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How to break a volunteer army...

mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, this guy is getting some attention, for alluding to the draft more positively than any non-crazy person has in a while. I've seen his quotes taken way out of context suggesting he's straight-up saying we should start pulling numbers next month, which isn't the case. He claims that our all-volunteer system is working excellently at the moment (or some such, and I disagree) but that in the future the draft should never be disregarded as an option.

Anyway, we're seriously short on soldiers. IIRC, our own doctrine recommends a 1:50 ratio for counterinsurgency occupations (EDIT: this would be, and would always have been, 500,000 troops in Iraq), and even assuming you should count every IA/ING soldier I think we come up short. We certainly didn't have what we needed going in (which at least one guy pointed out, and was shouted down). He also said something I think applies right about now: ""Beware the 12-division strategy for a 10-division Army. Our soldiers and families bear the risk and the hardship of carrying a mission load that exceeds what force capabilities we can sustain, so we must alleviate risk and hardship by our willingness to resource the mission requirements."

Yeah, I think our strategy at the moment is really ignoring the actual size of our military.

So we're coming up to a crossroads pretty soon. The 15-month tours of many units will be coming to an end, at which point to maintain the same force level we have now (is it still a "surge" if it's indefinite?) we're looking at either increasing tour length (18 months?) or decreasing dwell time (8 months?). We're probably also looking at another round of National Guard deployments, since regardless of whether it continues the "surge" has overextended the active duty forces. There is, IIRC, already one brigade that has done two deployments in only four years...expect a few more (including possibly mine) to be in this same position by '09. This is an insane optempo for reservists, who are expected to maintain civilian careers...after all, upon returning from combat they're kicked to the curb to fend for themselves. At least they get to draw unemployment.

Anyway, I'll try to avoid tangents. What the fuck can we do here? Increasing the size of our military (both active and reserve) seems like it might be a sound plan. Of course, that requires a larger pool of willing recruits than we have now (we're already, for instance, throwing $15K bonuses at reservists for re-enlistment just to maintain current strength). A draft is generally dismissed, and largely for good reason (full disclosure: I believe we are at the point now that, if we're going to have a selective service system at all, it's time to use it). Which leaves only a drastic reduction of forces in Iraq, like yesterday. We simply cannot maintain 100K+ soldiers there without subjecting our forces to an unacceptable optempo.

Who says it's unacceptable? The Pentagon, for one. Their goal is, and has been, to have active units doing 12-month deployments with two years as home, and reservists doing 9-month deployments (with three train-up...compared to the 12/4 we do now) once every six years. They point to combat stress, which is reaching unacceptable levels...particularly in the Army...leading to issues both at home and on the battlefield.

The gist of this? Our all-volunteer force, despite what General Lute thinks, really isn't working at the moment. The problem? Even if we "expanded" our forces, we don't have enough volunteers to fill them. Military service is seen by a majority of the population nowadays as "somebody else's" job. Able-bodied men (and women) who vehemently support military action would never even consider darkening a recruiter's door. Society isn't suggesting they do it (except the occasional disgruntled vet), and our government certainly isn't either. So a tiny fraction of the population continues to bear the brunt of a policy that a vast majority at one point agreed with (invasion), and a large majority still agree with (anything but immediate withdrawal).

Oh, and before people start comparing sacrifices and service, what I'm talking about (the brunt being borne): spending more time in the desert than at home, for years on end, and then all too often losing an arm or a leg (or a life) on your second or third tour. Police don't face anything near this, nor do wilderness firefighters, soup kitchen workers, or your local elected representative.


My suggestion? Ideally, we somewhat expand our standing military (ground forces specifically) and largely expand our reserve forces (particularly the Guard, which for those who don't know is where the "combat" troops in the reserves mostly come from...the Reserves are mostly support units), and try to change the attitudes of the average American that military service is just something those other guys do.

Of course, that takes some time...and 18-month tours or 8-month dwell times are just around the corner. So plan B? Start pulling numbers. Like, a division or two worth. Yes, I realize that nobody likes plan B. But honestly, I don't trust the last two generations or so to get on board with plan A, either.

