Boyo Jim, as per your request.

Jim, I don’t want to turn this into a discussion that has been had more than enough times on these boards, I was just pointing out that your comment, in the context of that other thread was unneccesary and inappropriate. Even if you wanted to voice your opinion that the military idea that someone offered might not be the best option for the kid, you certainly didn’t have to characterize it the way you did:

And your defense of it was even more offensive:

So, if I understand you correctly, any parent who encourages his or her kid to go into the military now, or since what, the Iraq war, is insane. How about the actual young men and women who decide to go over there, are they insane, too? Since we have an all-volunteer military, are all it’s members who join—as you say, “today”, or since the war started—insane?

I pointed out to you that joining the military does not equal going to Iraq. And going to Iraq does not equal dying. You must be aware of this, yet your hatred for Bush (who I have NO love for) spreads to the war. Fine. But then you color the fine young men and women who serve their country—some of which serve in Iraq—as insane. Is that really how you feel? And do you think that that other thread was an appropriate place for you to piss on them the way you did? I don’t.

That was my only point.

How about if the kid dies like the other kid mentioned in the thread, in the course of a robbery? Is that okay? Or he ends up living a life in and out of jail, and dies due to some violence in that life, is that okay? And you missed the big point bucko, that that thread was not the place to offer your shitty feelings about the war. The woman is trying to figure out what to do with her son, someone made the suggestion that she might want to consider the military—as hundreds of thousands of people do—to set the kid right. This, too, is not a new notion. Boyo Jim disagreed with that idea, which is fair, but then had to piss at the same time. My commentary was on that pissing. And then you come in excrete the same piss. At this point in the thread it was doubly uncalled for. Your characterization of our young people in the military is childish, ignorant and highly insulting to them. So on behalf of all of them, Go Fuck Yourself with a rusty bayonette. Then tak your piss that you like to spread around and rinse your eyes out with it.

When I started to read this thread, all I could think of was “That’s some catch that catch 22.”

:::golf clap:::
Excellent post. I agree.

Clearly those are true in the literal sense, but what about the likelihood of either scenarios? Most US soldiers don’t die in Iraq, but what about most enlistees these days? Aren’t they more than likely going to be deployed?

I’m not anti-military, but I will say that I’m not entirely down with the military = rehab attitude. Military training is supposed to turn decent people into good soldiers and sailors. I’m not sure it’s meant to turn dysfunctional people into decent people.

We have about 1.4 million active military forces right now. There are, I think, about 130,000 in Iraq. Call it 10%. Now it could very well be that a greater percentage of enlistees than that would be deployed to Iraq. It could be less, particularly if there is a draw down of troops as Patreus has hinted at. Also, as far as I understand, the branch of service one enters would change the odds considerably, the Army being the branch with the greatest odds.

I did want to answer you, but I’d like to say repeat that my main point of contention with Boyo Jim’s post was just that it was out of place in that thread. If it was in a thread about Iraq or war or recruitment, I most likely wouldn’t have said anything. Stuff like that gets said so often around here that it hardly qualifies as noteworthy.

I pretty much agree with the latter part of your post. But there have been many “dysfunctional” people who just needed a more structured environment with firmer lines drawn. That sounds like a possibility for the young man mentioned in that other thread.

I do appreciate the fact that you chose to respond to me politely, even though this is the Pit.

The military isn’t rehab. You’re right there. But there are a lot of people who do excell in the structured environment of the military that couldn’t get their acts together before their service time. There’s a lot of possible reasons for that, but it’s something I saw several times while I was in.

Given my own history, I’m more leery than most of suggesting military service for someone with mental health problems - my own service hit a few existing fractures in my personality and did a lot to leave me where I am, now. Having said that, I’m also going to say that the time in my life I was most successful and productive was while I was in the Military. And I was pretty FUBARed even before I got into the service.

Military service can work for some individuals to get them onto a productive path. But it’s not a one-size fits all solution.

For the OP, I just want to say, “Well said.”

