Many companies have job qualifications that require high standards, but few as high as the military. For example the seven core army values are:
- Loyalty – to bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Army, your unit, and other soldiers
- Duty – to fulfill your obligations as part of a team
- Respect – to treat people as they should be treated, while expecting others to do the same
- Flawless Service – to put the welfare of the nation, the U.S. Army, and your subordinates before your own
- Honor – to live up to U.S. Army values as a matter of daily living
- Integrity – do what is right, legally and morally
- Personal Courage – to face danger, fear, or adversity, whether physical or moral
Just reading such a list can inspire an easily influenced youth to want to dedicate his or her life to the elevated values of the Military Corps. Unfortunately, these seven high standards are a one-way street. Though military men and women are expected to treat people with the respect they should receive, in reality, they shouldn’t expect the core to treat them the same, because it won’t.
The military recruiting offices are actually huge marketing and advertising firms run by slick, fast-talking salesmen. They are given a list of incentives to entice the young, ambitious, or those desperate for a job or formal education, which is backed by taxpayers’ money. They let potential recruits have both barrels when they take aim at their desires to have a promising career, build personal character, and even achieve some well-deserved hero worship from friends, family, and countrymen.
What they don’t reveal is the fact that these men and women are signing their personal rights and safety away. Once their signature graces the dotted line, they literally belong, mind, body, and soul to the federal government. Unlike any other occupation for civilians, which requires full disclosure of the risks involved with the work, the military doesn’t have to honestly admit to anything that may seem negative.
The truth that military service leads to a high number of divorces, sexual assaults, suicides, post traumatic stress, extreme depression, bodily injuries resulting in physical and mental disabilities, along with the fact that they can experiment on soldiers freely is never mentioned. A recruiter’s pep talk never includes the percentages of those who become victims of war, guinea pigs for experimental medicines, chemicals, and weapons, or combat deaths. They also fail to let those interested in enlisting know that they will be bound by contract to accept any sudden changes in pay, status, allowances, and benefits, including VA benefits for career military personnel who become totally disabled.
Can you think of any other occupation that has the freedom to leave out such dire potential problems and risks, change the benefits promised and earned at a moment’s whim, and experiment on its employees with hazardous materials and drugs?
The Tampa Bay Youth, as well as those intrigued by the military service throughout the nation need to open their eyes and be aware of the hazards that are involved when signing up for the Armed Forces. It is not just a rugged workout that will get you into shape. It is not your ticket to travel the world in safety and style. It is not a career filled with the glory of an undefeated hero. It isn’t even a stable financial future for those who follow through until the end.
It is simply the surrendering of your human rights as an individual. You will learn to fall in line, follow orders without thinking of the moral consequences, and allow an extreme brainwashing to take control of your mind until your natural intuition and standard ethical behavior and beliefs become distorted, or you psychologically reject the negative messages ingrained on your person until they make you physically ill.
Due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, people are starting to take notice of the mistreatment of our military personnel. Some organizations are fighting to acquire equal human rights among recruits, full disclosure to the innocent before signing up, justice for the abused, and maintaining the benefits of those who have become disabled due to their extremely dangerous service for our country. It’s about time.
Perhaps if everyone becomes more aware and refuses to accept this mistreatment as standard procedure, we can make the necessary changes, and the healing can begin.