9 Reasons Not To Join The United States Military


1. The military is a cult that brainwashes you.

The military is painstakingly designed around the cult model, and the two biggest red flags that the military is a cult are its unethical indoctrination process and totalitarian, pyramid shaped caste system. Other warning signs are the use of an inside language, in-group symbols, rituals, in-group socializing, constantly telling you that the military is your family, convincing you that military history is your history and other tactics that convince you to base your identity and purpose in life primarily on the military. Individually these practices aren’t necessarily sinister, but the military goes to extreme lengths to use every trick in the book every day to convince its members to base their identity on the in-group and devote their life to it. That’s what cults do, and the military does it better than anyone.

I’m not saying this to attack the troops. I’m not saying, “You suck because you’re a brainwashed slave in a cult.” I’m saying this to raise objection to the mistreatment of the troops. If you support the troops then you shouldn’t get angry at me for pointing out that the military misleads, manipulates and mistreats the troops. If you support the troops then you should support UCMJ reform.

2. The military doesn’t care about you.

The military will convince you to love it so much you’ll get military tattoos, wear military-themed civilian clothing and yell at anyone who criticizes the military, but the military doesn’t return that loyalty. Sure, the military gives its troops a lot of perks and bonuses, but like all other cults, the pampering stops the second you start questioning the organization. If you don’t drink the Koolaid you’ll get thrown out in the streets for “failure to conform.” If you breach the military’s puritanical code of ethics the military won’t hesitate to throw the book at you as hard as possible to make an example of you. The military also loves group punishments. Sooner or later you will be punished for something someone else did. Your superiors won’t care that it’s unfair. Group punishment dehumanizes you, conditions you to police your peers and reinforces the idea that higher ranking personnel wield total and unquestionable power over you.  It’s a powerful psychological tool to keep you obedient and submissive.

The military loves you in the same way a slave owner loves his slaves.

3. You will lose almost all of your civil rights.

You will lose the right to free speech, the right to assembly (at least, the right to assemble with any group that opposes the agenda of the military). You’ll lose the right to work a second job at any business the military disagrees with. You’ll lose the right to enter businesses (including many night clubs) that the military disagrees with. You’ll lose the right to self-determination. You won’t be able to quit your job when you’ve reached the point where you hate it or disagree with it. Your home life will affect your work life. You can be demoted or even lose your job for legal trouble you get into on your private time. There will be limits to what kinds of tattoos you can get and where you can get them. There will be limits to what kind of piercings you can get and even what kind of civilian clothing you can wear on base. You can’t even make a private sex tape.

Just to be safe, Article 134 or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that says pretty much anything you do can be considered against the law; someone in your chain of command just has to say that some thing you did was bad, and that makes it against the rules. See for yourself:

““Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.“”

You’ll lose many more rights listed in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that nobody will go out of their way to tell you about until after you’ve signed your soul away. And if you ever complain you’ll be told, “You knew exactly what you were getting into when you signed up.”

4. Your self-worth will become based on rank.

When you go through basic training you will be told that upon graduation you will become an adult. In fact, you will become more than an adult. You will become a member of the elite echelon of society. Your maturity and responsibility will make you superior to the petty, selfish, undisciplined civilian herd.

However, the reality of life in the military does not reflect the propaganda you will be fed in basic training. The reality of your day to day life is comparable to what you experienced in high school. Everyone in the ranks between E-1 to E-4 are treated like high school students. The ranks of E-5 and E-6 are treated like teachers, and E-7 to E-9 are treated like school administrators.

When you wear the bottom four ranks you will be treated like children. Your superiors will look down on you, talk down to you, bully you and rub their rank in your face. You will be made to do menial chores and do the bulk of the work. You will be punished severely for any and every infraction possible. You will even be punished for things you didn’t do wrong, and you will have very little recourse to fight this, because your worth is based on your rank, and your rank is that of a peon. When you reach the middle tier ranks you will finally be treated like a human being. Your job will mainly involve training the lower ranks and managing paperwork. You will be less accountable for your actions and will have comfortable leeway to bend the rules. When you reach the top tiers of the enlisted pyramid you will become a figure head. You will spend most of your days doing paperwork and giving speeches. Since there are very few people above you to hold you accountable, and all of those people are in your club, you will be almost unaccountable for your actions. You will have to seriously screw up to get in trouble.

The power dynamic between the officer corps and the enlisted corps is comparable to slave owners and slaves. The slave owners are treated like gods and literally dine on golden plates under golden chandeliers. They have total power over the lower class and destroy their underlings lives with the snap of a finger. They are trained to believe in their superiority and wear their arrogance on their sleeves. They are less accountable for their actions. They will get in far less trouble for committing the same crimes as enlisted troops if they get in trouble at all. Being an officer is a very good life to have… and a very immoral one. It is an obsolete class structure that degrades the value of the lives of the human beings who wear enlisted ranks and directly contradicts the ideal of human equality.

5. You’ll fight and possibly die to defend the very ideals you swore to fight against.

bill-of-rights

There’s no country in the world that wants to take away America’s freedoms. The only people in the world who want to take away Americans’ freedoms are the very politicians who every active duty soldier swears an oath of allegiance to, and they’ve been very successful at it, especially since September 11th, 2001.

America is no longer the land of the free, and it’s also no longer a representative democracy. It’s a corportocracy controlled by the rich, for the rich. America doesn’t even defend democracy abroad. America is the only country actively toppling democracies. Look that up. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s common knowledge.

If you join the United States military you won’t fight for truth, justice or freedom. You’ll fight for a government that crushes public dissent and locks up more people than any other country in the world in a for-profit prison system that uses inmates as slave labor. You won’t fight for peace. You’ll fight for a country that commits human rights violations, spies on its own citizens and locks up whistle blowers while protecting war criminals. You’ll fight for a country that destabilizes weaker countries to allow multinational businesses to fleece them out of their natural resources and outsource jobs to their sweatshops. The American military might fight against terrorism, but it also engages in terrorism and creates more terrorists every time it kills innocent civilians, which is literally every day.

There are no serious foreign threats to America’s way of life. Possibly the biggest threat to the average American’s quality of life is America’s own industrial war complex, which directs trillions of tax dollars every year to killing goat herders with while America’s schools crumble from lack of funding.

If you support America’s military mission, you won’t make the world a better place. In the end, your noble sacrifices will make the world a worse place, but don’t take my word for it. If you want to know what America’s military stands for, ask the good people of Diego Garcia.

6. The benefits aren’t as good as you think.

Theoretically you’re supposed to get preference when applying for federal jobs. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. For all the other jobs out there, military experience can sometimes hurt your chances of getting a job because many civilians see ex military members as dumb grunts who can’t think for themselves. That and the stigma that ex-soldiers are unstable killers suffering from PTSD.

You won’t get much if any VA medical help unless you were injured while in the military or you retired through the military. Even then, it’s very, very difficult to actually claim your benefits.

You can retire in 20 years, but a large portion of your paychecks in the military are made up of housing pay, Cost of living adjustments and other side benefits that you don’t pay taxes on. This looks great at the time, but your retirement pay is based on your taxable income. For enlisted troops this is only enough to live well on in the Philippines.

The MGI Bill has finally become usable, and it’s a really good deal. The VA will also vouch for the down payment on your house, which is a really, really good deal. But no matter how good the monetary benefits of joining the military are, it’s still all blood money.