TL;DR: The tiny sliver of our population silly enough to still consider military service is getting fucked...hard. In order to stop this (and prevent it in the future) we need to expand our military and you (yes, you, not the non-existent guy behind you) need to actually consider joining and stop coming up with excuses. That or we need to stop our foreign expeditions, including the current one that you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) likely supported at the outset and you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) probably at least lukewarmly support continuing until some fuzzy date into the future. By stop, I mean reduce troop strength to a fraction (like, 1/something) of its current size...and next rotation, not "someday." That, or a draft. And we all love that idea, right?

STL;SDR: You may not realize it, but soldiers nowadays are getting fucked. Hard. So fucking take five minutes out of your day to go fucking read it...it's the least you can do. Then go back to drinking your latte or whatever.

Disclaimer: both because I'm busy today and because this subject turns me into a gigantic asshole, I'll try not to be the driving force behind any discussion here. Go wild, kids.

mcdermott on
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Posts

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Oh, and before people start comparing sacrifices and service, what I'm talking about (the brunt being borne): spending more time in the desert than at home, for years on end, and then all too often losing an arm or a leg (or a life) on your second or third tour. Police don't face anything near this, nor do wilderness firefighters, soup kitchen workers, or your local elected representative.

    My understanding of voluntary military service was that you willingly trade away your life for personal gains (or for your country, or whatever honorable illusions people may have about it), and you don't get to bitch and complain about it.

    But maybe there is something about the word "voluntary" that I'm missing here.
    That or we need to stop our foreign expeditions, including the current one that you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) likely supported at the outset and you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) probably at least lukewarmly support continuing until some fuzzy date into the future.

    Just because a person supported an invasion does not place any obligation on them, moral or otherwise, to go join the military to share those guys' burden.

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  • GroovyMr1337GroovyMr1337 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Many people do not enlist because they do not SUPPORT the war. The fact that there are not enough troops should send a clear message to the US Government. People don't want to be in fucking Iraq. Pull out already.

    Oboro wrote: »
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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    ege02 wrote:
    My understanding of voluntary military service was that you willingly trade away your life for personal gains (or for your country, or whatever honorable illusions people may have about it), and you don't get to bitch and complain about it.

    But maybe there is something about the word "voluntary" that I'm missing here.

    You are definitely missing a lot. Voluntary military service doesn't mean that the guys in charge get to repeatedly throw you into the meat grinder so that you come out a blubbering mess with post-traumatic stress syndrome and no skills to take you beyond your military career.
    So plan B? Start pulling numbers. Like, a division or two worth. Yes, I realize that nobody likes plan B.

    I thought that you were going to be pulling out starting in Septemeber?

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  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    TL;DR: The tiny sliver of our population silly enough to still consider military service is getting fucked...hard. In order to stop this (and prevent it in the future) we need to expand our military and you (yes, you, not the non-existent guy behind you) need to actually consider joining and stop coming up with excuses. That or we need to stop our foreign expeditions, including the current one that you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) likely supported at the outset and you (yes, you, not the guy behind you) probably at least lukewarmly support continuing until some fuzzy date into the future. By stop, I mean reduce troop strength to a fraction (like, 1/something) of its current size...and next rotation, not "someday." That, or a draft. And we all love that idea, right?

    I have never in any way, shape, or form supported the War in Iraq. From the beginning I thought the war was unjust and immoral. Asking me to kill or die in order to continue a war I find immoral is absolutely ridiculous and, frankly, offensive. You might as well ask me to murder someone in cold blood. The solution to this problem is not and never was to throw more troops at it, voluntary or otherwise. The catastrophe in Iraq arose from deeply flawed policies and a complete lack of foresight from the top down; it was a doomed enterprise from the outset. More volunteers are not the answer and a draft is not the answer; the answer is complete withdrawal.

