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Old 04-26-2002, 01:39 PM   #1
Steiner
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Question

People in the MUD community, especially in one like this, are usually pretty smart, but even more-so opinionated. So I say, why not bring up issues that kind of anger us or annoy us, or disturb us and see how everyone else feels about it?

About a year ago, I was almost confident I wanted to join the US Army, and eventually become a Special Forces Operative. Hell, it looked like a lot of fun, all that glory and big expensive weaponry. Unfortunately I grew up a lot in a year, and realized that there is very little glory in war, and even more so when you're actually killing people.... all the time.

I see these commercials on TV, and these slogans like "Go Navy" or "Start your life in the right direction." The problem is, they make it look like a game. Wow, you get to be a navy seal... drive a raft.. be SUPER ELITE. Even though there is a good chance you will never even SEE that area of service, and even if you do, a good chance you might die  Hey, dieing for your country is what we gotta do though. All these people that say "War doesn't accomplish anything" need to speak with some jews that were rescued by Allied Forces out of concentration camps during WW2. Point is though, there is little honor in dieing when you panicked and ran away. The US Military needs to realize, when you recruit "Communications Specialists" that want to have "fun" fighting a "good war" that there's going to be a definite break-down in the ranks. They need to realize that the target of their recruitment doesn't need to be a college graduate that has the highest GPA... it needs to be that of a soldier. A soldier that accepts the risks and knows he is fighting for his country, and not for a $10,000 scholarship. Like one recruiter told me when I told him I didn't care about the money, "None of that matters if you don't have freedom anyways."

Army of One? Yeah... shipped to Korea to patrol a heavily mined sector of a hotzone between the two countries. "Get out there son, you ARE our army of one. Go find them landmines." No sorry guys, no BS, let's just get some damned good soliders that'll get the job done.
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Old 04-26-2002, 04:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by
Steiner says:
They need to realize that the target of their recruitment doesn't need to be a college graduate that has the highest GPA... it needs to be that of a soldier.
Well, first off you have misidentified the target of the ads.  The military is targeting college drop-outs not college grads.  When someone has a degree, they would join the military as an officer.  They military has less openings for officers than they do applicants.  Why is the military after college drop-outs?  Because the enlisted jobs that need to be filled require increasingly higher skills and training.  

Second, you also seem to be saying that a college graduate would not make a good soldier.  Or at least that really smart people would not make a good soldiers?  I mean no offense by this, but how can you know what makes a good "soldier" without having been in the military?

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A soldier that accepts the risks and knows he is fighting for his country, and not for a $10,000 scholarship.
Now you are saying a soldier can't have any care for money?  Only a sacrificial love of his or her country?  Give me a break.  Soldiers are people, too.  You make a lot of sacrfices when you join the military.  Try being away from your wife for 6 months.  Try missing the birth of your children.  A measly $10,000 scholarship is the least they can do.  Personally, I'm using my GI Bill right now and feeling like I earned every penny.

As for the ads being misleading, they are just showing the best side of themselves like any other advertisement would.  People aren't going to join the Navy from ads of people swabbing the deck.  

- Teelf
Former Data Systems Technician in the U.S. Navy 1996-2002
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Old 04-26-2002, 06:08 PM   #3
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The military is targeting college drop-outs not college grads.  When someone has a degree, they would join the military as an officer.
Unfortunately the way I see it, they're targetting neither.  I was mainly talking from a High-School standpoint, where they come to the school, show commercials in the school, have posters, ect.
Who they try to appeal to are the narrow-minded kids that don't have a plan for a future. Oddly enough, they go all the way to other end of the scale and try to get people that score "high" on tests like the ASVAB. Not average graded people like me that DO know they have goals later in life. (Funniest part is I have an IQ of 140 and scored near perfect on a test-asvab.)