7. Life in the military sucks…but don’t take my word for it.

I’m sorry that it has come to this- A soldier’s last words

One of many news reports about suicide in the military

A special report/feature about suicides by a military newspaper

Article about veterans struggling to get help for post traumatic stress disorder

A documentary about rape in the military

A military chat forum discussing how common sexual harassment is in the military

A blog about the serious flaws in the Marine Corps, written by Marine veterans 

The most gruesome moments in the CIA torture report

A good summary of what American soldiers are sent to fight for

8. Military culture is devolving into a maniacally politically correct, anal-retentive snow flake office Hell.

I’ll explain what life is like in the Air Force, and you can just subtract a few degrees for each of the other branches: Cussing at all is frowned up, and in a lot of offices it’s banned. The only kind of music you can listen to at work are Pop and Christian. You can’t make crude jokes. You can be court martialed for sexual harassment for saying the word “vagina.” There was a public service announcement commercial that ran on the Armed Forces Television Network at my first duty station that said, “You don’t have to do anything to be guilty of sexual harassment.” Literally. It literally said that. You can’t smoke anywhere but at isolated, designated smoking areas, and you can’t smoke at all on some bases. You can’t put your hands in your pockets. You can’t walk and talk on your cell phone. You can’t walk on the grass. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll get yelled at for wearing any article of civilian clothing on base that you wouldn’t wear to church. You generally have to act like Ned Flanders or you’ll get yelled at for being unprofessional.

There is some validity to these rules, but when you add all of them (and the many others not mentioned) together and continue to make more and more rules that force you to act like a neutered youth pastor you create an environment that’s less like the adventure advertised on recruiting commercials and more like embodiment of everything the movie “Office Space” was satirizing.

People who can’t conform to that standard ended leaving the military willingly or unwillingly. Those who act the most whitewashed and sanitized rise to the top. So that’s who you work for. That’s who you work with. That’s the environment you eat, sleep and breathe in.  If that kind of life appeals to you, and you don’t mind being complicit in the deaths of thousands of civilians every year then join the Air Force.

9. You’ll be indoctrinated with battered person syndrome.

“When Battered Person Syndrome (BPS) manifests as PTSD, it consists of the following symptoms: (a) re-experiencing the battering as if it were recurring even when it is not, (b) attempts to avoid the psychological impact of battering by avoiding activities, people, and emotions, (c) hyperarousal or hypervigilance, (d) disrupted interpersonal relationships, (e) body image distortion or other somatic concerns, and (f) sexuality and intimacy issues.[5]

Additionally, repeated cycles of violence and reconciliation can result in the following beliefs and attitudes:[6]

  • The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault.
  • The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
  • The abused fears for his/her life and/or the lives of his/her children (if present).
  • The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.

The syndrome develops in response to a three-stage cycle found in domestic violence situations. First, tension builds in the relationship. Second, the abusive partner releases tension via violence while blaming the victim for having caused the violence. Third, the violent partner makes gestures of contrition. However, the partner does not find solutions to avoid another phase of tension building and release so the cycle repeats. The repetition of the violence despite the abuser’s attempts to “make nice” results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing a repeat cycle of violence. However, since the victim is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser’s need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment. The feeling of being both responsible for and helpless to stop the violence leads in turn to depression and passivity. This learned depression and passivity makes it difficult for the abused partner to marshal the resources and support system needed to leave.[7]” (Source: Wikipedia)

This is how the military conditions you to see the world, except the military no longer physically beats the troops. They can accomplish the same result without leaving a physical mark by yelling, threatening, publicly shaming, imprisoning you, giving you horrible duties and paper work. If all else fails they can send you to remedial military training.

The end result is that you’ll feel guilty for breaking meaningless rules, and you’ll attack anyone else you see breaking meaningless rules. And any time anyone criticizes your masters or their agenda you’ll defend them to the death oblivious to the fact that you’re defending your abuser and attacking anyone who tries to free you from the abuser who has manipulated you into celebrating and defending your own oppression.

Note: The author of this blog received an honorable discharge after 7 years enlisted service in the U.S. Air Force.

 Common criticisms of this blog post:

1. The military is not a cult! I served in the military and never knew anyone who was brainwashed!

There’s no point arguing whether or not the military is a cult without referencing a checklist of cult practices. Read any book on cults and brainwashing techniques. The more you know about cults, brainwashing techniques and military culture, customs and courtesies the more obvious it will be that the military is deliberately designed using every unethical mind control technique used by cults.

2. You were in the Air Force and never saw combat. So you don’t know what you’re talking about.

You can say I’m not a hero because I never saw combat, and I won’t argue with that. But my role in the military has no bearing on whether or not the military is a cult. It has no bearing on the fact that the United States government has consistently eliminated more and more rights of its citizens, spied on on its citizens, persecuted whistle blowers, knowingly killed civilians and backed Israel’s genocidal campaign against the Palestinians. These are all facts that can be verified by anyone, even people who never served in the military or saw combat at all.

3. I was in the military and I enjoyed it. Plus I got paid well and learned valuable job skills. Hence, the military is good.

The fact that you enjoyed the military and got a lot out of it doesn’t change the fact that the military is a cult that treats its own troops in ways that are hands-down illegal to treat anyone else. The benefits any troops do get out of the military are still stained with the shame of the rights American citizens have lost and the blood of the civilians the American government has killed.

If you liked or hated this blog you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

84 comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I have been juggling whether I should join the military or not but this has helped me make my decision, I don’t care what my friends say who are in the military but I’m staying in school to pursue my teaching career. I also know a few people who needs to read this before they make a potential mistake.

    1. I’m glad you took the time to do your research and wish many would do the same! I know first hand of all what the military does to you and it’s horrible! It has destroyed lives and still to this day it is effecting my family!

    2. Glad you took the time to research. Everything on this blog is true and remember those that say are not brainwashed is because they don’t know they are! I know this first hand and it does destroy lives! Best wishes!!!

  2. Thanks for this article because I at one point was interested in joining the Air Force but after listening to countless stories of US VAs & then reading this article I have reconsidered. I am just going to go to college to pursue my career in Mortuary Science.

    1. Kiara,

      A little delayed but do the smart thing and don’t join the military. I was miserable. I felt like I was NOT treated like an adult. I had no freedoms. Now I suffer from PTSD from stupid things like basic training. I’m also mentally unstable so that may have something to do with it. Ex. depression and anxiety.

  3. Thank you this – I think the military is a joke 100%
    The hazeing is a huge problem in the marines & it needs TO STOP

    1. It’s much worse than you can imagine, so much worse! Physical, mental and emotional torture! Sad thing is that they are program to not recall certain incidents!

  4. Wish I had this artical to give to my nephew about 2 months ago before he signed up to join the Navy. He wouldn’t listen to me when I told him all of this but maybe reading it might have changed his mind.

  5. I wished I knew this long before hand when I signed up for the U.S. Navy.
    My recruiter and everyone else was a lie. They don’t tell you everything. Luckily I got fed up with the BS and got out.
    Thank you for this article. This war needs to end.

  6. If you people are using this so called article as a reason not to join or back up your misguided believes then you are a bunch of idiots. Yes joining the military means that you give up certain rights and freedoms so you civilians can enjoy yours. I wouldn’t call it brainwashing, all men and woman in uniform know that there are certain rules and guidelines you have to abide by. Just like working for any company or corporation. When you wear a uniform that says you represents something or someone you have to act and behave accordingly. I know plenty of businesses that won’t allow you show of your tattoos at work. Just using that as an example. I have been in the military for 12 years 5 years in the Navy and the rest in the Army and I don’t regret it for a second. It has given me a lot. It has put food on my table a roof over my head and a decent paycheck. If it wasn’t for the military then i sure wouldn’t have met my wife. But these are all things that you civilians take for granite, while you sleep peacefully night and play on your iphones and post on website and write 8 reasons on things that you know nothing about. No it is not a cult it is an organization of brotherhood that has been around for centuries. Until you raise your right hand, pick up a weapon or guard a post shut the fuck up and go about your simple little lives and to the so called author of this post I hope you and i never cross paths in life my friend.

