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  1. #41
    50 CAL Red's Avatar
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    Man must have hit with ol Snake Eyes. Hey if you feel you’re entitled as a service member, rock it man, and um...thank you for your service.

    Here’s the deal with entitlement. When you feel you are owed something you inevitably start to feel resentment when everyone that did not serve walks by you without thanking you or grovel or whatever.

    Here the deal with “service” and um maybe the term being a “quiet professional” applies, maybe not. Anyway if you relegate your mindset to understand you service in the “service” then you quickly realize that whether you are a door kicking operator, or fueling up humvees, the pride of knowing you played a part others wouldn’t. You realize that even though many Americans don’t serve, or don’t want to, or look down on you, or look up to you, it doesn’t matter. It feels good to know that self worth and not the need for some civilian to validate my service with a half hearted breathing or free cheese burger.
    Should every vet go to the VA? Sure, but unfortunately that is common knowledge that’s why there is a flood in the VA for guys trying to get paid for in grown toenails or fictitious injuries just to get paid. I’ve seen it myself. Sad that those veterans feel that an ingrown toenail and may have served but never FOUGHT for this country ouch back and delay a guy that gave both legs for his country. I guess you can stand in line too to let the VA know that you were around a burn pit once too. In the years culmatively spent between Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m familiar with sucking in some burn pit smoke, among other austere conditions. That’s from the start of the war til recent. I can honestly say that each time we were forced to document exposure to pits, chems, du rounds, etc. So unless I have a service connected malady which I’ve incurred a couple, I don’t think I’ll be clogging up the line until I need to. Not saying we can’t improve the VA, that whole system needs an overhaul for sure.

    But all that said I still don’t feel entitled to anything, not even a thank you. It’s service and I serve the people of these great American states. Is my job of more value than say umm the cashier at ACE hardware? A cook, a carpenter, a construction worker? How about cops, firemen, and EMTs? Military contractors, civil severents? No one thanks the single mom working two jobs to make ends meet. A mom who chose the wrong guy and thru no fault of her own is now struggling thru life. She loves this county and would serve but can’t cause the kids so she plows away working and paying her taxes...her taxes which oh look, pay for military paychecks!!?? We should be thanking her for paying for our “entitlements.”

    Anyway you have every right to feel that veterans are entitled to whatever. Right on, and like I said I Thank the Nam guys for the hard work they did in getting us where we are today.

    I’ll continue to be of the opinion serving implies just that, service, and requires no applause or recognition. I speak from my experience, you speak from yours. I don’t know what is is you do for our country and it isn’t important what I do either, but I highly doubt you haven’t seen the guy that has that everyone owes me chip on his shoulder. Or maybe it’s you, I don’t know, it’s irrelevent either way, to each their own. I personally do not like and am embarrassed when I get the “thank you for your service thing” I know it is well intentioned and I never make someone feel bad for saying it. A simple smile and return well thank you sir/mam and off I go.

  2. #42
    50 CAL Red's Avatar
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    So back on topic, again great points all again. Looks like majority would be against mandatory service, a few for it, a couple for just a draft if the need arises.

    Wildrider brought up a great point I had never considered. That a draft law is like a gun law and only law abiding citizens would adhere to it.
    I think this is a great point. With one of the questions being implied in OP is what we would need to defeat an Army that is superior to ours, perhaps not technologically but numerically. Gotta have food to feed the war machine right? I have never about the possibility that those that would take off to avoid the draft is fine and those that got sucked in and inevitably did their duty would do so at least when it counts under fire though they may act like complete turds when home.
    A draft could be a viable option to being able to confront a dominating Army. Coming from an all volunteer Army I can say first hand that though they volunteered I have seen more than a couple of cowards in combat. It is what it is I guess, but they signed the line, raised their hands and went, but must have watched Black Hawk Down too many times and when placed on a 2 way range, did everything but shit themselves. Everyone knows that quite timid guy that everyone makes fun of in the platoon as well, I have seen a couple of them standing out in the open laying scunnion on the enemy with complete disregard for self. Honestly a beautiful sight and a lesson in humanity. Sometimes the meek and humble among us rise during the toughest times to protect the same A'holes that haze him incessantly.

