Friday, October 15, 2004

Military recruitment for war or scholarship?

This is something that I’ve been mulling over in my mind since the beginning of the Iraq invasion, and I’m just now putting it into words. I noticed (and continue to notice) that a lot of enlisted soldiers didn’t like the idea that they were being sent into action. I wouldn’t either, but that is why I did not enlist.

I understand that there are many incentives for enlisting these days. Scholarships, benefits, even cash rewards. I wonder if all these are designed to distract the recruited from the reality of the position. Just watch the commercials on TV; they look like video games or G.I. Joe cartoons more than they resemble actual combat. As a natural result, many soldiers and families of soldiers commented that they / their son / their daughter only enlisted for a scholarship or other incentive, and didn’t expect to go to war. By the tone of these statements, I feel that they don’t think they deserve to go to war, perhaps because they didn’t anticipate it. Does this seem inconsistent to anyone else? Are the armed services recruiting campaigns to blame for the deceit?

It’s likely, however, that this represents the minority of the armed forces. For the many other soldiers and families of soldiers that I have not seen on the news, I will assume that they are proud to serve and that their sacrifice comes without regret or grudge. I certainly don’t deserve to be counted above any of them because I refused to volunteer. Most importantly, I’m grateful that such citizens make the ultimate offering for the good of all.


At 10/18/2004 01:29:00 PM,

A-freaking-MEN. I've heard the same complaint from people in the reserves. "Oh, I can't go to war! I have a wife and two little kids at home!" Well, sorry for seeming cold-hearted, but you should have thought of that BEFORE signing up for a monthly paycheck and benefits. I think the decision to enlist or join the reserves is not one that should be taken lightly, and I hope that people learn at least that much from the current conflict. 

Posted by Janelle

At 10/20/2004 01:35:00 PM,

Hmmm...I don't know anything about the recruitment methods of the military, besides the TV ads, and what the do or do not emphasize, so I can't respond very well to the question. But, it'd be interesting to know.

Now, if kids have a glorified image of military life, and I'm not sure they do, I don't think it's the military's fault. Lay it on the shoulders of the media. It'd be interesting to study how our idea of war has changed, say in the last 80 years, now that we can see it happen, both fictionally and, thanks to cnn etc., non-fictionally.  

Posted by Chris




<< Home