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Or at least that really smart people would not make a good soldiers?  I mean no offense by this, but how can you know what makes a good "soldier" without having been in the military?
You're right, I might be a little bit ignorant and narrow-sighted because of my own lack of service. However, when I did speak with an Army recruiter at the station and did some personal fitness training with them, I met the CO of that post. He was a graduate from West Point, O-3, expecting promotion soon. Never seen a day of action in his life, or anything close to it. Qualified in weapons, but didn't do any extra training. On the other hand, my actual recruiter was an E-5 Sgt. that had been in Bosnia and several other operations down there. He almost lost his hand in combat. I might not have been in Vietnam or WW2, but I DO know, from simple logic, that I would prefer to have the Sgt. who might not be a West Point grade, fighting by my side, rather than the Captain who might be quite a bit smarter, but has never seen any combat experience whatsoever. Who makes a better leader? The Veteran or the Genius? I dont know...

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Now you are saying a soldier can't have any care for money?  Only a sacrificial love of his or her country?  Give me a break.
Alright stop right there. When I recieved 5 pamphlets on Army benefits and 1 on the actual job, that's when I formed this opinion. You are risking your life, you're right, you deserve all you can get. However, when you look at the military as a
"career" you're placing it in a class along with a doctor or an engineer, or even a car salesman. When you're trying to stay alive day to day, everyone is dieing around you, and you personally don't know what is going to happen next, it's not a career, it's what you've got to do. Obviously, these days, there is a good chance you'll never see harsh conditions or combat. But what if you do? You were recruited into the military to get money to goto college! This is a career where you'll learn a trade for the rest of your life! But it looked so much fun in the commercials!

The Issue I am brining up isn't the fact that soldiers dont deserve benefits, but that if they join to make a career out of it and to go through college or whatever the case might be, they need to realize they are making a great sacrifice not only in time, but also in life.
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Old 04-26-2002, 09:41 PM   #4
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Who they try to appeal to are the narrow-minded kids that don't have a plan for a future.
Of course they try to appeal to kids that don't have a plan for the future.  Are you saying they should try and persuade some kid who knows he wants to be an engineer into enlisting?

Wading through the rest of your post I found your major point to be that many kids join the military for reasons such as money for college without realizing they are putting themselves in harms way.  

I agree with you on this.  

However you also assume that all the glitz and glory of the ads on TV don't wear off after you join.  You seem to think that many military people would be in for a rude awakening if they actually saw any action.  

This I very much disagree with.  

Once you go through boot camp and training and you actually get to your first duty station, from then on, all you do is train.  You train non-stop.  On my ship, I can not count the number of simulated missile hits and mine hits we have taken.  Or how many times we simulated shooting down incoming missile and planes.  While not the same as a screaming bullet by your head, you start to get the point that this job is for real and there is a reason for what you are doing.  And this training is taken very seriously.  There is no career-minded officer that doesn't take it seriously, because he or she wouldn't have a career.  And this training works.  

For evidence I point to the USS Cole.  Remember the ship that had the zodiak full of explosives rammed into its side?  I read several reports about that incident.  Far from a "break-down in the ranks" nearly every sailor said the same thing, "My training took over."  It took over and they saved several lives as well as the ship from sinking.

So while some soldiers don't realize exactly what they are getting into when then sign on the dotted line, they all learn soon enough.  And those that don't like it get out.
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Old 04-27-2002, 02:04 AM   #5
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Cool

The main issue I am trying to address in this topic is the fact I don't think it's right they recruit in schools and show commercials on TV that appeal to people of my age.

It's one thing to recruit people that are able-bodied, intellegent, and dedicated. People that want to serve their country and of course get compensation, or support their families. It's completely different when you target an audience that is attracted by the Disney Land glory of what they portray as war, and the many benefits they can get, rather than what the situation is really going to be and what they really need to be in the armed forces for.

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So while some soldiers don't realize exactly what they are getting into when then sign on the dotted line, they all learn soon enough.  And those that don't like it get out.
"Getting Out" isn't always the easiest thing to do in the military when you're bound by contract, and even if you do, you've lost valuble time in your life. Do you really want someone that wants to leave the armed services watching your back?