    I see good points for both sides of the coin having mandatory service and not.
    Some pros being a baseline common knowledge of U.S. military work and how we conduct warfare. Ideally a deeper connection to country and fellow citizens and sense of pride in America.

    Some downsides and I can totally see this happening since it happens enough in an all volunteer army. Forcing people into ranks when they do not want to be there will break down the moral and discipline and actually have the reverse effect of having a baseline knowledge of U.S. military operations.

    Without trying to armchair quarterback too many scenarios. Air power, nuclear capabilities, terrain and weather, just talking strictly manpower. Grunt vs grunt on his home turf (hopefully). Say we were on countdown to armed conflict with adversary nearing a billion man Army. Trained equipped and fiercely nationalistic, not to mention their allies. Still would not change anyone's mind? Lets grow grunts on trees after an emergency? Draft implementation? Mandatory service or bigger reserve?

    Again I am not trying to stir shit or for folks to get their feelings hurt, this is simply a discussion. This is the same topic we BS about at work, but that as you can imagine is pretty biased considering the environment. Some guys say we could win with what we have against anyone, anywhere, anytime. Maybe, we have a whole generation with a ton of combat experience. Some with a little too much combat time who would just as soon never fire a shot in anger if they did not need to. Then you got the new guys that are itching for combat.

    I guess a question would be taking into account the last 17 years or continuous combat rotations. Intermingled with training and all the other BS that comes with life in the military, is our Army tired? We have vast knowledge and experience, and guys that even though they have done more than enough would go yet again if another war happened. I guess I kinda wonder how much our fighting men can take before they say enough is enough. I have seen guys on their 12th combat rotation. Stellar brave guys and on that 12th deployment, boom they are dead. Dead in some forgotten place no one has ever heard about and a place where he fought already 15 years before.
    I am sure Vietnam vets can empathize. Imagine fighting for hill whatever in 68 and fighting for that same hill again in 73. It blows the mind kinda. It's a let us win and come home or lets just go home. Nests into the topic of if more people who are capable served, then maybe guys would not have combat strips running up to their shoulder boards. A rack of medals that make Patton look like a newb and 4 divorces.

    Just stuff rattling around the ol noodle on a beautiful chilly Sunday morning.

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  4. #43
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    Boy, I feel like I'm a piece of shit cause I was in during the draft. Of course, I wasn't drafted, I volunteered. So were a lot of other soldiers of the time. I didn't know what to do after high school, except I didn't want to end up in jail. I also guess the soldiers lost the Vietnam war because of all the draftees...or was it the shitty politicians we had leading our country? I don't feel entitled to shit. Also, I suggested that people don't necessarily serve in the military, but other vocations such as the USO, working in other countries, etc. Everybody needs to serve the country.

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  6. #44
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    Nitro you should never feel bad regardless of when you served. I don’t believe all draftees were undisciplined guys just like I don’t think every volunteer is a hero. It’s all what you make of it when running your lane I suppose.

    When I first came in, no one had combat experience besides a very few old timers that were getting ready to retire. I actually met a guy with a Recondo patch when I was young and thought he must have seen some serious shit. I had read a book on recondo school and lrrps in Nam.

    No way was Nam lost because of our troops. Unfortunately I feel the politicians didn’t allow us to win that war. I think that more so now seeing as no one in office has really served, and the few that have, fewer actually fought. In light of that, I have to look at my son and tell him all those years lost between us was for me to fight in a couple of war zones, repeatedly, and unfortunately wars we lost.

    I would never say that my brothers and sisters died in vain. They sacrificed for the person to the left and right. They are America’s heroes and their legacy must be remembered and their families taken care of. That is a whole other rant but gold star families are often too soon forgotten

    I wholeheartedly agree that there is more than the military to serve your country. I feel everyone should serve in some way either military or civil service. If fosters patriotism, community and a sense of doing something bigger than self.

