)

      There are others available

      •  One anecdote (1+ / 0-)
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        from 2003.  really?  That is your source?

        A 2003 story about ONE National Guard soldier.  And we are going to extrapolate that to cover all 2.1 million active and reserve Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guard.  

        Did you miss the whole part about it being a myth that the military is about rich white people sending poor black people to die?  Fact is the military represents America quite well.  With the exception of the 1% we are pretty much a reflection of the nation.  Good and bad.  Not special, not different.  Just a reflection.  

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

        by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:55:14 AM PST

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          •  Great "sources" (0+ / 0-)
            "Among the many youth I have met over the years as an educator and counter-recruitment activist"
            Yup, no agenda there.
            "It perhaps should come as no surprise that the Army GED Plus Enlistment Program, in which applicants without high school diplomas are allowed to enlist while they complete a high school equivalency certificate, is focused on inner-city areas."
            Less than 15% of all Army enlistees have GEDs.  A tiny tiny number are brought in under "GED plus" that allows underprivileged youths who meet very strict criteria - including NO criminal record - to join.  this is a good program that gives a second chance to kids the public schools failed.

            Nice opinion piece by someone who self describes as an "counter recruiter."  And you managed to find a "source" only 7 years old.  

            Friday, November 4, 2005

            As sustained combat in Iraq makes it harder than ever to fill the ranks of the all-volunteer force

            Hmmm....9 years ago.  A whole 2 years newer than your first one but lest just take a look:
            Indeed, like many heavy recruiting areas, Martinsville has more people seeking Army jobs than are qualified for them. Army recruiters here turn away scores of interested youths because they fail vocational tests, physicals or legal background checks. To fill its ranks nationwide, the Army in fiscal 2005 accepted its least qualified pool in a decade -- falling below quota in high school graduates (87 percent) and taking in more youths scoring in the lowest category of aptitude test (3.9 percent).
            BTW - 2005 was by far our worst year for recruiting and we were STILL turning people away.
            Being black and female, Gravely contradicts a national decline over the past four years in the willingness of both blacks and women to consider military service -- a shift polls attribute to the U.S. anti-terrorism effort and perceived discrimination. Blacks fell from 22.3 percent of Army recruits in fiscal 2001 to 14.5 percent this year; Hispanics rose from 10.5 percent to 13.2 percent, and whites, from 60.2 percent to 66.9 percent. Women dropped from 20 percent to 18 percent.
            Well that doesnt fit the narrative.  I thought we just filled the Army with poor brown people......

            It might surprise you since I am just one of the dumb poor people in the Army but while earning my Masters I had to learn what was a "source" and what was just crap on the internet.  You have found crap on the internet for the most part.  Some of the WP article could be considered "source" material but you would need the actual studies.  You might want to stay away from those because they are counter to your narrative.  

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

            by ksuwildkat on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 03:01:30 PM PST

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