      1. Well, you served in the Air Force anyway. It’s kind of like the real military but more civilian. Anyway, other than the threats I basically agree with 19Soldier81. I’ve served in the Marine Corps, the Navy, and the Army. I’ve been enlisted and officer. Went to war in Iraq. Wise Sloth seems like an intelligent but extremely immature person. I still believe that serving is an honor. If you feel called to serve, I advise you to check it out.

    1. I know exactly how you feel, and you’ve written what you have. I grew up a Navy brat, I served as a Hospital Corpsman. I know and knew a LOT of us who joined who WERE heroes. That’s who and what WE were. The military, however, aside from some decent people who try like Hell to make the military be what it SHOULD BE, is what the man says it is. Read about what’s happening to a lot of people who were sent to war THIS time around, and the sheer needless abuse they’ve suffered, never mind a totally innocent civilian population THERE! Our military is NOT being used for any sort of defense of America. (In fact they’re being conditioned to ATTACK American civilians even here at home). They’re being used to destroy and rob poorer, weaker countries while lying their asses off to the people here at home. Military who try to tell those at home the truth tend to die – things like being stabbed multiple times in the chest, then shot in the back-type “suicides”. That was a real example. (In these oil countries there’s a LOT of money to be stolen, so the rich and their tools in the military keep a tight grip. They CANNOT allow any deviation to pass unmarked).

      Jefferson and others wrote some very good pieces about standing armies and why we should NEVER keep one. They were right. A standing army is a source of terrible power that certain types of wealth and power CANNOT resist taking over and using for their own purposes. And they have, and are. Read “War is a Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. Look at what we’re doing over there, dammit! Look at what we do to our own, for that matter. Some really egregious examples are the exposure to “depleted” uranium. It is NOT “depleted” at ALL – it’s refined, and it’s deadly! So are a lot of those experimental vaccines. In some cases military are simply exposed to known toxins, things like Agent Orange that was KNOWN to be deadly in 1943 (a ’43 DoD memo said that glycophosphate was only good for depopulation of an area or country). Then they combined it with paraquat and a few other things, and among other experiments, it was INJECTED into children, then into soldiers, then they were exposed in other ways. Vietnam STILL has a HUGELY high rate of mutation of children – or what WOULD have been children. And there are worse acts.

      Breaking out of the brainwashing takes a strong act of will, but you begin by realizing that there can be and ARE some wonderful people in the military who have ALL still been brainwashed, that you CAN sometimes get decent help and yet be used to commit atrocities elsewhere, and by God YOU WILL DO IT TOO! The excuses to get us into these undeclared wars (they are illegal wars per the Constitution, and most of everything done in the so-called “War On Terror” using that non-war as an excuse for grabbing more power is ALSO illegal – unconstitutional!). Our military is being used to make rich, powerful people more rich and more powerful. I’m proud of my family who served, and of my own service. I know too that we were and are honorable people who believed we were defending America and our way of life against totalitarianism. Now, when fascism, or totalitarianism if you prefer, IS ACTUALLY ATTACKING US, We DON’T SEE IT! Open your eyes, soldier, and THINK! After all you’ve done and been through, and all WE have been through, I’d hate to see us lose this country now! You ARE needed, but not the way you’re being used.

      Ian

      1. Ian, that’s a very good response. I was an officer for my Army career during the Nam Era. Luckily I didn’t have to go to Nam. I see no difference between our military right now and the conquering hordes of the Roman Legions. I wonder what the ‘masters’ in Rome told the civilians … to the Masters of War those boys were minions, but to the smallfolk the cannon fodder were sons and husbands. I wonder what propaganda the Masters of War told the civilians while the minions were off subjugating the Nazarenes, etc.

    2. Spoken like a true cult member. No shit the military provides a roof over your head- just like a slave master does. But like the author wrote: they have no loyalty to you. If you had a good career in the military, it is only because you happened to be useful to them. Thousands of vets learn every day how they were duped when the military casts them aside. Here’s a story about that: http://www.democracynow.org/2013/5/22/other_than_honorable_army_strips_benefits

      There are many veterans who suffer terrible tragedies and sometimes this solidifies the cult-like thinking because of something called “sunk costs.” If you give up four years of your life, lose friends, lose a limb, or whatever, there is a natural tendency to want to believe it was for a good cause. But what one believes and the truth are not the same thing.

      I was in the army and a combination of circumstances plus youthful naivety and stupidity spared me the horrors of war. Despite that, I still have negative effects of military life which affect me to this day, more than ten years after the fact. Now imagine how that feels when you get that PLUS you get sent to a pointless war which has no chance of “victory”(as they cannot define what victory even means in this case). It may also be worthwhile to note that I have known many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and literally every single one has had serious psychological suffering related to the war. Every…single…one. That includes people I served in basic with who weren’t even combat arms troops. These were people who were witty, funny, and upbeat despite all the idiocy of basic training and AIT. After serving in places like Iraq they became bitter, had problems with alcoholism, and nearly ended up losing their minds. The army used them up like they were disposable.

      1. This comment is disugisting. you take for granite all the good things that military menmebers do for us simple civilians .like kill muslims and support the jews. i hate -palestinbe bc it is not a real state and if you think that the militery is wrong in supporting the helpless jews in their quest for solitude than you are, sir, frankly, to be perfectly, totally, completely honest with you, a fucktard. only idiotic lazy americans speak against the legality of america’s slaughter in already devestated areas. at this point in america’s flawless history, doing anything BUT the mindless demolition of minorioties and other nonwhites is, frankly, to be perfectly, completely, totally honest with you, sir, a waste of precias time and resources. and not to mention the niggers plauging our society. in my humble, worthless opinion, we should comepletely annihilate northern america because that is where the darkies get rights and women too. we need to reinstate our social hierarchy in order to ensure that enlightened folks like i are at the top- poor white and most importantly MEN

      2. Last time I checked, you have a say in where you’re sent. You get what’s called a wishlist. I told you that cause Im almost sure you never got through basic. Once basic is done, it’s a lot like any other job that requires a lot of travel. I known this because men who were father figures to me told me. But I’m sure you know tons about that.

    3. You’re clearly displaying signs of Stockholm Syndrome, defending your abusers/manipulators like that. Way to perpetuate the stereotype of military-men being low-brow, government-brainwashed tools.

    4. You obviously don’t know the corruption the military is used to do. Lol blindly join a group that are just pawns in the global elites hands. Fighting for freedom? Not since ww2 has congress declared war therefore anyone in any us war after that is participating in illegal activity. Bwhahahaha

    5. You are the misguided idiot !!! Hope you got a medal or two because your not getting one here !!! Any one who belittles and mistreats there own because they think they are higher up are scum !! Oh and by the way granite is a gucking rock dumb ass !!!

    6. You are wired to back up the military! That is what they do to you, another reason why your comment is so hostile! I know this first hand, and the facts and research are there, you are very much mind controlled son and I feel for you! If you don’t like this blog, why are you even on here?!

    7. Iwould say that you basically just fit the mold perfect to the article. You seem to think that your opinions and pleasant experience with the military outweighs the facts. I have been in the Navy for two years now, and I have never experienced this much stupidity, immatureness, and ass-kissing in my life. To be blunt, the military is a fucking joke and is perfect for people that aren’t smart enough to make it in the real world. You aren’t defending us by bullying around some farmers in the Middle East either….if you really defended freeom, you’d attack the White House.