  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Many people do not enlist because they do not SUPPORT the war. The fact that there are not enough troops should send a clear message to the US Government.

    Most people don't want to go into the military while there's a war. Simple psychology.

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  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Nobody "wanted" to go to France, either, or Japan. They were, however, willing.



  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Many people do not enlist because they do not SUPPORT the war. The fact that there are not enough troops should send a clear message to the US Government. People don't want to be in fucking Iraq. Pull out already.

    Yeah, I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about the majority in this country who supported the invasion, and the majority that support the continued occupation. In other words, you're wrong...a majority did and do "support" the war. At least enough to continue it.

    And part of the reason there aren't enough troops is because our military is actually too small to support such a large operation for an extended period of time. We only have so many brigades/divisions. In theory, we only allow so many recruits (though we're not hitting that cap). There is more to increasing the size of a military than just recruiting/drafting more dudes...equipment, infrastructure, leadership (as in, officers), etc.
    My understanding of voluntary military service was that you willingly trade away your life for personal gains (or for your country, or whatever honorable illusions people may have about it), and you don't get to bitch and complain about it.

    But maybe there is something about the word "voluntary" that I'm missing here.

    People bitch about voluntary things all the time. How should the military be different? No, you're not required to care, but I certainly still get to bitch and complain. And really, you should care (at least, assuming your a citizen...I forget whether or not you are) since it's this same all-volunteer military that we depend on for national defense and any other operations necessary.
    Just because a person supported an invasion does not place any obligation on them, moral or otherwise, to go join the military to share those guys' burden.

    I disagree, but I don't intend this to be the main thrust of the discussion. I'd say supporting military adventurism around the globe does place a moral obligation on physically able people to at least sign up for a stint in the reserves or something. But I don't think either of us are objectively right or wrong.
    I have never in any way, shape, or form supported the War in Iraq. From the beginning I thought the war was unjust and immoral. Asking me to kill or die in order to continue a war I find immoral is absolutely ridiculous and, frankly, offensive. You might as well ask me to murder someone in cold blood. The solution to this problem is not and never was to throw more troops at it, voluntary or otherwise. The catastrophe in Iraq arose from deeply flawed policies and a complete lack of foresight from the top down; it was a doomed enterprise from the outset. More volunteers are not the answer and a draft is not the answer; the answer is complete withdrawal.

    That "yes you" part was a rhetorical device meant to refer to the majority of Americans who supported invasion or support continued occupation. Obviously I didn't mean you. ;-)

  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »

    That "yes you" part was a rhetorical device meant to refer to the majority of Americans who supported invasion or support continued occupation. Obviously I didn't mean you. ;-)

    Well, yeah. My point about more troops being a bad idea stands.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I thought that you were going to be pulling out starting in Septemeber?

    Oh hells no. General Petraeus hasn't even conceded that the "surge" should end in September...he's specifically said it may be needed to continue into next year. Bush certainly hasn't agreed to any such plan.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Well, yeah. My point about more troops being a bad idea stands.

    Yeah, I actually favor immediate withdrawal as well. But the reality is that our President doesn't, and our Congress probably doesn't have the balls to push the issue. So in reality we're dealing with "how to maintain the occupation," not "let's just pull out."
    Nobody "wanted" to go to France, either, or Japan. They were, however, willing.

    By "willing," of course, you mean they didn't dodge the draft. We had lots of volunteers, but we also had to resort to conscription as well.

    EDIT: Okay, I'm really going away for a while now. Hopefully we can move beyond the "quit bitching" phase by the time I get back.

  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    *Is glad to be going to the AFROTC instead*

    *As a computer engineer.*

    steam_sig.png
  • dvshermandvsherman Registered User
    edited August 2007
    That or we need to stop our foreign expeditions, including the current one

    That's something I'm in full favor of doing. We based going in on false information, we set no solid goals or deadlines for leaving, we're stretched beyond belief. And trying to institute a draft in the US today would go over like a lead balloon.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Anyway, I'll try to avoid tangents. What the fuck can we do here?
    Pull them the fuck out.

