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Accelerated My Life... maybe


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Yesterday I went out of town to something called MEPS (Military Entrance Processign Sentre) to be eaxamined by a buch of old doctors, who were curious to see if I was fit enough to join the 'world's greatest navy'. I got a night in a fancy-ass hotel, two free meals and fondled for free!

 

5AM wake-up call and in the station by 6AM. Then almost twelve hours of poking, fondling, and unpleasant exercise. When the Military Bureau of Medicine approves me for service, I'll get $100,000 sign-up bonus and go to boot camp. Then two f#ckin' years of school (aka advanced initial training) to be a nuclear technician aboard one of those floating teapots. Horrah!

 

This is a CV-70, which is the same class of ship I'll be on in a few months. Can't say exactly which of these carriers I'll actually be on, or where my home port will be, but hey...

 

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Nice, I was originally going to join the RAF, same sort of stuff, but now I cant stand the military. Now I just don't see the point in it's vulgar. I don't see the point any more. If I was to join the armed forces now it would be my own. A PMC. I really don't see the need for all this left-right crap any more. Traditional military does not make sense.

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The Legion is the epitome of what I am against. It's that in your face, your sh*t, lick my boots you maggot, boo haa haa, that I have no understanding for. Why do it? If your training people to kill, why do they need to do that, why so harsh. Teach them to kill plain and simple. Rather than force them into disciplined ranked drones, why not express their abilities.

 

Why does one have to be so disciplined or so into this system of ranks and unquestioned logic to defend their country? I have to have short hair and, and be clean shaven do stand in the middle of a parade ground for 2 hours. What the f*ck has that got to do with defending the country. Christ surely such illogical rules are not needed. Why does someone who is going to spend most of his time defending his country from the inside of a tank need to look so immaculate, or need to know how to march like a robot? Cut the crap I say and give troops the training they really need.

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The Legion is the epitome of what I am against. It's that in your face, your sh*t, lick my boots you maggot, boo haa haa, that I have no understanding for. Why do it? If your training people to kill, why do they need to do that, why so harsh. Teach them to kill plain and simple. Rather than force them into disciplined ranked drones, why not express their abilities.

 

Why does one have to be so disciplined or so into this system of ranks and unquestioned logic to defend their country? I have to have short hair and, and be clean shaven do stand in the middle of a parade ground for 2 hours. What the f*ck has that got to do with defending the country. Christ surely such illogical rules are not needed. Why does someone who is going to spend most of his time defending his country from the inside of a tank need to look so immaculate, or need to know how to march like a robot? Cut the crap I say and give troops the training they really need.

I would say it has to do with psychology. It, in theory, would seem to be dehumanizing and break down individualism while it creates a more cohesive and obedient group that follows orders based on the chain of command and not individual desire. It breaks down previous "civilian" conditioning to create the unit, a unified group tailored for efficiency. You don't want a unit of people "expressing their abilities" when your survival instincts are flipping out and telling you to run away because you're being shot at. Discipline keeps people fighting, when the logical thing is to run away and go back to diplomacy.

 

Besides, how do you "just" train someone to kill people? That's a pretty f*cked up thing. There's a difference, I think, between knowing how to kill someone efficiently and being ABLE to kill a large group of people. Training goes beyond knowing how. I don't think I could kill people with any amount of training. There'd need to be a level of psychological detachment from who I actually am in order for me to march in and start shooting.

 

Furthermore, war is not nice. If the most you're worried about is some drill sergeant being mean to you... maybe you shouldn't be in the military. If you can't handle someone yelling at you, what would you do with bombs going off and bullets flying? You going to be worried about hair style when you're in a hot tank rolling through "enemy" lands? Shoot, standing around on a parade ground for two hours sure sounds nicer than running around in the desert, sleeping in the desert, not washing for days on end in the desert. Did I mention the whole people shooting at you thing?

 

*cough*

 

Anyway, I got off topic. Good luck with your time in the Navy, SDC. I hope everything works out well for you. Nuclear technicians don't shoot people, right? Sounds like a good job. You could probably get a great job outside of the military with experience like that too.

 

Out of curiosity, do you get internet connection on one of those floating teapots? tongue.gif Seems like it would be inhumane if not. I'd probably write my congressman for you if they didn't.

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Yeah, Nuclear Technicians don't pull any triggers, just push buttons. My jobs mostly consists of making sure the ship doesn't vanish under a mushroom cloud. I don't know if we get access to the internet while on tour. I know we can send an e-mail home once or twice a month, I think that's it though.

 

My plan is to move to Europe after my contract is up. With the US economy shaking like it is... well, you get it. Besides, free education and healthcare! You Europeans don't know how good you have it.

 

Miiros, you're right about the training. The idea behind the unpleasantries is to break you down so they can 'rebuild' you they way they need. Then everything about staying at your station and being able to kill someone follows from that.