    Could be as simple as working civil service, volunteering at different organizations. Heck even even go straight from high school thru a PHD in say psychiatry and helping vets that need a lil help.

    Just seems like the country today is too divided along party lines. A house divided cannot stand. Common beliefs in country at the core level and service to it and it citizens would help bridge the gap I think. Maybe I’m being too optimistic. I just wholeheartedly feel if everyone treated others the way they themselves would like to be treated then we could look past a lot of things and really focus on making America the most powerful nation on earth again. We could win wars instead of lose so many, we would take pride in our industries and craftsmanship again. We would pay our workers a fair wage..etc etc. I’m just ranting.

    Anyway back to the show

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  8. #45
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    Yeah, Red, it hit a spot. I'm a few months from 20 years. Still trying to figure out the "next step" into the chasm of the back-stabbing civilian job sector. My wife is halfway through an advanced degree, surrounded by the snowflake generation at school. I've been through the Dept of Labor classes and separation briefings. I'm smack in the middle of signing off from two decades of being surrounded by professionals whose main focus is getting the job done, spectacularly, and with little or no recognition, and contemplating which nest of vipers I want to jump in, knowing that despite all outward appearances, deep down, apparently every coworker will be looking to stab me in the back or put their soles on my shoulder blades without my consent.

    I don't need anyone's affirmation to know what my family and I have accomplished. Yeah, I think we are entitled to that gratitude, when someone offers it, so I don't feel completely sideswiped, but, like you, I am always humbled by it.
    Why? Because it's a reminder that someone out there, a total stranger is appreciative of the sacrifices made on their behalf. Not mine specifically, just someone's.

    We've all seen horrible things. I just don't want any of them to be taken for granted. I, personally, don't need the "thanks", but I never want this Nation to get complacent or forget how good we all have it.

    Yeah, maybe I still have some unhealthy disdain for the weak-spines who have no idea how small this world is, how close our enemies live, how many of them there are, and what is constantly being sacrificed to keep this Country at the top. It just sucks to see someone waste a gift that was so hard to get. But, hey, it's their right. We just gotta believe that the majority of folks will appreciate what we have and continue to work toward protecting and nurturing it.

    So, to relate back to your first post, you have two opposing scenarios. One is the urgent need for an army of billions of ground-pounding bullet-stoppers. The other is a military to defeat a "modern army".

    The lethality/danger of a modern army is not so much measured by bodies, but by technical capability. It's a digital world. One smart teenager with a powerful enough supercomputer could cause incredible havoc.

    If you want to be prepared for the billion-man army, and it's a guaranteed knife-fight, then yeah, start conscript status at 18 for two-years, then ready reserves for life.
    But for the reality of modern warfare, we need a little of everything: bullet-stoppers, door-kickers, mechanized, air power, cyber, etc.

    That kind of varied menu takes training, experience, instructors, and time.

    All of that is better provided by volunteers, willing to stick around for the long-term and make the military better/faster/stronger.

    There is some guidance already penned that relates here:

    SOF Truths:
    Humans are more important than Hardware.
    Quality is better than Quantity.
    Special Operations Forces cannot be mass produced.
    Competent Special Operations Forces cannot be created after emergencies occur.
    Most Special Operations require non-SOF assistance.


    The conscript/draftee is effectively being told to do something. It's mandatory, and since it's such a shift from their norm, it will probably feel like a burden or punishment. It will need a definite "Why?" answer. The conscript/draftee is being told to do something, against their will, that could get them killed. They deserve answers. During an active war, with billions of badguys on their way to our backyard, the "why" is easy. During peacetime, with budget issues, fraud/waste/abuse, and inevitable inefficiencies associated with running a military, the "why" is a hard sell.

    So, maybe there's a way to bridge the two scenarios.

    How do you make sure a Nation doesn't forget how blessed it is? Do you take your kids to volunteer at the local soup kitchen over the holidays? Have your child sponsor another child from an Angel Tree?

    It's not a punishment, right? Simply a nice thing to do, and it has embedded lessons of how the grass isn't always greener on the other side...