  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    Not on topic but if there was a draft women would not be excluded either would they

    casketiisigih1.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Casket wrote: »
    Not on topic but if there was a draft women would not be excluded either would they

    As of now, yes they would. They aren't required to register under selective service. But yeah, way off topic and I'd like to avoid even discussing it here.

  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Casket wrote: »
    Not on topic but if there was a draft women would not be excluded either would they

    As of now, yes they would. They aren't required to register under selective service. But yeah, way off topic and I'd like to avoid even discussing it here.

    Then as long as that's the case there will never be a successful draft.

    But I agree, we will avoid discussing this topic.

    casketiisigih1.png
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    In the Netherlands there has been some discussion about the draft as well, but it was mostly considered a "learning experience". It were mostly old goons and conservatists whining about "today's youth and their house music and fast bikes", but hey welcome to the Netherlands.

    Anyway, would military service be a learning experience in the US? Do you join the army as a boy and become a man (hurr)(tm)?

    And yeah, what about the other gender? Would that go over well? Does the gubment have a few billion lying around to make the army less threatening to women?

    *edit: to clarify: how the fuck is the government going to justify a draft in this place and time without coming off as sexist or as a killing machine for our boys?

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Aldo wrote: »
    In the Netherlands there has been some discussion about the draft as well, but it was mostly considered a "learning experience". It were mostly old goons and conservatists whining about "today's youth and their house music and fast bikes", but hey welcome to the Netherlands.

    Anyway, would military service be a learning experience in the US? Do you join the army as a boy and become a man (hurr)(tm)?

    Cheesy as it sounds, yeah, kinda.

    Though nowadays the only "learning experience" a draft would offer would be learning to walk with your shiny new prosthetic leg.
    And yeah, what about the other gender? Would that go over well? Does the gubment have a few billion lying around to make the army less threatening to women?

    *edit: to clarify: how the fuck is the government going to justify a draft in this place and time without coming off as sexist or as a killing machine for our boys?

    Women in the military, including as relates to a draft, is a topic for its own thread.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There will never be a draft for Iraq, because every Congresscritter knows that to vote for one would be the cutting of their political throats. Period.

    Oh, and the problems that we're going to have in the future thanks to now incredibly lax recruiting standards are going to be REAL fun. Imagine urban gangs trained in small unit tactics. Yes, you should feel your spine shiver. Not to mention the problems here at home that the overextention is causing - I'm watching my home state go up in smoke literally because we don't have the Guard available for firefighting.

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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »

    Cheesy as it sounds, yeah, kinda.

    Though nowadays the only "learning experience" a draft would offer would be learning to walk with your shiny new prosthetic leg.



    Women in the military, including as relates to a draft, is a topic for its own thread.
    Okay, we'll ignore that issue then.

    You don't seem really convinced, for a draft to happen there must be something out there making it worth it. A good pay? Respect from your family? Saving your country? Higher chance of getting a decent job afterwards? Getting laid? Anything?

    The sandbox we so dearly call Iraq offers none of this.

    For as far as I am aware only the health insurance is decent for US standards. I doubt there would be much support for a draft, not from the age group getting shafted by this, but also not from their parents.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Aldo wrote: »
    You don't seem really convinced, for a draft to happen there must be something out there making it worth it. A good pay? Respect from your family? Saving your country? Higher chance of getting a decent job afterwards? Getting laid? Anything?

    The sandbox we so dearly call Iraq offers none of this.

    At the moment military service can help you get a better job, though actually a draft might well undermine this. There are some benefits offered to veterans (and presumably to any theoretical draftees)...easier access to home loans, help with paying for college, and for those without access already at least some rudimentary health care (you can use VA hospitals, even for non-service-connected conditions, with co-pays on a sliding scale).

    And yeah, probably helps with getting laid.