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Once you go through boot camp and training and you actually get to your first duty station, from then on, all you do is train.
Did your training sessions involve body parts flying through the air as you are hit by several explosions? Did you sit in the middle of the ocean for a week awaiting rescue? Do they deal with death at all besides "here is a body bag, he was a good man.?"
Nothing can prepare you for what will be out there. Someone who wanted to be a technical engineer IS going to get a rude awakening when he's no longer fixing radar on the boat, but fighting for his life. Then the bonuses, the pep talks, the benefits.. they all don't matter. He's then going to realize this wasn't for him, his life isn't worth that stuff. He's going to panic.. most people would. But take the person they SHOULD have recruited, who wasn't quite as smart... but wanted to be in the navy to be a someone, and to serve his country. During these times he's going to remember his committment to the service, not to the benefits or the name, but to his country.
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Old 04-27-2002, 11:48 AM   #6
Neranz Laverani
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8 pm-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Steiner @ April 26 2002,4[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]8 pm)]Who they try to appeal to are the narrow-minded kids that don't have a plan for a future. Oddly enough, they go all the way to other end of the scale and try to get people that score "high" on tests like the ASVAB. Not average graded people like me that DO know they have goals later in life. (Funniest part is I have an IQ of 140 and scored near perfect on a test-asvab.)
This is an incorrect statement. They work harder to recruit the people with higher ASVAB scores because those positions are harder to fill. They do recruit the people with no plans too. Otherwise they wouldn't be in the services, yet they are. Do any other corporations that you know work as hard to recruit the low level works as they do to recruit the management levels? Don't they offer them incentives to sweeten the pot because those positions are harder to fill? Corporations offer benefits to compete with other corporations. The military has to compete with corporations too.

All that aside, who are you to question who the military recruits. They have been in existance for hundrends of years, they know exactly who they need to recruit for what purposes. How many years have you been in existance? How many of those have been spent building a military force?

8 pm-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Steiner @ April 26 2002,4[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]8 pm)]
Did your training sessions involve body parts flying through the air as you are hit by several explosions? Did you sit in the middle of the ocean for a week awaiting rescue?

Do they deal with death at all besides "here is a body bag, he was a good man.?"
Training is physically and pscyhologically intensive. No they do not through body parts at you, but the fact that your life and the lifes of others could depend on your action is thrown at you. All soldiers do the same initial training, whether they are to be an infantryman or a technician. The purpose of that training is threefold.

First, you perform drills to react to emergencies over and over again so that if the emergency does arrive you will be able to perform the action by rote. This is how training helped the solders even though they had not had bodies thrown at them.

The second purpose is to get you to act as a team, and to develop loyalty to your team. Working as a team is important because team members have to rely on each other and help each other. It increases their chances of survival.

Lastly, basic training prepares all soldiers for combat, no matter what their job is to be. It teaches them to fire weapons, to treat wounds, and a host of other combat related training. Soldiers are trained to deal with combat and death to the best ability that can be done short of actual experience.

Please desist in your uninformed, melodrama about training in the military. Someone who has not been through it, really cannot understand or even come close to understanding what it is like. From your disparaging remarks, it seems like you think you can, but you really cannot. If you wish to discuss the subject I suggest you join a force and see what the training is like.

Neranz Laverani
Former Arabic Linguist in the U.S. Army, 1987 - 1991
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Old 04-27-2002, 01:17 PM   #7
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by
All that aside, who are you to question who the military recruits.  They have been in existance for hundrends of years, they know exactly who they need to recruit for what purposes.  How many years have you been in existance?  How many of those have been spent building a military force?
Who am I? I'm an American. Don't tell me I'm "uniformed" after I've studied various historical aspects of U.S. Military involvement. Who are YOU to restrict my freedom of speech?Can I not question their methods of induction to the military service? I think a lot about joining the service, and then I meet people like you that look down on civilians like they know nothing about the life of a soldier.

The fact is, I'm sure you would love the fact that most teenagers today don't care about what's going on in the world. I bet you love it when there is a report on the news and everyone is so shocked that we raided some 3rd world country, even though OPs like that go down every day and have been for a while, and you just nod your head and say "Yep, thats our boys."

Unfortunately for people like you, not only do I know about what's going on in the world and how our military operates, but I also question their standards when I see them so desperately trying to recruit a 4'3 105 Lbs. straight A engineering student that could care less about the military.

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Please desist in your uninformed, melodrama about training in the military.  Someone who has not been through it, really cannot understand or even come close to understanding what it is like.
I suppose the many veterans and currently enlisted men in the military must be somewhat uniformed also, since a lot of the history I speak of is their account. I have spoken with several in person, so I do know just a tad bit about real life in the military and the training they must hold up to.