  7. I agree with most of this, but the thing about the philipines is a bit off, a lot of people retire there because lots of filipino’s serve in the military since they are able to enlist as non-us citizens.

  8. Great article. Glad I didn’t join. I have way too many stories. I spent years around military personnel. I have nothing but respect for the good ones.

  9. you were in the airforce. your right to bitch and moan is invalid. 2 combat deployments later and i still dont bitch. pick up your skit, grab your balls, and be a man for once. either that or shut your fuckin face while real men go out and do some real fighting

    1. Dave, all that manly “real fighting” is making us less safe, not more. Try reading the article again and letting it sink in. Real men don’t follow immoral orders.

    2. dave….so in order to be a man I must go fight for a blurry cause against an uncertain enemy? You may think you are being a hero, but really…you are just picking on a bunch of poor farmers over there while some tuxedo-wearing asshole back here in the States gets rich off the war. In the meanwhile, they tell you that you are a hero and give you some halfass benefits to keep you content, but when it comes down to it we are all bitches in the military….not men. A real man knows when and when not to fight.

  10. I would offer to this author that he benefitted more from his military experience than he realizes. In the midst of the worst of experiences, when we are forced to do things we don’t want to do, and really have no other choice, there is something that has the opportunity to change in how we are capable of exercising our own will. No. We may not be able to do that freely while we are In the military, but we certainly develop more back-bone to do it once we are Out. One of the reasons I joined the military at the ripe old age of 34 was because, even at that relatively late time in my life, I realized I had not “grown up”, in part because I had not been effectively “parented” and I had especially not received the challenging disciplining force of a “father” in my life.

    The military provided the structure, challenge, and discipline, that I needed and I finally “grew up” in the eight years I served in the U.S. Navy and I am grateful that I had that opportunity. I am grateful that such an institution existed in my society. There are many other personal reasons why I joined that had very little to do with the “benefits” the military offered in return, but the growth of my own Self-Discipline was probably the most important benefit of all as it has given me the ability to reach other goals in my life that I would not have even considered possible before going through the “ordeal” of my eight years in the military.

    If you look at our society today, where else does one have the same opportunity for Self-Transcendence? To “go the extra mile”, to develop the courage and the will to lay one’s life on the line for others or for a cause that is greater than oneself? A circumstance from which you cannot easily run away? (And this is a very important point, by the way.) I think it is important to recognize that such motives Do Exist in human beings, and it is these same motives that cause many people to join the military in part because It Is One of the Few Avenues Available to Them.

    If there is one thing that needs to happen in our society, it is to find Other Ways for people to express these deeper motivations and that they be recognized and acknowledged by the rest of the culture. Furthermore, as a well organized and disciplined force, that can be deployed almost anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, the U.S. Military, as other military forces in the world, could still serve peaceful purposes when it comes to disaster relief or actual “peace keeping”.

    But, I agree, especially in this day and age, if the power of a military force is being directed for any other purposes, for all of the negative reasons outlined in this article, then it is a waste of our collective resources, both material And human.

    1. But, what cause is the U.S. involved in that is worth taking the extra mile and sacrificing your life? I am sure a 6 year old boy would rather have a dad than a dead war hero.The military is not the only way to grow up…

  11. Luckily for us there are really wonderful people in the military … not too many, but enough to keep the military from becoming just another frothing dog.

    When I was in boot camp we had a sergeant, Sgt Hatchett (no shit), who shouted to an auditorium packed with recruits that we should “…poop a nuke on Saigon.” 99.99% of the room jumped to their feet shouting “Outstanding!”. If we had done that, our world would presently be a very sick place.

  12. this is a very interesting point of view from a guy that was honorably discharged from the Air Force. i’m sorry, but you have no idea what you’re talking about. the air force is the easiest branch out of the five branches we have (coast guard, navy, marines, army, air force for those who didn’t know). they have the best housing, the best bases, the best food. if he’s complaining about being brainwashed in the AF, that’s just sad.

    i’ve happily served my country for over 11 years now. i wouldn’t trade it for a thing. i have bet the best people in the United States, i have seen things/places that most americans will never see (london, germany, south korea, parts of africa), but most americans won’t travel and that’s their mistake. i would have never met the people i have met, seen the places i have seen, or learned the things that i have learned, if it wasn’t for the army. have i enjoyed every day that i’ve been in, nope. but i don’t expect anyone to love their job every day.

    i’m not blind to what’s going on with the upper echelon of our government. in fact, i would like to say that i’m more informed that most americans in the fact that i really know what’s going on. i see the big picture because i live it. and that’s fine if you disagree. i really dont’ care. go to your mortuary science, go to your teaching degree, go to your arts degree. you will not go where i’ve been, seen what i’ve seen, experienced anything close to the brotherhood that i have experienced. you will never love the way i love my fellow man and woman. you will never cherish life the way i do. you will never understand the gratitude that i have for other veterans that are willing to sacrifice everything to safe my life, even though i don’t know them. like the sailor above, i don’t know him/her, but i’m willing to save their life with no questions asked because of mentality. the bigger picture is that we work as a team, as one unit to accomplish something for the bigger goal/mission. you’ll read that as brainwashing, but has any other corporation or company, they have goals/missions/benchmarks to reach, same with the military. people have to work well as a group to accomplish that. that’s why most major companies want retired military personnel as employees because they know how to work with people, they know how to manage people, and they know how to push people to make them accomplish a goal.

    i don’t regret a single day that i’m in the military. it’s been the best parts of my life, besides getting married. i would really hope that some article doesn’t convince you either way on joining or not joining. i’m not saying you should join, in fact, i’m saying if you don’t want to, then don’t. we don’t want you. we want people that actually want to be in the military. we want people that want to better themselves, learn new skills (and these skills aren’t just killing and murdering little babies. we learn real first aid, machine work, driver’s safety, protection services, a so much more), and to be able to take something back to society and teach them, or save someone’s life. we, as service members, do give up several rights for good reasons. we aren’t allowed to protest, we aren’t allowed to comment on our political views. because if we did, we would change how we view each other. “oh you view it this way, well i’m not going to help you!”. we have to think, act as one, pushing aside our personal ideals so we don’t hate within and act like fools and fail our missions.

    SGT Kevin Fischer

    1. Whether I (or anyone) has done six combat tours or never even served in the military doesn’t change the fact that the military is a cult that uses unethical manipulation techniques on its troops, destabilizes other countries and makes the rich richer. These are objective facts that anyone can find out for themselves and that everyone needs to be talking about, because as long as we don’t the military industrial war complex will continue to exploit the troops and render your sacrifices in vain.

      1. It’s not unethical. They intentionally place you in a stressful situation to mentally prepare you for combat. If the instructors were your buddies, you would learn nothing about stress and how to cope with it. They aren’t there to be nice and make you read books and learn to march. They are there to be a constant reminder on how a real combat tour can be. Is it too much for an 18 year old? No. If I can do at my immature 18 year old mentality, then most can. The REAL situation that disturbs most veterans, which was barely touched in the article, is when a veteran comes home and doesn’t have the medical, psychological, or physical help that they might need. That’s the real issue. Not the stressful mental tactics that the Drill Instructors use to make a service member push through. We don’t get water boarded, we don’t get hit (unless the subordinate initiates it), we eat well, and we’re put into great physical and mental shape. It’s no cult, nor should ignorant people consider it so. We do stick together, we do have our own support channels, we do view civilians as immature, weak individuals because you are. You have no idea what it’s like to miss birthdays, family holidays, first steps, first words, births, weddings, and divorces until you experience them in a wartime environment while getting mortared/rocketed/shot at. Calling the military a cult is like calling Sony a cult, or Microsoft a cult. They also have dress codes, mental aptitude tests, stock incentives, retirement plans. So, why is the military different? Your answer will be because we are taught to kill, murder, blah blah blah. No. Every human is ingrained to kill. That’s human nature. We just refine the skill and use it when we have to. Now if you want to say that our wars weren’t needed, that’s with the Government, not the service members.