    But really what we're talking about here isn't some lofty "for the betterment of our youth" draft. I'm referring more to a right-now "we need more soldiers for the ongoing campaign" draft. It isn't about what's in it for the draftee, it's about what's in it for the military/government. Which is why the below most definitely applies.
    For as far as I am aware only the health insurance is decent for US standards. I doubt there would be much support for a draft, not from the age group getting shafted by this, but also not from their parents.

    Oh, no shit. So what I'm getting so far from this thread is a general, "they volunteered, they should just deal with it, no matter how bad it gets," coupled with a side of, "we don't really want to hear about it."

    Not from any individual, and not from you Aldo. Just, you know, in general.

    EDIT: And really, an expansion of our active and reserve forces is a much better idea, especially in the long run. But that won't solve the current ongoing problem, which is only going to get worse in the next year or two (unless we suddenly say "fuck it" on the whole Iraq thing...which I'm rooting for). And it still requires a change in attitude from the 18-25 set, in that military service can't just be "somebody else's problem" anymore. Which will be made all the more difficult by what's been going on for the last few years, even if we do end Iraq tommorow.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Aldo wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »

    Cheesy as it sounds, yeah, kinda.

    Though nowadays the only "learning experience" a draft would offer would be learning to walk with your shiny new prosthetic leg.



    Women in the military, including as relates to a draft, is a topic for its own thread.
    Okay, we'll ignore that issue then.

    You don't seem really convinced, for a draft to happen there must be something out there making it worth it. A good pay? Respect from your family? Saving your country? Higher chance of getting a decent job afterwards? Getting laid? Anything?

    The sandbox we so dearly call Iraq offers none of this.

    For as far as I am aware only the health insurance is decent for US standards. I doubt there would be much support for a draft, not from the age group getting shafted by this, but also not from their parents.

    That's the stuff you need to get a volunteer force to work

    to have a draft you just need a really bad military situation, an army that isn't big enough, and copious amounts of state power.

    I think it's a sort of circular loop. I would actually enlist were I certain I could do a short active tour (ie <2-4 years) and then be out, but I've watched friends on active duty and in the reserves get called up over and over again, typically because of a high-demand MOS, and basically get boned in civilian life because of it. Right now, everyone knows if they join the guard or reserves, they might as well be going active duty, so they don't.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Oh, no shit. So what I'm getting so far from this thread is a general, "they volunteered, they should just deal with it, no matter how bad it gets," coupled with a side of, "we don't really want to hear about it."

    Not from any individual, and not from you Aldo. Just, you know, in general.

    Um, no. You're getting shitted on, and I want it to stop. And I bet I'm not the only person who thinks so.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I think it's a sort of circular loop. I would actually enlist were I certain I could do a short active tour (ie <2-4 years) and then be out, but I've watched friends on active duty and in the reserves get called up over and over again, typically because of a high-demand MOS, and basically get boned in civilian life because of it. Right now, everyone knows if they join the guard or reserves, they might as well be going active duty, so they don't.

    Yeah, I'm feeling that loop right now, too. I mean, nobody wants to sign up for 18-on 8-off deployments (or 1 out of 3 or 4 for reservists)...but without a larger volunteer pool, expansion of either force is a non-starter. Partly it's the electorate, though, because nobody wants to spend the kind of money it would cost to expand our forces, either. We're talking infrastructure (posts, barracks, etc.), equipment (vehicles, radios, body armor, etc.), as well as the kind of enlistment bonuses it will take to dig deeper into the current volunteer pool (I mean, isn't the Guard offering like 15K-20K now? I know they are for re-enslistment...and those are generally smaller than initial bonuses).

    A larger military, even just expanding the reserve forces, is fucking expensive. And a majority would kick and scream at the idea of tax increases just to fund our current expenditures, let alone to buy more shit.

    I really think the reserves are where it's at, though. I mean, spending in peacetime to keep a gigantic standing army just seems kinda silly...and if we could get reserve units down to 1 year out of 6 or 8 I think finding recruits would be fairly easy. With maybe some minor tweaks to how the benefits work. Though they're already working on that, for instance offering cheap medical insurance (including family coverage) to National Guard soldiers on drill status (which is a new thing..dental has been offered for a while, but not medical).
    to have a draft you just need a really bad military situation, an army that isn't big enough, and copious amounts of state power.