I'm a pretty down-to-earth person, and I rely not on what some Army Recuiter says, or what some statistic states that is correct. I hear my genius friends talk how they had a perfect score on the ASVAB, and how all 4 branches will not leave them alone no matter what they do. Instead of targetting an audience that will be eager to join, they target the audience that doesn't care, or has nothing better to do.

Am I saying the US Military is bad? No. Do I think it's wrong to send kids to their deaths? No. I am actually Pro-Military, it's just something that has to be done in today's world. You talk about melodrama? What about these glorious commercials showing how amazing your life will be in the military (except when you get blown to bits). Come on, just make it a little more serious and look for people that are not only smart, but want to be dedicated to the military, not to a "career." Stop relating this issue to that of a regular business. When lives and honor are at stake, it's not quite the same as going to a technical school to get a programming degree.
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Old 04-27-2002, 04:26 PM   #8
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Steiner,

I'm going to ignore your growing list of inaccuracies and try and discuss what you said was your main point.

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The main issue I am trying to address in this topic is the fact I don't think it's right they recruit in schools and show commercials on TV that appeal to people of my age.
Your age being high school age?  

Why isn't it right to recruit in schools?  Because these kids are too dumb to know that military life could be dangerous?  Because one day they might get into some serious stuff and **** their pants and run?

Let's start with the kids who don't realize military life could be dangerous.  Would you like some sort of disclaimer on all the ads?  This type of thinking is why McDonald's has to put Caution: Hot! all over their coffe cups.  No one ever said it wasn't dangerous.  No one is hiding that fact.  Any one who wants to join is free to do all the research they want before they sign on that line.  

And these dumb kids are in for some sort of rude awakening which will cause a "break-down" in the ranks?  History proves you wrong on this one.  This didn't happen on the USS Cole.  This didn't happen on the USS Stark.  This didn't happen at Pearl Harbor.  What proof do you cite?

What kind of person should the military be after?
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A soldier that accepts the risks and knows he is fighting for his country, and not for a $10,000 scholarship.
Sure, that would be great.  And when you add up all of those types of people we might be able to defend Rhode Island.  The military doesn't even need to recruit these types of people.  They join on their own.  

You are an idealist Steiner.  It would be great if every soldier fought for love of their country and nothing else.  It would be great if the postman delivered the mail for the love of his country.  It would be great if the janitor cleaned the toilets for the love of his country.  

My point is there aren't enough ideal soldiers to fill the neccessary jobs.  Therefore the military must recruit.  And they recruit in the places they know they will get people.  It is a necessity.  If you don't like it, consider putting up with it as a little sacrifice for your country.    
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Old 04-27-2002, 05:59 PM   #9
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Old 04-27-2002, 06:48 PM   #10
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They should take all weapon awway from the US military and give them to more responsible people who do NOT have a higher ammount of friendly kills then accomplished objectives.
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Old 04-27-2002, 10:51 PM   #11
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Exclamation

What we've come to now is pretty much why I started this topic, and why I will in the future. I didn't start it to insult the US Military, or even get them to change their ways. I posted to get the opinions from every aspect of the subject.

I expected that some military buffs would come on here and tell me about their service and defend the military (even though I didn't really attack it.) I gave you my take as a 17 year-old teenager sitting in a classroom that deals with the recruiters and sees the different programs and tactics they use, just as you gave me your takes on what it's like in the actual service and how they deal with the personnel there. That's what it was all about.

Neranz Laverani took it personally, which I can't blame him. If I told my opinion to my Humanities teacher (who was a linguist in Vietnam and reminds us of that every day) he would probobally throw a blunt object at my head. This is a free area to discuss what you know from your perspective, however.

This is probobally going to be my final post on this topic, we've pretty much kicked the goat in every aspect.
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Old 04-28-2002, 01:02 AM   #12
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Even though you say you didn't really attack the military, I saw several parts where you questioned the policies of the military, and also went so far as to say some veterans are uninformed. To me that sounds like an attack.