      2. No one is making you serve, Kevin.

        “we do view civilians as immature, weak individuals because you are.” And you think you haven’t been brainwashed by a cult? If you take such a dim view of the people you’re allegedly protecting, then why are you doing it at all? Because you just enjoy killing people, or what?

        I didn’t ask for your protection, and I don’t want it. I’m sick of blowback, sick of excuses for killing children with our bombs, sick of us not minding our own business, sick of the military worship.

        Humans are not ingrained to kill. That’s another lie you’ve had drilled into your head.

        Wake up.

      3. Objective facts? So they’re scalable and you have measured these facts? Please… you have a valid opinion, but to fling your opinion around as “facts” is really misleading to readers. This is especially true when observing those who took your blog so seriously as if following… a cult.

      4. Lydia, all the points you brought up about the atrocities around the world happen daily. With or without US intervention. All this talk about “cults” make me feel less about the human race. In the author’s and your context, any organization is a cult. The author has a cult following. I’m in a cult because I’m on facebook. The military is brainwashed by the government cult. Civilians are brainwashed by the media cult. Did I leave anything out?

    2. I agree with you I am actually planning on joining the air force but i am somewhat concerned about the raping what can you tell me about that?

  13. Reread your own article wise sloth. These are not objective facts. Not one ounce of objectivity is contained in your article. And no, you cannot gain a real understanding of the necessity in giving up certain freedoms (no not nearly all) without having been a part of the process and having to put your life in someone else’s hands or vice versa. All of your points are 90% bull crap except for parts of number 5. There is corruption in the government to the point of swaying military policy at the highest levels and most in the military do not like it either.

    Just to be clear again, what organization isn’t a “cult” with their own ideals? Almost any success guide targeting managers describes ways to develop this culture or foster that culture among your employees. Of course you will develop some personal ties and buy-in to common military ideology, the same way you would working for the same hospital for years or the art crowd behaves amongst their own. And anyone in today’s world who says they had no idea what they were getting into either came from the last place in America that doesn’t have the internet or cable TV, or wasn’t smart enough to do any research or ask any questions, which are the same people who get kicked out with a chip on their shoulder and post unintelligent blogs complaining about their mistreatment. For every one of those, I can introduce you to dozens that will tell you otherwise, including many who chose not to make a career out of it. The military is not for everyone to be sure, just as no profession is for everyone. Nobody should be taking my word or your word for it based off one poorly disguised “objective facts” based article or links to hater sites alone.

      1. Sloth…do I need to point out that you NEVER reference a media outlet, wikipedia OR worst of all, your own blogs, articles, etc., when trying to make a valid argument?

  14. very nice article and loved every part of it, although 99.97 percent of it is complete bullsh*t. going on 6 years active duty and about to have my 3rd tour downrange. yes i agree there is some stuff that the military needs to fix, but i have never been a part of any of those situations, comments, nor do i believe that the military uses “brainwashing” to control us. lucky for me my recruiter was honest in everything he stated about the pro’s and con’s of the military. with that being said, the military is NOT a cult. this article may persuade others from joining into the service, and when that happens, this article has controlled you itself by feeding you false stories and successfully manipulated your free mind. but again, nice article. if you are reading this article and deciding if the military is a good choice or bad, do the research your self from ACTUAL people that have served, or has served. everyone has their own opinion about the military, but you will NOT KNOW if it is true or false until you go through it yourself. and yes i plan to do 20+ years. i dont fire my rifle to defend the country, i fire my rifle to defend my brother at arms that defending me… o yea, we dont attack unless attacked upon, hence the phrase “RETURN fire”. the choice is yours though.

  15. Wise Sloth, I am new to your blog. I have looked at your table of contents and your “I’m a hypocrite who generalizes” blog and I can see you are a pretty self-aware guy and a prolific writer. And I am not meaning to come off as condescending by what I am about to say – I just want you to consider something: In the end, you never communicate anything but your actual state of being.

    Consequently, if you don’t mind my making the observation, you seem really angry to me. Maybe you’re not, but that’s how I am interpreting what you are writing. And, granted, there is a proper place for “moral fury”, and I think you could find common ground with many people, especially people who are currently or recently in the military if you were to look for that. But seeing things only in terms of “black” and “white”, “awake” or “asleep”, etc., only promotes that much more division between the very same people who might otherwise be working together to Solve the Problems about which you write.

    I know one former Army Captain, his name is Paul K. Chappell. He has all kinds of reasons to be angry as well. But he has channelled his energy differently. He is also a writer, an author of four books so far, “Will War Ever End?”, “The End of War”, “Peaceful Revolution”, and the latest due out July 3rd, “The Art of Waging Peace”. I’ve read all of them, in part because I realized early on, he wasn’t just writing to relieve his anger, he was writing to find a way to actually bring people together to solve the rest of the world’s problems non-violently, with empathy, compassion, and Calm. And I think just about anyone who is genuinely interested in making the world a better place would do well to read what he has written. (His website is http://www.paulkchappell.com/)

    So, why are you writing, really? If this is your way of working through your anger, hey, it’s your blog! But, in a way, it seems like a lot of energy that may or may not make that much of a difference in terms of effectively Solving the problems you seem so keenly aware of. So, I’m curious: Is it your intention to see those problems solved, or just to be one among many simply talking and/or writing about them?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to write. Yes, I’m angry. I believe the atrocities going on around the world warrant anger, and anyone who isn’t upset must not be paying attention to the suffering of their fellow man. I’m angry, but I’m not violent. Writing is my way of venting, and I believe that none of the atrocities I write about will be fixed until everyone is talking about them. So I’m trying to get more people talking about these problems by writing about them. I write from the heart, and my work used to be a lot more angry, but I regularly go through my old blogs and make them more professional, but it’s a work in progress. I would change the world if I had the power, but I don’t have the resources. If and when I ever make any money off of my writing or get a sponsor then this is how I intend to make a difference:

      http://wisesloth.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/my-1-point-solution-to-the-worlds-problems/

  16. join the military if you choose but please do me one small favor, do not tell me that you are fighting for my freedom. No you are not ,you are fighting for the military industrial complex so they can make billions of dollars on your backs. I am fighting for your freedom here in our country so you can come home and breath free.I will not call you names or say that you are stupid I will give you the chance to get past the thoughts of your youth. I hope that you come home in one piece and learn what true freedom is, and when you do I hope someone welcomes you to the true ranks of FREEDOM FIGHTERS.

  17. fuck everybody who doesn’t support the military! if it wasn’t for our military i bet our country would have been invaded and more terrorist shit would be happening. the military goes out to stop them before they can reach us, they help protect other countries. you say they don’t fight for your freedom? then you don’t belong here, they can us THEIR freedom to insure you that you’re rights will never be stripped by an invading country.

  18. I joined the Marines in 1960 when I was seventeen like a lot of young kids were doing. When I got to boot camp it was not your John Wayne’s Marine Corps, it was physical and mental abuse, slaps, sucker punches, torture exercises, and kicking by Drill Instructors. For having been caught with my hands in my pockets my DI had me at attention and sucker punched me in the gut knocking me down where I couldn’t get up.

    They had us all scared that if we went AWOL we’d eventually would be caught by the FBI and brought back to the brig where it is worse, plus making up any “bad time” we lost at the end of our enlistments.