    Oh, and I almost forgot...we're at two out of three there. Our army isn't large enough to maintain a force level in Iraq that's already (even with the "surge") too small. And go look at some of the Pentagon reports on combat stress and readiness...it's pretty bad. The only thing we're lacking is the last, namely the political will to institute the draft (or end the conflict). A majority of people honestly just want it to sort of work itself out eventually, which to me seems like the kind of attitude only somebody fairly well removed from military service could have.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    See, the other thing is I read the posts above from people that are like, "I would never support the war so I won't enlist"

    And I really, really don't like what that assumes about the motives of people who did join the military.

    I look at the military and I see a bunch of kids getting shot at

    while I sit and do my thing.

    I mean, I don't care if you support a given war or not.

    If you're an able-bodied male human being and you look at news footage of a 20 year old girl who will not be returning to her volleyball career because she stepped on a landmine, you had better feel like a pussy.

    Does that make sense?

    It doesn't have too, because its just a description of an emotion, but does it make sense? Or is it at least echoed?

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • jkylefultonjkylefulton Cap's Kooky Quartet Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I'd suggest lowering some of the medical standards the military uses to determine whether or not you can enlist. I was denied entry almost ten years ago because of hereditary ulcers (I haven't had trouble with them for almost 18 years).

    2qt8f2t.jpg
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    See, the other thing is I read the posts above from people that are like, "I would never support the war so I won't enlist"

    And I really, really don't like what that assumes about the motives of people who did join the military.

    I didn't support the invasion of Iraq, and I support a rapid withdrawal. I still re-enlisted. You don't need to support the current war to be in the military. A majority of US troops (as of a couple '06 polls I've seen) support rapid withdrawal from Iraq.


    I look at the military and I see a bunch of kids getting shot at

    while I sit and do my thing.

    I mean, I don't care if you support a given war or not.

    If you're an able-bodied male human being and you look at news footage of a 20 year old girl who will not be returning to her volleyball career because she stepped on a landmine, you had better feel like a pussy.

    Does that make sense?

    It doesn't have too, because its just a description of an emotion, but does it make sense? Or is it at least echoed?

    *shrug*

    I've never really cared much about the gender of soldiers. I remember when a female soldier in our brigade was killed, it seemed like people cared twice as much as for the dozen other male soldiers that we lost. Personally, I didn't give any more of a shit because it was a girl. I mean, we have female soldiers, thus female soldiers will be injured or die. Seems like common sense. It's not "worse" than when a random infantryman with a penis gets blown up.

    But I really don't get how you can, as an able-bodied young person, support either invasion or continued occupation and not give enlistment a thought. Just sit and do your thing and let others take care of it. Especially if you don't have a family (wife/husband and/or kids).

    Which of course is why I have no problem calling some of the chickenhawks at school gigantic pussies.
    I'd suggest lowering some of the medical standards the military uses to determine whether or not you can enlist. I was denied entry almost ten years ago because of hereditary ulcers (I haven't had trouble with them for almost 18 years).

    True, I think sometimes they err too far on the side of caution. Of course, we also had a guy in my section who deployed with epilepsy. He'd already done like 19 years in the guard, so he fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go so he wouldn't get kicked out before he hit his 20. Ended up going, but with serious restrictions on duty.

  • Dance CommanderDance Commander Registered User
    edited August 2007
    If you're an able-bodied male human being and you look at news footage of a 20 year old girl who will not be returning to her volleyball career because she stepped on a landmine, you had better feel like a pussy.

    Does that make sense?

    I feel bad, but the presence of people who, by hook or by crook, have ended up serving in Iraq is not a good reason for others to join them voluntarily. If the government can essentially hold members of the military hostage in order to guilt more people into joining... let's just say that policy could have some disastrous consequences.