I’ve also seen people fuck up big and bad the moment the pressure’s off. Life in the military is somewhat different, obviously, than civilian life, and one thing missing is financial responsibility - especially for junior ranks. All of the money I was paid was spending money, because everything I ‘needed’ was paid for - food, rent, medical, etc… so I just blew the rest.

Another thing is, once basic / boot and hard training are over (AIT, Tech school, whatever) it’s largely down to personal discipline. I saw a lot of people fuck up, several to the point of Big Chicken Dinner (BCD, or Bad Conduct Discharge - the nickname is because they give you a big chicken dinner then kick your ass out) due to alchohol, drugs, etc…

All this just to second the feeling - it ain’t for everyone, and won’t fix everyone’s problems, and it sure ain’t therapy.

To the folks who equate Military = Death in Iraq clearly don’t know what they are talking about. Join the Army or Marines, you’ll do a tour in Iraq almost regardless, but that don’t mean you’ll automatically be out on the permiter fighting off insurgent attacks and dodging IEDs. There are lots and lots of roles in the Army and Marines that wouldn’t involve direct combat. And join the Air Force or Navy and you’d never see the ground in Iraq or anywhere else unless you volunteered for special forces or SeaBees.

I just saw this, and am on my way out the door to work. I will reply in more detail later. BTW, I did suggest another thread, but wasn’t thinking that it would be in the Pit. Oh, well…

I seemed like the appropriate forum. Mostly I wanted to make the point about the appropriateness of your post in that particular thread. As you can see, I didn’t really “Pit” you.

I’m glad I stumbled in on this pitting as I was the one who gave the “batshit insane” advice. Thanks, magellan01, for starting it. The OP was very well written.

I’m going to give BoyoJim a chance to explain himself before I jump to conclusions. I will point out that I suggested USAF or USN and that I specifically said that he could get a desk job and stay out of the desert. Unless pushing papers somehow equates to going in the meat grinder…

No, I don’t think military=rehab. What I do think is that the kid is a spoiled brat with entitlement issues and could use a little discipline. Maybe he would excell in the military, maybe he would fail horribly. Either way, Foxy gets him out of the house. I was more concerned for her well being than his.

Can you do that? I thought one had no choice whether they go into combat or not.

I’d rethink sending someone who’s that willing to steal into the Navy. My father was a corpsman (medic) during his time and he had to treat more than a few guys who were known to be thieves who had habitual problems going down ladders safely. Similarly I knew at least one guy aboard my ship who was found to be stealing and got pushed down a ladder himself.*

Vigilante “justice” does happen in the Navy, no matter how much people prefer it wouldn’t. And it can get pretty harsh.

Seriously, someone who’d steal the amounts from his mother that were reported in that thread, before I got too disgusted to keep reading, is someone I’d not want to see in my berthing complex. Nor in the next complex over, either.

Of course, if that’s the only way that Foxy would allow her son to be pushed out, it may still be worth it for her.

*In the Navy we have different names for everything: walls are bulkheads, the toilet is a head, and stairs are ladders.

When I enlisted to the Navy, in 1989, it was common for the Navy recruiters to be able to offer a contract for a specific rate or specialization. Provided one can get into a technical rating, I believe that there’s zero chance of being sent to the sandbox. Sonar Techs, Nucs, or Electronic Warfare Techs would all seem to me to be a bit of a square wheel in the sandbox.

Of course all those rates require longer than four year enlistments, and are pretty technically challenging.

It seems like it’s mostly new recruits going over, but it really depends on what MOS you go in for.
If you pick infantry you are more likely to go.
Also you would be suprised at how many volunteer to go. Some do volunteer because they either feel a sense of duty or have gone so that another could stay home with wife/kids etc.
I don’t feel that it’s a cure all for trouble people. I really don’t care for the military much and I’ve been a military wife for 13 years. He was in before we met and I got hooked on him while he was on downtime from Saudi before starting with the guard. One day he popped up with “I need to leave for two weeks” and I’ve been dealing with military life ever since. He was regular Army but now National Guard.
It has helped some people straighten out though. But I think it’s mostly those see the need to be disciplined and need structure. Not really those with drug/mental/crime issues.
My brother found direction in the Marines. (yeah, holidays are fun at my house between hubby and brother)

So, you’re labeling anyone who goes into the military or advises such as “batshit insane”, and you thought the thread would be in what forum?

