posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 02:46 AM
As an enlisted Marine I got a look at several major problems which I believe are the root of many others in the US military. Unfortunately we can do
little to fix most of these problems. The problem is that a military rises and falls with the culture it defends. This can be seen in the Roman
military, which as it declined was far too lax about training and discipline, and had elements which began to pledge themselves to individual
loyalties instead of values.
American culture is not physically healthy. People in general tend to be dehydrated most of the time because they rely on sodas and other drinks
instead of water. We consume too much bread, sugar, and fat but not enough vegitables. The result is that a recruit who is new to the depot is fat and
generally "slow" in many ways because of poor nutrition. Bone fractions are far too common because recruits generally have not had the proper
minerals for building healthy bones.
Physical excercise is almost unknown to many recruits. A large part of the population spends an alarming amount of the time zoned out in front of the
TV, computer, or game console when they are not at work or school.
Discipline is foreign to many young Americans. When many children have only a single parent living with them, they spend a lot of time on their own
and unable to be corrected. Teachers can not enforce discipline in a meaningful way anymore because of social promotion, bans on physical discipline,
and even the apathy of parents. As a result many recruits have spent years of their life running completely unchecked for 8-24 hours a day.
An abused child is easy to spot in bootcamp- he's the only one who does what he's told without question from day one. What a country where abuse is
more common than proper discipline perhaps.
Abosolutes are much less common in American society. Religious absolutes are not appropriate in public. Any weakness is attributed to some perfectly
acceptable disorder. Tradition and respect for position seem somewhat diminished while the demand for justification/explanation of any given thing is
more common. The good or bad nature of these several things could be argued, however they produce people who resist measurement by a strong standard,
who have difficulty holding or being under strong authority, and who will not accept criticism. These traits are extremely unwelcome in a soldier but
are more present in today's Americans than they have been in the past.
In short- the more free and comfortable people are, the less conditioned for military service they become. It would take a change of our entire
culture to defeat these problems.
These problems also give rise to other problems in the officer corps. The growth of politically correct, jargon obsessed, bureaucratic business
culture in the officer corps is killing the Army especially and it is the result of the environment in college and in the workplace. The source of
this business culture is of course the lack of absolutes. The jargon, softspeak, and complication of simple tasks/instructions which have developed in
persuit of some ill-defined illusion of being a manager rather than the boss so as not to be offensive in the workplace is ridiculous and ineffective,
and it is getting into the military. If you dont know what I'm talking about you have two options. 1. Get a job with Granite Construction Company. 2.
Watch the movie "Office Space".