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Thread: members and former members of the military

  1. #1

    Default members and former members of the military

    Post your personal feelings, experiences or afterthoughts of being a member of the military. Stories from someone you know are also welcome! Please also include branch, MOS, rank history, etc. or any such information that would give a clearer picture of what it was like for you to those who have decided to or are interested in joining.

    I'm joining sometime around May and my fiance and I have been looking through a lot of information about it... I've found personal thoughts to be the most interesting and insightful though.

  2. #2
    Alchemist of life Array Coriolis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    5w6 sp/sx


    I was in the Air Force for ~5 years, left as a Captain. I had an incredible job (which I won't discuss), and some outstanding colleagues, and made some great friends who remain friends to this day. Two things, though, were always quite bothersome.

    1. The amount of red tape, bureaucracy, stupid rules, etc. is astounding. Many truly are needed to maintain discipline and to keep troops' training and preparedness up. Many, however, are just nonsense and actually work against accomplishing the unit mission. Anyone with half a wit in his/her head would find that quite frustrating.

    2. I encountered dismaying islands of prejudice: against gays; in favor of Christians, especially Christians of certain flavors; and against any sort of "liberals" (Democrats, socialists, ACLU supporters, anyone critical of "conservatives"). The idea that someone could be a patriot and a liberal was often dismissed. People who otherwise were logical, open-minded, goal-oriented, and cooperative would say something totally untrue, illogical, and demeaning about one of these groups, leaving me wondering how they could honestly believe it.

    All in all, though, I am quite glad to have served.

    Not sure which branch you are joining, so your experience may be different.
    Hope is the denial of reality. It is the carrot dangled before the draft horse to keep him plodding along in a vain attempt to reach it. We should remove the carrot and walk forward with our eyes open. -- Raistlin Majere

  3. #3
    Per Ardua Array Metamorphosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    I think that most people could benefit from being in the military, at least for a limited amount of time. I can't really think of anyone I know, or have heard of, that was made worse by their time in the military (with the obvious exception of physical harm).

    If you're going to join the military you need to be ready to commit to doing your job and accept the risks and responsibilities that come with it. It's also very important to keep an open mind and always question why people do what they do, why they think what they think, and why you respond the way you respond. A lot of people join the military and drink way too much of the kool-aid. A lot of ideas have a purpose, but you need to make sure you understand -why- things are done and not just -how- they are done.

    I've enjoyed my experiences for the most part and it wasn't really until I joined the military that I realized that I'm not just naturally gifted at everything and how much I could really suck at things I thought I would be good at if I didn't work hard. It's also made me much more capable and has led me to realize how much I'm capable of achieving. I've been to a lot of amazing schools and learned a lot of things that would have been very difficult (or impossible/illegal) to do as a civilian. I have also worked with amazing people and it wasn't until I joined the military that I learned what a beastly level people can actually perform at. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to having a much lower opinion of people who don't perform as well as the people around you in the military. As Coriolis said, you'll see a lot of frustrating bureaucratic bullshit and ridiculous biases, particularly from the people that join the military right out of high school and have grown up in that environment.

    Experiences will vary, though. I'm in a very capable group that has very high standards, so I have the benefit of working with amazing people everyday (although there are still plenty of worthless pieces of shit that shouldn't be here and ultimately lack maturity). I'm also enlisted, even though I have a bachelor's degree because I wanted my job. If i were enlisted in a conventional unit, I might be hating life, but who knows, I know people all over the place in all kinds of jobs that love what they do. It's all what you make of it. Seize the opportunities that you are given.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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