Time to dispell some ignorance, sorry for the hijack (if it is one)…

You can’t choose whether to go into combat or not, but you do have some choice in your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) or ‘job’ to you civvies, but lots and lots of specialities are not combat jobs. Also, lots of Army jobs are safer than others in Iraq or other low-intensity warfare - if i was a M1 Abrams driver or gunner, I don’t think I’d worry about IEDs very much, f’r instance. There are lots of people in the Army who will never see combat, never leave the US.

All that said - if you join the Army, and try to pick a non-combat speciality, there’s no guarantee even in your “guaranteed” contract that the big green machine won’t screw you over and put you where they need you regardless of your personal choice, but they do try to honour their contracts as much as possible so it’s better than going in with a ‘do with me what you will’ contract like I did in '91 - that got interesting, especially when I bounced out of Pararescue and had to take whatever openings were available for my remaining 4 year contract. I got lucky, but I could have been a cook.

Join the Marines, especially now, and chances are you’ll go to Iraq at least once, and the saying ‘All Marines are Riflemen first and foremost’ is very true - no matter what ‘else’ you do in Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, you are a rifleman and there are no non-combatant roles in the USMC - even the non-combatant field medics are provided by the Navy. Desk jobs are also few and far between.

I was in the Air Force. I was a combatant per the Geneva Convention, but my job was Aircraft Armament Systems; unless it was total war, eyeball to eyeball with Mr Ivan and the nukes were flying, the closest I would have come to combat was going to be on some Air Force base miles and miles on the safe side of the front lines. Lots of jobs in the AF aren’t even that close - I could have worked on BUFFs and been based out of Diego Garcia or something and have the closest I’d ever come to hostile fire be drunken idiots firing off firecrackers on the 4th of July. As it was, I worked on F-16s so was close enough to unfriendly people to have some SCUDs tossed at me but that was about it. Zoomies in the war, except for pilots and a vanishingly small percentage in jobs like Pararescue or Combat Control (Air Force Special Forces types) are supporting / flying strike missions from places well outside of Iraq proper and in no direct risk of personal attack, or else on missions that have nothing to do with Iraq like space defence or training or even static defence in places like South Korea.

If I had joined the Navy, as OtakuLoki did, I would have stood even less chance of getting dumped in the sand box than in the Air Force - most ratings, except for Navy Seals and Air Crew would probably never even come close to the combat zone, and over 90% of the USN right now isn’t even in the ME area of the globe - we still have folks patrolling the ice caps, sailing oceans other than the Persian Gulf, and doing things on land far far away - I’d say less than 10% of the US Navy is even actively involved in the Gulf, much less than that on the ground. In the Navy, as in the Air Force, to get into the mud with the grunts took an additional effort of will beyond simply enlisting, and a whole hell of a lot of additional training to do so.

So in spite of “9-11 changing everything” and the US supposedly in the “fight of our lives against an enemy that will never surrender”, being a little bit aware of the situation on joining the military could make it that you coudl serve and get the benfits like the GI Bill but not automatically get sent to Iraq.

Others have already mentioned it, but by picking the right branch you can limit your chances of going into combat. While I was in the USAF, the only people I knew to spend time in the desert were SP’s (military cops). They did more guard duty than actual patrol and combat though.

You can pick the type of job you want to do before signing up for the service, provided you score high enough on your military aptitude test.

My 4yrs in the service were at a desk. I maintained encrytion equipment for classified messaging. My office was one of the safest places in the world to work. I was surrounded by solid steel walls and a vault door. Even if I were to do my job in Iraq, I would still be in no real danger.

This thread is really not about that though. I’m waiting for BoyoJim to explain his remarks.

Note - unless things have changed, the “non-combatant” medics the Navy supplies to the Marines are imbedded in the units on patrol. Not a good field to choose if your intent is to avoid duty in Iraq.

Also, guerilla troops have a nasty habit of shooting for medics, rather than respecting the medic marks.