    After boot, and infantry training I was assigned artillery, 105 howitzers. Immediately all the new guys (me) are subjected to all the dirty, mundane work repeatedly day after day, a hell on earth existence everybody fhuking with you. Bad.

    Just missing court martials for insubordination and destroying government property (the Gunny’s wall, and foot lockers) I was sent to NCO leadership School probably for punishment as it has the rigors of boot camp. I lost twenty pounds in the three weeks there snooping and pooping in the boonies. I got lucky and graduated top of my class 3/43. After Gunny (back at the outfit) dragged his feet promoting me to Corporal (a Big deal) he finally relented. No more menial labor now, I gave orders. The joke was on me that month we were sent to Cuba for the missile crises where we came within a half an hour October 26, 1962 getting nuked by a Russian cruise missile. Read the book, “One Minute to Midnight.”

    After Cuba I was sent to Okinawa, and then in 1964 I was sent to Vietnam, then in 1965 the Dominican Republic Invasion.

    We were treated like dogs, the more obedient you were the easier it was (not by much). If you were not obedient you’d get the “Green Weenie”.

    There are only two things worth fighting for, your home, and the Bill of Rights.

    On War, by U.S General Smedley Butler (1933)

    I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

    I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

    I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

    1. Heads up no USA war after ww2 is techniquely a war. So have fun knowing you had a part in the illegal activity!

  19. Addendum to my July 11th, 2013 at 2:38 am post:

    I tried warning my great nephew unsuccessfully not to join the Marines as I had done, long story short he did. The D.I.’s in boot camp called his mother twice that he was crying and claimed she didn’t sign his underage (17) approval to join the Marines that he signed her name. After boot camp he went AWOL to Canada and married a Canadian girl, and fathered a child. Not to long ago he was walking the line drunk (middle of highway) at 2 AM where he was struck and killed by cars from both directions.

    My granddaughters girlfriend buried her 28 y/o brother this week after he got out of Marines he was a heroin user.

    My WWI Grandfather a former Marine was wounded in France and after being committed (shell shocked) hung himself at Great Lake Naval Hospital.

    The Marine Corps builds men ?

    USMC Veteran 1960-66
    Cuban Missile Crises Guantanamo Bay Cuba 1962
    Vietnam 1964
    Dominican Republic Invasion 1965

  20. I was flipping burgers and washing dishes for 3 years before I joined the military. No money, no degree, living paycheck to paycheck. Now I work in hospitals treating combat wounded, I have a job which can carry over to the civilian world, and I get paid pretty well. I’m working on my degree at the full expense of the military and am on my way to OCS to become a Physician’s Assistant. Oh and I’m in the best physical shape of my life. I can’t tell you how much I wish I was this fit back in high school.

    Military life has opened a lot of doors for me. I go home and see my old friends and even people I knew that I thought would go far in life living in their parents basements and struggling financially because of student loans. Lastly you can ask me what happens if I die? Well if I check out early $400,000 dollars gets split between my parents and I pay $24 dollars a month for that guarantee. So hey, if you all want to believe this biased article, so be it. Less competition in my field!

  21. It’s not the military doing this to people – it’s their boss. Don’t blame the soldier – they joined to protect YOU.

    Enlistees take a vow to defend our Constitution, against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, we have a C-i-C who sees fit to use our American military to fight foreign wars. The penalty for refusing is harsh punishment.

    If there’s anyone who deserves a bashing for destroying our Constitution, look to our White House, Supreme Court and our Congress.

  22. As someone who is currently enlisted in the military I find it sad that when reading a lot of these articles whenever someone who makes it known that they have served or are serving agrees with sloth some Nco usually responds by asking someone something trivial such as their mos time enlisted or their pt score… It just goes to show that he’s right it is a cult and the people who are defending don’t even see other people with differing opinions as other humans anymore… Just a set of statistical data that can be used to invalidate their feelings and opinions. I’ve been ashamed just based on a lot of the things i have seen since i have been in but reading these blogs and how others respond to them just because this man makes a valid point makes me violently ill.

  23. The ignorance in some of these posts is just incredible. I cannot believe someone just posted saying that humans were meant to kill. Maybe we were at one point, but evolution is nigh! And the one post with the racist and his stupendous grammar, was just totally uneducated AND unintelligible. Wise sloth, you have a good article here I believe. But, I do believe that you could make it more powerful and professional. Also, I’d like to point out that the people “fighting for our (almost nonexistent) freedoms” are in the wrong and refuse to see it. And please don’t blame anything on the president, he is just following orders.

  24. People need to stop attacking one another for personal opinions even if what they believe is wrong to you, to them it’s right and that’s why it is an opinion. I for one support our troops and the military and am currently in the process of enlisting in the army at age 19 because its a good stepping stone into life and I feel like by joining i am helping others whether I actually am or not its how I view it and after living with ex military members i see that yes it has changed them but for the better. For the people who say they don’t protect your rights i have to disagree with you but that’s how you feel I can see why believe that since we haven’t been directly attacked by an invading army but you do have to remember 9/11 when all those men and women deployed to get justice for those who died and why they are there now is a good question because I feel like they’ve completed their mission and should come home and let afghanistan deal with what happened because our troops shouldn’t be their police force but it is what it is. And one more thing on what the military does to a persons personality, many people think they all have mental problems about what they have been through but my uncle in Iraq serving with the army rangers recieved a gun shot wound to his leg and lost his leg from the knee down and seven years later his son in Afghanistan serving also with the rangers lost bits of his fingers in an ied attack and has since redeployed but both of them who I have seen recently both joke about what happened and feel thankful that they only lost parts an not their lives.

  25. People need to be inform about what they are about to get themselves into. They need to hear both sides of the story and come to a reasonable conclusion. I have given five years to the marines and nothings on this Web site is a lie. Civilians just have no clue what their own government and military do. Also when you leave the military sometimes you don’t have everything part of you that you came in with.

  26. Currently serving in the army and all I can say is: the military is NOT a place for smart people. GOSH a recent study has showed that 76% militaty personel don’t even have a High school diploma. I don’t knw why but ima not surprised. I remember the day I signed up… I was so happy… 19 months left before my ETS date… I have already started the countdown…
    I have so much to say that I won’t say anything. But again if you really have goals in your life don’t you ever join the military.

  27. I love what the army provides me. The army is every thing I could dream of. Without the army I would be unemployed collecting college debt and being forced to move out of my parents house living basically no where.

  28. My background: 5 years, 2 combat deployments and I just re-enlisted
    For the OP, I can follow your train of thought and your conclusion however I disagree with probably half of what you said. I’m not going to bore you with all the details because what I want you to think about is, what do you plan to do about any of the problems you see? You obviously cared about the military enough, in a negative way, to write this article, so, why? Unless you’re going to run for office of some sort and actually make a difference why keep responding to comments 6 months after? Me, part of why I stayed in is I’m married and I’m trying to get my wife through school and still provide for our needs. At least at my unit I’m in charge of making sure we don’t put our camera onto the public to “spy” on them, that is civilians at the NSA *criminals*, DHS *NAZI SS* and they’re civilians just like you now. I uphold the Constitution, I don’t abuse my juniors, I do what I do for the American people who are unable or cant. Its not a perfect system, but if you don’t do shit about it, it wont get better.

    1. Public policy can not and will not change until public perception changes. I’m working (slowly but successfully) to educate people about how the military industrial war complex manipulates and mistreats the troops and defends the systemic corruption in the US government. I feel that’s the most powerful thing I can do to help at this time.

      Another minor point: You can’t blame the misconduct of the NSA on the fact that it’s run by civilians and not the military. The NSA and DHS are government programs instigated and run by the corrupt government the military defends. Plus, the umbrella of the NSA overlaps with the military. One of the squadrons that I worked for in the military worked hand in hand with the NSA.