That behind, you can question how the military operates until you are blue in the face, but arguing something of which you haven't had personal life experience doesn't work. About the recruitment process, yes it seems strange, but we have alot of people who aren't supra-intelligent who run to us on their own. They are a mixture, some higher scoring some lower. The same goes with recruitment not all that are recruited or sought out are super intelligent. In fact you are seeing only what goes on when they come to a place where there is a collective body of students. Go visit the recruitment office and go out with one of them, alot of them walk the mall or stores and talk to people. Get numbers and call, without regards to 4.0 gpa. I know, I DID it.

I'd like to say though that about 80% are ones who score between 80 and 110 on their asvab tests. Probably 60% of those are under 100. Now we have so many people to fill the lower level jobs, but less to fill the higher technical jobs.

The army is here to serve a purpose. That of defending the country. That does not just apply to those on the front lines, as you depict and seem to think happens to all soldiers. That applies as well to those that set up communications sattellites, do network engineering (myself), take care of soldier's pay, maintain computers, etc.. All are an integral part of a whole army, yet single entities. Each person is an integral part of the whole army, yet a single entity. Do we want someone who scored about 70 engineering a communications or computer network that helps us fight the enemy? How would that benefit the army?

Now your army of one belief. I understand that, I am in the military and it confused me too. But you are looking at it the wrong way. Not talking about YOU as an army by YOURSELF, it's there to recognize you as an individual as a link in the ONE chain. We are one army, one mission, one set of values.. an army of ONE.. united.

Here is the public relations site for the army of one campaign.
Army of One - Public Relations - Adobe Acrobat (www.dtic.mil)

It explains what they mean, hope that helps. Realize this though, the army is also looking for people who show potential and dedication, why train someone for a high-tech skill that is going to leave in a few years anyway. Retention is a high priority as well as job skill.

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Old 04-28-2002, 04:09 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (kaylus1 @ April 28 2002,12[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]2 am)]I'd like to say though that about 80% are ones who score between 80 and 110 on their asvab tests.  Probably 60% of those are under 100. Now we have so many people to fill the lower level jobs, but less to fill the higher technical jobs.
110? I went to meps last august and they said the highest someone could score was a 99. I scored a 79 on mine  
Man it was a pain too, blue background with white text, nearly gave me a headache about an hour into the test. And the speed coding part wasnt fun either.

I didnt ask what MOS I could get into with that score though, I just pretty much want to be infantry for two years, then try for recon.
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Old 04-28-2002, 12:54 PM   #14
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Steiner,

Your opinion is welcome.  I just feel it's based on some incorrect facts and assumptions.  No, I don't believe you attacked the military.  Although you did manage to insult nearly every person in the military.  Take a step back and reread your first post.  I don't believe it was intentional, but you need to be more careful if you don't intend offense.

I hope you do end up joining the military.  I think almost everyone would benefit from a couple years of service   .

Good luck with your MUD.  I hope you dig up some more military related matter to discuss.

SyNo,

Yes the AFQT score, the total score, maximum is 99.  However some section scores max at 110.  Recruiters are often more interested in these section scores because they indicate qualifications for certain jobs.
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Old 05-01-2002, 10:39 PM   #15
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[quote]110? I went to meps last august and they said the highest someone could score was a 99. I scored a 79 on mine
Man it was a pain too, blue background with white text, nearly gave me a headache about an hour into the test. And the speed coding part wasnt fun either[/QOUTE]

Ah sorry for the miscommunication there, I didn't realize what I was saying. Yes as was pointed out in Teelf's wonderful post (heh! It was! the AFQT Score does max 99. But there are Asvab line scores as well, and five categorical for that I think. I need to look at my ERB again. The scores in those are rated differently i'd assume. I'm not sure on the seperation, although my main score (gt) was 124, while my differing categories some were higher and some lower (the part governing my mechanic skills was 110 Oddly though it's higher than half the people in the motor pool.. muahahaha)

Sorry for the confusion! I always confuse the two, "YOU ONLY GOT 85!?" Then they look all hurt and say, "My recruiter told me it was good...". When it actually is, but the ASVAB (the higher ones) line scores help determine where you would best fit in the military. Hope that clears it up more.

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