    You know, if I felt a war was unjust, but felt that my country's leadership was basically able and had made good decisions in the past, there's a good chance I would enlist. If I felt a war was just but my country was in it for the wrong reasons, I still might enlist. But feeling like my country is run by thieves intent on ruining my future for their own sake (massive debt, environmental disasters, government power all out of whack) while asking me to voluntarily help them do it by sacrificing my health and livelihood... Fuck that.

  • Dance CommanderDance Commander Registered User
    edited August 2007
    (Obviously none of this is to say that I don't respect people in the military. I do. I also feel bad, extremely bad, for them that they are trapped in a cycle of redeployments that seems never ending. But what would my joining them really accomplish? The solution lies at the top level of Government, which unfortunately has been recently freed from even some semblance of responsibility by a 30% approval rating.)

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'd suggest lowering some of the medical standards the military uses to determine whether or not you can enlist. I was denied entry almost ten years ago because of hereditary ulcers (I haven't had trouble with them for almost 18 years).
    True, I think sometimes they err too far on the side of caution. Of course, we also had a guy in my section who deployed with epilepsy. He'd already done like 19 years in the guard, so he fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go so he wouldn't get kicked out before he hit his 20. Ended up going, but with serious restrictions on duty.
    If you've had two seizures ever, you have epilepsy, even if they're decades apart.

  • forbis316forbis316 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    You know, if I felt a war was unjust, but felt that my country's leadership was basically able and had made good decisions in the past, there's a good chance I would enlist. If I felt a war was just but my country was in it for the wrong reasons, I still might enlist. But feeling like my country is run by thieves intent on ruining my future for their own sake (massive debt, environmental disasters, government power all out of whack) while asking me to voluntarily help them do it by sacrificing my health and livelihood... Fuck that.

    Provided there is an administration elected in '08 that I feel I can trust (which is retarded to say about anything relating to politics) I could see myself joining the armed forces. Service to country is very important in my mind (and that doesn't necessarily mean joining the armed forces.) So who knows, after 2 more years of teaching maybe I'll be fighting for Uncle Sam. *shrug*

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Thanatos wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'd suggest lowering some of the medical standards the military uses to determine whether or not you can enlist. I was denied entry almost ten years ago because of hereditary ulcers (I haven't had trouble with them for almost 18 years).
    True, I think sometimes they err too far on the side of caution. Of course, we also had a guy in my section who deployed with epilepsy. He'd already done like 19 years in the guard, so he fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go so he wouldn't get kicked out before he hit his 20. Ended up going, but with serious restrictions on duty.
    If you've had two seizures ever, you have epilepsy, even if they're decades apart.
    He had more than one just during the deployment [EDIT: Actually, I think it was one and then a few close calls]. He was for really real epileptic. It presented after he had already enlisted, many years before. And the Guard is a lot more forgiving of disabilities...at least until it's time to deploy.

  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    See, the other thing is I read the posts above from people that are like, "I would never support the war so I won't enlist"

    And I really, really don't like what that assumes about the motives of people who did join the military.

    I didn't support the invasion of Iraq, and I support a rapid withdrawal. I still re-enlisted. You don't need to support the current war to be in the military. A majority of US troops (as of a couple '06 polls I've seen) support rapid withdrawal from Iraq.


    I look at the military and I see a bunch of kids getting shot at

    while I sit and do my thing.

    I mean, I don't care if you support a given war or not.

    If you're an able-bodied male human being and you look at news footage of a 20 year old girl who will not be returning to her volleyball career because she stepped on a landmine, you had better feel like a pussy.

    Does that make sense?

    It doesn't have too, because its just a description of an emotion, but does it make sense? Or is it at least echoed?
    *shrug*

    I've never really cared much about the gender of soldiers. I remember when a female soldier in our brigade was killed, it seemed like people cared twice as much as for the dozen other male soldiers that we lost. Personally, I didn't give any more of a shit because it was a girl. I mean, we have female soldiers, thus female soldiers will be injured or die. Seems like common sense. It's not "worse" than when a random infantryman with a penis gets blown up.