  29. Thank you, for this blog. I was an army soldier in the infantry. Everything you stated is 100% accurate. I never allowed myself to conform, so I saw it for what it was. Eventually I grew to hate all of the robots around me and then I hated the army. I tried to get out but was treated like trash for wanting out. This put me in a desperate state where I had to leave. I shot myself in the ankle to get out…. A drastic situation called for drastic measures. My life was great before the military. I was a Park Ranger who loved his job. I hate when military robots say I’m a coward for not completing my contract, but I despise civilians who state the same. If they believe that then they should have tried it out for themselves.

    1. Great story Brian, and I can see that they tried to control you and couldn’t. That is what happened to a dear friend of mine, and they made his life hell and he left short of doing 20! I remember always hearing him say he hated the military and he wanted to get out so bad! Glad you got out and realized what was going on, the majority never do…best wishes!

  30. You said: “You won’t get much if any VA medical help unless you were injured while in the military or you retired through the military. Even then, it’s very, very difficult to actually claim your benefits.”

    Not true in my case.

    I served a total of 17 years as an NCO in the Army and an officer in the Air Force. Nine months ago I was in a severe motorcycle accident, resulting in injuries that put me in the hospital for more than three months. The accident did not happen when I was serving and I did not retire. The VA took complete care of my medical needs, including more than a dozen separate surgeries and physical therapy to allow me to walk again. Prior to the accident, it took me less than an hour to register for VA benefits.

    This is one data point, and your mileage may vary. But your statement is not correct. The VA worked for me, and it worked for hundreds of veterans I have personally seen in this particular VA hospital.

    Joining the military is a serious decision, and it isn’t right for everyone. But it is for some. Thank you for giving food for thought for anyone who is thinking about putting on a uniform. Please make sure you are accurate, or you will lose credibility.

  31. I know that what is said in this post is true because of my experience with the Navy. Everything I learned in the Delayed Entry Program was irrelevant as soon as I was in Basic Training. I was completely brainwashed and lied to. It has taken a long time to recover. Ironically, the Christians in the church I was attending at that time warned me how bad the Navy would be. What they don’t know is that they were just as brainwashed by their religion. It is not easy for me to even mention this experience, but it definitely is still relevant to how I feel now about why war and religion are irrelevant to me now.

  32. I’m a Marine Veteran. I have not seen combat. I was an 0311 infantry rifleman. I was voluntold to be an 8152 basic security guard stationed at Bangor. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m fucked up from my service mentally and emotionally. PTSD doesn’t always have to deal with combat. I’m still proud that I’m a Marine. I was kicked out of the Corps. I was NJP’d twice over shit that wasn’t my fault. I’ve been hazed alot. I was stamped with an other than honorable for drug abuse. I’ve never abused a drug in my life. I dont know what to do with myself anymore. and they wander why the suicide rates of service members are so high. I don’t know how to feel any emotions besides blank, angry, or depression. I’ve lost family members due to my behavior and many friends I have had before i joined. I never feel like their is anyone to talk to. I can’t land a job. I feel like a complete piece of shit that doesn’t contribute to society. I don’t trust anyone anymore. I dont give a fuck about much anymore.

  33. To an extent, I do agree with your central idea. The military is all too glorified. But you criticized the military for something that it inherently is, and something that it most effectively operates by. In all honesty, it NEEDS indoctrination, and the disciplinarian, austere, social structure that it has. It’s a uniformed profession, and it just wouldn’t be the military. And it would most certainly be a horrible one, if it were any other way. No offense, but the military you seem to envision is a weak, unorganized structure with too many entitled recruits asking questions and shit NEVER getting done.
    There would be no time for democracy, intellectualism, or questioning orders. You have a life-or-death mission and you need everyone to follow orders and be on the same page, when it comes down from the chain of command.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s pleasant, or that war is great. War is ugly, and shouldn’t be glorified. The business of the military implies that people will die, and there will be suffering. Too many people die. Everyone loses. But in reality, needless to say, it’s a necessary evil. You need war sometimes, as it’s the only option when you have irrational and unstable elements. The last two World Wars needed to be fought and the United States would inevitably be involved. As a result of the World Wars, we have the United States and the ridiculously complex foreign policy that we have today. It’s all politics. You had the United States act as the police for the world with little support from the EU and UN, you had the Cold War, and the military entanglements that resulted. (ie.; Korean War, Vietnam, Lebanon, Gulf War, and the “War on Terror”, etc.) So it’s not so much “serving your country” as it is serving your politicians and their complex agendas.

    Foreign policy is very complicated and there are thousands of factors and opinions and debates that arise from it, but the simple fact is that we are where we are as a result from history. it’s not exactly our current generation’s fault, but it is if we remain where we are. Which is where the recent military budget cuts come in. With the conflicts overseas winding down, we are withdrawing more and shrinking our budget, which is much needed. But even that is debatable as some claim that this hurts the individual troops and their benefits.

    My beef is that while I don’t believe the U.S. should be the world police in everyone’s business, we kind of HAVE TO be, at least now, anyway. Too many people talk shit about our position on the world stage but in reality, no one else is going to do it. It should be an equal and joint effort of the UN where the nations commit a fair percentage of forces to a global cause, but it just isn’t like that. When there is a genocide, civil war, revolution, conflict, terrorism, or military issue, the US will commit 200,000 troops, with the UK committing 5,000, Canada 4,000, Australia giving 3,000, France giving 200, and some other guy giving 20, etc. We’re the world police BECAUSE the world looks to us. So we kinda have to. Now if Barack Obama wants to shift away from that, he’s labeled weak, anti-American, anti-veteran, and all this bullshit from the military-right.

    But foreign policy is a debate I’d rather avoid. It’s an inevitable consequence of world history, and a complex, twisted, multifaceted, series of events, neither of which are clear-cut, black or white, but thousands of shades of gray. A necessary evil, nonetheless. We do go out and often have selfish motives, most of which are political, but you shouldn’t shoot down any selfless acts of our service members who legitimately do what they do because they want to help others in need. Furthermore, many of our missions are humanitarian in nature, and not related to warfare at all. People hear “military” and quickly snap to “omg war army soldier boots on the ground with bullets spraying everywhere.” No, it’s not like that.

    Now you brought up a few politically incorrect things here that can be easily debated. You seem to have missed that is that this is a very subjective topic, as it’s ALL personal. Everything is relative, yes. But much of what you said is strictly based on opinions, and no empirical facts. The other factual things like “limited rights” is rather implied, and you’re complaining about something that is obvious and expected. I can’t imagine any “training” or boot camp with drill instructors that sweet talk their recruits. Yes, there is punishment as a whole, but that’s all part of it. None of it is personal. And yes, MANY drill instructors, sergeants, and petty officers are legitimately tough BECAUSE they care about their recruits. The purpose of the tough love is to make sure they LEARN, so that things are done properly with minimal casualties or error. The fact that you expect otherwise is shocking. But it is false to assume that you can be given ANY order, and you must blindly follow. It is false to assume that you can LITERALLY be punished for ANYTHING. And it is false to assume that you have NO RIGHTS. Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The UCMJ exists for a reason. ALL service members have rights, albeit limited rights compared to civilian law. And you MUST follow LAWFUL orders, not orders that are unreasonable (outside of training), unnecessarily dangerous, suicidal, or murderous. For example, you can’t be given an order to “die on command” or kill innocent civilians. And if you are court martialed, you get a fair trial. Hence, a JAG Corps exists.

