Thursday, July 22, 2004

The draft, the elite, and the make-up of the military

Representative Rangel call your office, your jock was found over at the Harvard MBA program's computer room……

I am not sure what is more irritating when it comes to miseducated, 1960’s-hangover (Not you Rep. Rangle, you served your country very well in Korea, I just don’t agree with your draft idea, respectfully) people who always start their chant about “the need of a draft” and/or “war is only fought by the poor and uneducated” bla, bla, bla.

Well, for those who read Generation Kill by Rolling Stone embed Evan Wright, you should be familiar with Nathaniel Fick.

In an OP-ED piece on 20 AUG, he knocks it out of the ballpark. Here is a short clip:

“Many of my enlisted marines were college-educated; some had been to graduate school. All had volunteered once for the Marines, again for the infantry, and a third time for recon. They were proud to serve as part of an elite unit. Like most demanding professionals, they were their own harshest critics, intolerant of their peers whose performance fell short.

The dumb grunt is an anachronism. He has been replaced by the strategic corporal. Immense firepower and improved technology have pushed decision-making with national consequences down to individual enlisted men. Modern warfare requires that even the most junior infantryman master a wide array of technical and tactical skills.“

But read it all for yourself

I always find it funny when the Northeast elite, Ivy League know-it-alls (Nathaniel Fick not included) yap on about needing all of society to contribute to the military and share the butcher’s bill of combat. Their answer is always the draft, and a repeat of the lies they told about those that died defending their nation in Vietnam.

Doctor (PhD), heal thyself. From Bowdoin College to Byrn Mawr it is next to impossible to find anyone who wants to serve in the military, much less have a ROTC unit at their precious cocoon of an institution. They love to complain about how Southern, Western, right-wing, and “Red State” the military is, but don’t want themselves or any of their well protected classmates to serve for a few years.

The irony of it all is that the talk about "cultural difference" between the civilian and military culture is a direct result of this apartheid created at elite institutions. If they truly cared about changing the culture of the military, they would take the military in, join it, understand it. Instead they let the military be dominated by Southerners, Westerners and the middle class. The self-described "elite" that I come from is predominately from "Blue America". Due to the elite's self-imposed quarantine of the military, they should not be shocked that it is very much from "Red America".

People are often afraid of things they do not understand. The elite are afraid of the military because they do not have a cousin, uncle, brother, sister, mother, or father that has a military background. Too bad. It is bad for our country when the best and brightest do not feel the need to defend it. When someone in their family does serve, it opens their mind and makes them and their family better citizens.
Frank Schaeffer’ s outstanding book, Keeping Faith: A Father-Son Journey about Love and The United States Marine Corps

is an outstanding example of this. BUY AND READ THIS BOOK.

What is the answer? Well, the Solomon Amendment was a step in the right direction. Force them to open their minds. Force them to associate with people and ideas they don't understand. Both sides will be the better for it. The website
YaleROTC is a great resource to show that even in that rarified air, there are good people that want to do the right thing. If nothing else, a big advantage to getting more of the elite to VOLUNTEER to serve their country for a few years so I will have more people at work that understand Lacrosse and field hockey.

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