    Perhaps there's a way to teach Joe Citizen the same way. Some new active recruiting programs, maybe. Maybe some hard-hitting Intel briefings to drive the current situation home. Unclassified, but better fidelity than CNN, delivered by talented active-duty briefers. Show the situations overseas. Who's doing what. Small venue townhall kinda feel. Might spark some interest in those who were on the fence about joining the military. Might garner more support from those who are better off serving their country in other capacities.

    Then, God forbid the day comes that we need a billion strong army for a knife-fight, the "Why" would've already been answered at last month's Intel Brief to the Civilians.

    Regardless, for the right now, we don't have the resources to deal with an inundation of draftees, unless priorities are completely rewritten. Then maybe, but at that point, we're at war, and instructors will be hot commodities to use their skills/experience on the front lines. If the draft is used, I'd expect most of us retired/separated would be asked/told/volunteering to put the uniform back on and help out.

    As was pointed out, a draftee isn't necessarily going to be a continual burden or poor performer. However, each draftee is an unknown risk that must be taken immediately due to an emergency. We'd all rather avoid unnecessary surprises, so I'd advise for beefing up recruiting now, and being prepared for the surge of draftees that hopefully never happens again.

    Holy crap, I type too much. Thanks for reading this far. I had no idea this topic would grab me like it did.
    Never under-estimate the Will and Ingenuity of the Oppressed...

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  10. #46
    50 CAL Red's Avatar
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    Right on Snake eyes and great points. Glad you typed out a long response, you were able to expand on each of your points and answer the “so what” behind them so that they made sense and validates your point of view.

    Glad the thread hooked ya and a few others. It’s great to read the point of view from a variety of perspectives, generations and those with and without service. I always try to learn something new or hear other points of views. It helps shape mine so that I don’t become fixated on only my views.

    So anyway great post man, thanks

  11. #47
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    It's a big topic snake eyes. It's easy to type a lot.

    You hit a point, about technology and skill versus numbers. The last time this came up someone said mandatory enlistment would actually help that, I guess the idea is that many talented and qualified people still see the military as something for poor people who can't afford college. If everyone has to put in time, maybe more of these talented individuals would like it and stick around. thats not too say we don't have talented and genius people now. I met plenty of guys with a 90+ asvab(some the marines decided to have count bullets or pm trucks, but that's a totally different topic). IDK how much of an issue this even is, but a did see an article where the Marine Corps was talking about waiving age requirements and even skipping parts of boot camp to help fill technical roles. That melted my brain.

    I've also heard ideas that our current military and foreign policy(that is too say, our biggest export to developing nations is bombing them), is in part due to the majority of the citizenry being insulated from the military and having no "skin in the game". Here's an example, right before the last presidential election I heard a lot of talk(from liberal media no less) about using the us military for setting up safe zones in Syria for refugees. So basically another ground war, dreamed up by a bunch of people never have and never will wear a uniform. But honestly, that's my chip on my shoulder: it's the same guys, from the same family's, generation after generation that get to go to meat grinders in third worlds.

  12. #48
    50 CAL Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXman View Post
    it's the same guys, from the same family's, generation after generation that get to go to meat grinders in third worlds.
    This is so true and unfortunate. Growing up in the Army and having friends who’s kids are now grown and join the Army makes me proud and sad in a way.

    Having seen, smelt and dealt he ugliness of combat I cannot imagine my now grown son doing the same thing I was doing when I was 19 up to present. Not to say he could not do it just that as a father I would not want my son to experience some of the things I have. I tell him that service to country is important but he can contribute to his country without having to get his butt blown off. I’ve been over there enough for me and him I tell him. Go to college and do something that will have a positive impact on society and our nation.

    I have friends who’s sons followed their footsteps and have even fought in the same combat zone. I understand it but at he same time I think more people should take a bite. Many hands make light work.

  13. #49
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    Snake eyes ,Never apologize for stating your true feelings. All in all very well said , Sir.
    Never argue with a Internet idiot, he will just pull you down to his level and beat you with his expertise.

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  15. #50
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    Snake eyes ,Never apologize for stating your true feelings.

    Well said.

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