    Again, everything is relative. Some people will have very different experiences from others. But it’s very important that you brought this up as food for thought to challenge the common belief that the military is the best thing for everyone. It’s not, and sadly the only hard way to figure it out is to figure it out for yourself, by experience.

    But rather than discouraging people from joining, or shooting down the institution, because that’s what it is, I think that what you should have asked is, “is the military right for you?”

    You seemed to attack political correctness, like it’s some form of Nazism, or corrupt, sissy, political bullshit jargon that manipulative people use as a rhetorical tool for their own agenda. It’s not. It’s necessary for things to be as fair as possible, objective, impartial, unbiased, and empirical as possible when arguing. Universal statements are dangerous, as are politically incorrect terms when debating very political issues. It’s wrong when I say that all Asians are Chinese, just as it’s wrong as it is to generalize anywhere else. Political correctness is needed in courts, and for any kind of government official to be fair. So I expect nothing but such professionalism from my officers.

    I would hate to join any military where recruits talked back to their instructors, disrespect was rampant among the ranks, professionalism or sharpness didn’t exist, there was no uniformity. Shit, I wouldn’t have joined. The disciplinarianism is what attracted me. We certainly wouldn’t have been the world power we are if we were like that.

    Needless to say, some will love their military, as it will largely benefit THEM. Some will hate it, and lose out by joining. Some people in the military are closed-minded, arrogant, ignorant, uneducated, uninformed, gung-ho, uncivilized fools. Others are mature, patriotic, philosophical idealists that are very much so moral, and have a spirit of brotherhood , and may most certainly be considered intellectual.
    In the military, everyone sort of HAS to conform and set aside their individualism for the sake of being orderly when operating. I’m pretty sure you’ll find plenty of grunts that far more intelligent than their superiors, but there isn’t much you can can do to make that better. You can’t evaluate every recruit or officer and determine who should be which rank by their intelligence, because as you know, intelligence can’t be determined by any specific test. Not the IQ exam, and not the ASVAB. You certainly can’t have everyone objecting to following orders because they don’t want to, or because it’s their “right to question”. NO. You need a hierarchical to command an organized military.

    I had to cringe when you called it a cult. That’s pretty direct and extremist. By using terms like “cult”, “signs”, and “rituals”, you bring about feelings similar to a religious cult, superstitious cults, urban gangs, or radical and extremist groups like Al-Queda, the Ku Klux Klan, or even regimes like Nazism or Stalin’s Red Army. The term you were looking for is “subculture”. Of course, in ANY social group, you’ll have a subculture. It’s inevitable. I can’t imagine you not having one, especially in the military. People will get together and socialize, because you’re part of a fraternity, the kind that most people will never be a part of. Everyone has one. So the fact that the military has one isn’t unusual, or a red flag.

    The fact that you have to conform is expected. You seem outraged that there are disciplinarian laws and regulations. While they are often petty, that is part of the training and discipline process. It’s makes you psychologically tougher to work well under stress. It’s sad that so many think they’ll get an easy, laid back ride of fun. It’s not, and everything you do should be sharp. I guess the recruiters should be to blame for all the misleading propaganda. So I do agree on that.

    The truth is that the benefits aren’t as good as people think and that they aren’t paid enough, compared to the ridiculous salaries that others make, like the people in Congress, or celebrities who in fact hurt society, rather than build it. But the military isn’t something you join if you want a fat paycheck. You join for ideals. Do they deserve more? Absolutely. But again, expectations influence much. I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone enlisted have a military career (unless reserves), but I wouldn’t discourage someone from joining if they’re aspiring enough to experience it. I would make sure they do research, think it through, know what they are getting into, know that they are joining for the right reasons, and which branch is better for them. I would say that an officer’s career however makes out quite well. Speaking of which, I just don’t understand what you have against officers. They certainly do less manual work, and more administrative hierarchical work but that’s the way it should be. The arrogance of the cockiness is again, all subjective. You’ll find assholes, then you’ll find great leaders.

    Again, the whole thing was based on YOUR experience, and it certainly won’t reflect everyone’s. So I’ll have to largely disagree. But I don’t think everyone should join and those that do, should for the right reason.

    I was a US Navy Corpsman and loved my time. I don’t regret joining one bit, and would do it all over again if I could. I really had a huge boost in confidence, feel so much physically and mentally stronger, really learned so much, traveled (for free) to all the most interesting places, made a difference in the lives of foreign civilians in need (and was quite appreciated), went on patrols with Marines and was considered “one of them” earning a USMC pin, and YES, you DO get preference in State and Federal jobs. I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that they don’t. (UNLESS you ARE talking about PTSD victims, casualties, other-than-honorable discharges, etc.) But the stigma against PTSD holds the civilian sector to blame. The worst part was boot camp. THAT was hell. I wanted out immediately. After week three, I got used to it. Then it sorta started being semi-fun, if that makes sense. After that, it was the greatest thing in my life. Not a regret. Not one bit.

    Clearly, the military wasn’t right for everyone. But like everything, there are pros and cons in life, and they should be balanced to determine what is best for oneself.

  34. I wanted to add that I’ve seen two people in my family, both marines, whose personalities were negatively altered. Yes, while you MAY get a good career out of it, I’ve noticed that the military justice system is a bit of a joke. Rape victims get no justice hardly EVER. One of those victims cannot collect insurance from when her attacker, an officer, hit her in the jaw and dislocated something. Jobless vets. Any recruiter who tells you that you won’t be able to find a job without the military, or anyone else for that matter,is full of sh*t. I have also seen recruiters encouraging people to lie.

    It gets worse considering that many of those in the military, regardless of their rank, have drank too much of the kool-aid and are only able to spit out the crap spoonfed to them by the military. It is a good thing that there are few who aren’t stupid enough to see the propaganda. Do civilian jobs offer smaller paychecks and are hard to come by? Sure. But at least one does not take a risk at experiencing all of the negative aspects (too many in my opinion) of military life.

    I am grateful I did not make it through camp. I never wanted to be in the first place and I should have listened to my own instincts first. I do have bigger goals in life, and taking many things into account, the military would have conflicted with my goals anyway. Even if I did make it through boot I most certainly would have been somebody who would have been kicked out for something like failure to conform, and then I’d be in real trouble. But unlike getting fired from a regular civilian job, at least I don’t have something like a dishonorable discharge to dictate my job choices. An els is not bad at all, and contrary to popular belief, you will certainly be able to find work, so as long as you leave it off the papers and resume. And I don’t intend to look back either.

  35. So true first they broke my son down then kicked him out without any help to rebuild his self worth WHO does that . Government agency that’s WHO. Failure to conform that’s what they called his discharge.

  36. Of course the military has its flaws, but you don’t go to fight for your country, you go to fight for your brothers in arms. The military requires a certain mindset, so it’s not for everybody. So you should be biased and lean to one side of an argument when discussing about the military. Take both sides into consideration.

  37. If it weren’t for people in the military you wouldn’t have any freedom. Plenty of countries would love to come in her and take that from us. They don’t treat our solders like this because they hate them it’s because they’re trying to train them to fight. If they didn’t have drill sargents on their ass not telling them to do pt, they’d all be pussies. And civilian rights are lost in any type of job, just like how teachers can’t say whatever they want whe they’re teaching. Go fuck yourself

  38. Most of you are simply a bunch of cowards who are just too afraid to fight against the the sick, terrorist bastars that would kill every American they could if given the chance. If we didn’t have real men and women willing to defend, we would be invaded by people who firmly believe that killing all with a different faith is totally just. If you want to join up, commission, go to an academy, ROTC, or what have you, then do it. You will make some strong relationships and will learn things that will benifit you forever.

    This guy is so mislead. Do more research on a great start to your life than listening to a single dude.

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