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-For those who've served in the military
#1
-For those who've served in the military
Any military, any time period, any specialty-
(or anyone who had a close family member/friend in the service)

What was (if you're willing to share) the defining experience, for you, of military service? For those approaching it from the family member angle, the same applies, slightly modified. What was the moment that defined your family members/friends service from your POV?.

What would you tell your children or others about military service? Would you recommend it or caution against it? Similar Q to family members/friends - did you caution against the service or encourage your family member/friend.

Obviously, any and all opining on the subject of military service and soldier(ing)(y) are welcome.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#2
RE: -For those who've served in the military
(July 6, 2014 at 10:37 am)Rhythm Wrote: Any military, any time period, any specialty-
(or anyone who had a close family member/friend in the service)

What was (if you're willing to share) the defining experience, for you, of military service? For those approaching it from the family member angle, the same applies, slightly modified. What was the moment that defined your family members/friends service from your POV?.

What would you tell your children or others about military service? Would you recommend it or caution against it? Similar Q to family members/friends - did you caution against the service or encourage your family member/friend.

Obviously, any and all opining on the subject of military service and soldier(ing)(y) are welcome.

Not directly answering your thread, but is military service an obligation in america? Does everybody have to serve?
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

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#3
RE: -For those who've served in the military
No, it's voluntary. 100% (though some people do end up being coerced - hence "go to war or go to jail" in cadence).
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
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#4
RE: -For those who've served in the military
(July 6, 2014 at 10:57 am)Rhythm Wrote: No, it's voluntary. 100% (though some people do end up being coerced - hence "go to war or go to jail" in cadence).

Where I live it's also voluntary. There is an event called the national defense day, all young people after turning 18 years old need to do it, you just go from 9am-4pm to a military base and hear some lectures, learn some basis about the military career, the importance of defense structures, etc, soldiers use that day to incentive all interested to go to the military, a kind of marketing strategy. You can go to jail if you don't show up, but that's it. You can only refuse if you have an objection of conscience.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

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#5
RE: -For those who've served in the military
We don't have anything like that. Our military has an entrenched and fortified position in high schools and colleges - a forward operating base, if you will..lol, but otherwise you approach the military - not the other way round (and even the presence in schools is mostly of that sort). There's nothing compulsory about it (not even a day to see what it's all about) until you sign on the dotted line. Things change then, of course. Conscientious objectors, in this country, can serve as infantry (or anything else)- and some do. Medics, in particular, seem to have a preponderance of objectors.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#6
RE: -For those who've served in the military
I was a nuclear trained electrician and served twelve years in the submarine service.

There were several significant moments in my service. One had little to do with the military and more to do with where I was. I still vividly recall shortly after my first dive standing under the main hatch imagining how much water was above me. Kind of a Jules Verne moment. This beautiful moment was shattered shortly after when I was given a wrench and a qualification card and told to get to work.

Aside from the family separation I found my time in the Navy very rewarding. I am of course desensitized to the hardship by time though. I got out in 2001. Sometimes it takes great effort to minimize nostalgia and remember things exactly the way they were. Some of the maintenance wasn't enjoyable at all. Drill schedules and field days were necessary evils. I have no regrets.

I am eager to share my enthusiasm for my experiences, but always caution others that it isn't for everybody. Some people that had the exact same job as I did were blatantly miserable. I am honest about the 'bad' parts so that people can make an informed decision. Submarines are a unique environment, some simply can't cut it psychologically.

I want to extend the bit of the conversation about how some join the service to avoid jail. In my experience, very few join out of some patriotic zeal. Most join simply for the sake of having a steady paycheck. The nuclear Navy is filled with people that will tell you they joined for the education oportunity since they couldn't afford school otherwise. Many join to avoid destitution. Even though ours is a strictly volunteer force, the notion that people generally join to defend and spread democracy is misplaced.