    But I really don't get how you can, as an able-bodied young person, support either invasion or continued occupation and not give enlistment a thought. Just sit and do your thing and let others take care of it. Especially if you don't have a family (wife/husband and/or kids).

    Which of course is why I have no problem calling some of the chickenhawks at school gigantic pussies.
    I'd suggest lowering some of the medical standards the military uses to determine whether or not you can enlist. I was denied entry almost ten years ago because of hereditary ulcers (I haven't had trouble with them for almost 18 years).
    True, I think sometimes they err too far on the side of caution. Of course, we also had a guy in my section who deployed with epilepsy. He'd already done like 19 years in the guard, so he fought tooth and nail to be allowed to go so he wouldn't get kicked out before he hit his 20. Ended up going, but with serious restrictions on duty.

    I was saying that I didn't like the assumption, on the part of those who do not support the war, that those who enlisted supported the war.

    And it wasn't that it was a girl, in my example, in particular (that happened to be an actual item I saw on the news a few days ago is all). It's that it's well...a kid. 18-20 year old kids in the army, while blowhards in their 30s and 40s who've already fucking squandered their youth and beauty go on about how "we should just nuke the whole motherfucker man fuck that liberal ass glen beck, no what ah mean?"

    That's what pisses me off.

    That and "I can't do anything about the government (which is going to roll over every few years no matter what) so I am so overcome with nihlism that I won't consider enlistment"

    That doesn't change the fact that if we didn't have a volunteer army, every single casualty would have a random chance of being you.

    So no matter how you feel, if you have the decency to appreciate at least that facet of military service, you might give thought to enlisting if your lifestyle permits it.

    Also, I have to address the person who said our relaxed enlistment policies might lead to street gangs with small unit tactics skills: Dude, it might also lead to ex-gangmembers with good jobs. IF we decide to start taking care of our vets.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    (Obviously none of this is to say that I don't respect people in the military. I do. I also feel bad, extremely bad, for them that they are trapped in a cycle of redeployments that seems never ending. But what would my joining them really accomplish? The solution lies at the top level of Government, which unfortunately has been recently freed from even some semblance of responsibility by a 30% approval rating.)

    You joining alone? Nothing. You supporting the expenditure necessary to expand our forces and being willing to join (even if it meant a tour in Iraq)? A lot...it would reduce either the length or frequency of deployments for everybody else.
    I was saying that I didn't like the assumption, on the part of those who do not support the war, that those who enlisted supported the war.

    I know....I was reiterating, not arguing. ;-)

  • IShallRiseAgainIShallRiseAgain Registered User
    edited August 2007
    I highly doubt there will be a draft again in the US again, unless we actually face an invasion. Its one of the factors that prevents the Iraq war from ever being as bad as Vietnam.

    Alador239.png
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I highly doubt there will be a draft again in the US again, unless we actually face an invasion. Its one of the factors that prevents the Iraq war from ever being as bad as Vietnam.

    Were we invaded by viet nam in your alternative history?

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • jkylefultonjkylefulton Cap's Kooky Quartet Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I can't imagine a scenario short of '<insert name of American city here> has been nuked' in which the American public would support a draft. The public just wouldn't stand for it.

    2qt8f2t.jpg
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    see, there I have to disagree.

    Remember how mad "the american public" got over two buildings?

    I mean, granted, prime real estate, but people were bent, man. You destroy LA or New York or even a hole like Flint and America will come with the thunder.

    "Maybe we're here to eat the sandwich." -- Joe Rogan
  • GimGim gossamer and quicksilver Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    see, there I have to disagree.

    Remember how mad "the american public" got over two buildings?

    I mean, granted, prime real estate, but people were bent, man. You destroy LA or New York or even a hole like Flint and America will come with the thunder.

    Yep.

    F9RE9J8.png
  • jkylefultonjkylefulton Cap's Kooky Quartet Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    That's what I thought I said.

    2qt8f2t.jpg
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