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Military did wonders for me. Most of my family to. My older brothers and sisters all fullfilled their civil service agreements by serving in the SADF, and by the time I joined up it was the SANDF. I think tradition had alot to do with it, as well I mean, there wasnt much for me to when I graduated.

 

Community college, or working at the nine to five for minimum wage. The so called living wage that was then. I think it was something like $4.50 an hour or something. When my old man handed me the paper that came in the mail, I was pretty stoked.

 

To me, at least where I served, it gave me structure. It built discipline, and sturdiness of mind. Plus it also gave me a will to live, and if anyone here knows what it's like to march through the bush carrying an LMG, well you know the feeling of being the bloody target to shoot first besides the marksmen.

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I don't mean to go far off the point here mate but It's that breaking down that is not needed. Rather than break them down, build on what you have, promote the mind rather than crush the soul. Look at the US marines, no offence to any of them, or anything but according to books and stuff, they come out of that broken people. Providing you do it in the right context your soldiers should come away with a higher mind set on the world, rather than this broken shadow of their own country.

 

For example, if soldiers were taught how to be 'Virtues', according to Alistair McIntyre's Virtue Ethic soldiers could promote defence and still be unified. And that whole creating noise and confusion is crap. Teach soldiers psychology, teach them that that confusion is in the mind and that natural instincts are how they will be operating, through proper training to act under stress, not training them how to deal with people shouting in your face.

 

However it's not that, that just gets to me, it's the fact that we blindly must obey the order of our superiors without question. Should your soldiers be treat as humans and promote them through their development rather than crushing them and turning them into a killing machine. It would give them a much more positive view of their surroundings, and provided the right training is given they are them in a higher state of mind to deal with action in a stressed situation. Also I maybe used the wrong term in addressing a soldiers ability of killing, possibly I should have used skill at arms. Should one have such an extended knowledge of this, discipline is not needed, as the the unity of defending ones country and mind developing as a unified virtuous group tasked to be virtuous and bringers of good, added with their skill at arms gives them the ability to tackle a situation as a unified group of people. This is why I promote a small well trained, well equipped armed forces.

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According to what books? Marines come out of bootcamp damn tough, they've gone through hell... sure they also come out with a hightened sense of arrogance and pride, but maybe they've earned it. Of all the marines I've ever talked to, they've all said boot camp was the hardest and best thing they'd ever done. They went from being ill-disciplined street-urchins to tough, determined bulletstoppers. The DI screaming in your face is terrifying, so is facing an MG. The harsh nature of bootcamp when you're just a lad is the basis for discipline when facing the aforementioned MG or whatever else.

 

Bootcamp is your first 'stressed situation'. Instead of simply being broken by it, the DI also helps get you through it. Albeit by shouting and intimidation. You do pick up a higher state of mind afterword knowing that you've gone through hell day after day for what feels like eternity. Next, at the firing range, the DI isn't screaming. That's probably your first time handling a military grade weapon. Having a recruit in a pressured and panicked is a recipe for an accident.

 

Teamwork isn't an issue, really. Later in training recruits are made to solve problems and work together anyway, i.e. getting a stretcher over a wall without dropping the dummy (which is supposed to be a body). In addition to actually being trained to work together, recruits also get that sense of unity just by being in the same hell-hole together.

 

But all in all, I won't really be put through such hell. Navy is (allegedly) the second easiest bootcamp to go through. Second to the Airforce, who sleep in till noon and wear uniforms that are ruffled and fowl. Basic for me is about two months, most of which is becoming able to swim 50 yards. AIT is more of a concern for me. cool.gif

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Europe? Well, Poliskar and I have made a pact of sorts. We've decided to ultimately make it to Sweden. Though, I'd have to learn Svenska first. So, I'd most likely move to the UK for a few years to do so. Then, it's off to that wonderful socialist haven. Shouldn't be a problem, I think. By the end of my contract I should've made a little under $500,000. Should be enough for a plane ticket...

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SDC, first and foremost, let me congratulate you on this momentous and honorable decision. You've already done a lot of what I had planned to say to you in the shoutbox thread, so enough said there. Doors will open up, you just have to stick it out to the end. The Navy is a good choice, even if it isn't my favorite choice. Just take from it as much as you can, and the rest of your life will be one hundred and ten percent better for it.

 

Now, on to Adaptus. I'd love to know what books you were reading too, but either way, they're full of honest to God manure, not even good enough to use for fertilizer. Marines are some of the hardest, most disciplined, and most tactically sound soldiers in the world, bar none. I expect that whatever you were reading was heavily anti-American to begin with, so whatever.

 

And whatever you might say about all the shouting, like SDC said, that's one of your first times dealing with real stress. There's no way to get away from the jackass screaming at you, so it teaches you to get past it. Again, like SDC said, teamwork isn't an issue for soldiers. That's sorta what the whole basic training gets at, working as a unit. And marching, for all soldiers helps them to grasp the concept of moving as one unit, and has for centuries. I should think that's been enough time to prove that it's worth something.