I recommend military service so long as one understands real expectations (not the rosey recruiter version) and has the constitution to see things through. There's nothing worse than dragging along dead weight because someone checks out by putting forth the absolute minimum effort.
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#7
RE: -For those who've served in the military
Thanks for the post Cato. I can say without reservation that I joined for the food, and stayed for the sense of pride (I found it very rewarding as well), personally. Some buddies and I were fond of noticing that for all of the reasons someone might join - reservists overwhelmingly said "college money" - to which we workaday active service members would always chortle "I think there are probably easier ways to get college money, how's that lookin to you now?".

-So your experience of servicemembers and how they perceive themselves or their motivations would seem to extend beyond the nuclear navy and at least into my group of peers, army infantry. It's something that I think people overlook as well.
(I wonder if people notice how many of the ads in any classifieds/jobs section are recruiting ads?)

Our military clearly sees itself as an employer, and it's members as employees, professionals. Expects us to see ourselves that way as well. They're willing to put a little bit of paint on the picture if it helps them make their quotas too, obviously that can be an issue..lol.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#8
RE: -For those who've served in the military
I was a surface warfare officer in the US Navy. A glorified ship driver.

The defining moment for me in my active service (I have way more 'defining' moments as a midshipman at the Naval Academy) was when I was 'tossed the keys' to this ship for the first time:
[Image: USS_Greenbay.jpg]
The USS Green Bay. 25,000 tons, 690ft long, amphibious transport dock. I am 23 years old, it's 9 pm, and all of a sudden I am the Officer in Charge of an $800 million ship in the Boxer amphibious ready group. Literally my responsibility. The USS Boxer is 4000 ft off my beam. It was a moment, to be sure.

The second moment, which was way more nerve racking, was during an underway replenishment. This was my last cruise with the Green Bay. An UNREP, as we call it, is when the ship is taking on fuel, cargo, food, and ammunition while on the move. A tanker will pull up alongside you. The two massive ships are about 80 ft apart. There are wires and lines between the two ships that will snap back and kill people if you move too far away from the tanker. There is a massive suction force trying to draw the ships together. You have to drive the ship in a perfectly straight line and hope the tanker does too. There are 600-800 people on the ship whose lives are in your hands. The ships characteristics are changing as you are taking on hundreds of thousands of pounds of fuel and cargo. It is serious business. My watch as Officer of the Deck happened to fall during the UNREP. And the admiral was on the bridge. Spotlight...



I would absolutely recommend the military to anyone. It is true it is not for everyone, but for me, I received a world class education (that I am not using), I got to play division 1 football, I got to see the world, I got to learn about responsibility and integrity in a tough environment. I got to affect people's lives as a leader and a subordinate. I would not trade those opportunities for anything.
"There remain four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking." ~Christopher Hitchens, god is not Great

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#9
RE: -For those who've served in the military
Thanks Steel. That's big fuckin boat. I'd have handed the keys back, personally..lol.

I hope we get some non-US members experiences in here as well. Some military wives (or husbands)...children, would also be welcome. Great opportunity to toss the experience around from alot of vantage points.
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight… wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be, the best trained Soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country’s trust. Always I fight on…through the foe, to the objective, to triumph overall. If necessary, I will fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won more than 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, For I am mentally tough, physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not, my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!
Reply
#10
RE: -For those who've served in the military
The defining moment of my service was setting in a DAS3 van, bored as fuck, praying the 1960's vintage computer hardware (in 1990) didn't break down. We weren't allowed to actually fix any of it. Adjust, align or send it in to Honeywell because Uncle Sam paid for a 40-year service contract on all this shit. At least I was in Europe. Most of my 39D(elta) brethren got South Korea. I was smart enough to tell the CO that I was willing to risk a bar to re-enlistment for refusing orders if he sent me there. Germany is sooooooo much nicer. Of course, they could have sent me anyway, even after I refused orders. Then I would have been barred from re-enlistment (no matter, I did my stint and got the fuck out) and facing prison time for refusing again. So glad they sent me to Europe instead.

My advice: Stay the fuck OUT. A peace-time military is all politics. A war time military is politics with people shooting at you. If you want politics, run for mayor!
Thief and assassin for hire. Member in good standing of the Rogues Guild.
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