 

Either way, I think the system that's used to train soldiers is just fine, if not a bit too lightweight. Our generation, and the one before us is too soft. Our whole lives we've been taught that everything would be handed to us, easily at that, and that the world is really a soft, frilly place. Well, it's not, and it never will be. None of us are special, and to soften the training of soldiers even more, or to dillute it with needless BS like in depth psychology (psychology already having been worked into it) would be pointless. Might as well give them a lollipop, and make them hold hands while they march out to the front.

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Still, I find it a bit of a let down to know that the only way those doors will open is if I put myself in a situation I may not walk away from. But anyway, I bow to you, sir. I'm honored by your words.

 

Yeah, Beau said it quite well, for the most part western military training is about as good as it will get for a long while. Yeah, it has some flaws. But for it's flaws, it's still the best in history, I think. I'll defy you to find a superior fighting force in all of history that had softer training methods.

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@SDC: Interesting career choice, there, man. Fair play to you for joining the military. What I know of you from this board, which admittedly is essentially bugger-all, I'd never have thought that you'd end up joining the American military, especially since what I've seen of your political opinions seem to run rather contrary to the actions of your nation's military.

 

@Adpt: In my opinion, there are few things under the sun that are worse than mercenaries, or Private Military Company as the modern emphamism for them is. I'd put 'em against the nearest wall and shoot 'em as soon as look at them. Horrible organisations. I'd much rather join a national armed force than those bunch of cretins.

 

The idea that this "left-right crap" is dead is utter bollocks, and the idea that the time "traditional military" is also up is as much rubbish, too. I've come to the opinion that people who say "left-right is dead" tend to be right-wingers who are telling themselves this in order to delude themselves. The main problem is that the current political parties of the UK (I can't speak for the US, no idea) are too comfortable - they attempt to become the government to purely to become the government, as opposed to going in and changing the things that damned well need changing, but I suspect this is a bit of a tangent.

 

The idea that traditional militaries are dead is entirely a fallacy. The idea that privately owned companies with profit in mind can fill the role of a national military is remarkably silly, especially considering the possible risk a private army can be to the internal security of a nation, especially one that's decided that it can do away with its own military in favour of f*cking mercenaries. You need to take a look at the bloody mess that some of these companies have done in Iraq, things that damned well ought to be considered war crimes, or at least insofar as you can have war crimes in a war that was declared over years ago.

 

@Beau: Adpt wasn't being "anti-American" with the example of the US Marines, although it probably was a bit of a tactless example.

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Yep. I do think the top-down nautre of any military organization is fascist as it's base. Though, for the purpose it serves, it's fitting. Joining the navy wasn't my first choice, it was really my only choice. But there is a good amount to be taken from the experience. I intend to bleed it dry, so to speak. Once I'm done with them I plan on moving to the UK... maybe we'll meet up one day wink.gif

 

It seems I'll be shipping out for bootcamp in November (if not sooner). salute.gif

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I'm surprised that being in the Naval boot camp is as "bad" as being in the Army or Marine version, unless one is joining as a rating, or whatever the US version is of that. Admittedly, my only contact in reference to the navy is a housemate in the Royal Naval officer something-or-other, which means that it's a part-time exercise in drunkness, essentially.

 

Gah, I'm massively unsure as to what the US end of that sort of thing is, as I have mates in the Royal Engineers, Royal Marines, the Paras and Royal Air Force ground crew, so I kind of forget what the equivelent is in that respect.

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Yeah, I kind of thought that tongue.gif

 

Damn, I was going to say something else, but I've gone and forgotten...

 

EDIT (Rather later on): Essentially, your move towards the US navy reminded me somewhat of one of my university mate's move towards the Royal Air Force (RAF) intelligence corps. He's doing it purely for the fact that having a geography degree is going to give him a lot of money, and steady money, by joining the RAF. Or at least he says he's doing so.

 

I honestly have considered joining the armed forces (in so far an archaeology degree can be useful to the armed forces), but I would never actually do so because of the way the British armed forces have been recently used by the British government in Iraq. I entirely disagree with that, and I would definately not join the armed forces for purely political reasons, really. It's not that I don't support our armed forces now they're in these various nations - I've got too many mates in them to do anything else - I just don't support how they're used in essentially what did appear to me as Blair's American Adventures.

 

I don't mean that in an "anti-America" way, I just don't think that British soldiers ought to be used as they are currently being used.

Edited by Tagmatium Rules (see edit history)
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More than understandable on that last bit about the British Military Tag. I feel the same way about ours...Afghanistan was and is the only fight that we should've been in. We might have even been done with the Taliban (which is far, far, far worse than anything that any of us know in our own countries) if we hadn't taken our little revenge mission in Iraq.

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