Military service is one of the most respectable careers that a large number of young people who are overwhelmed by their undying craving to become Marine. This ambitious lot is motivated to gain entry into the armed forces so as to serve in the military by the high social stature of Marines in the civil society as well as the greatest civilian opportunities that open their doors to the active duty soldiers. While the duty of the military to defend the country against any foreign attack remains crucial to all sovereign states of the world and the forces offers lucrative employment opportunities to citizens in the capacity of soldiers, military’s lack of freedom and mindless service works to the detriment of officers because it not only destroys families but also relapses an individual’s cognitive ability for the much needed critical thinking.
It is quite imperative to note that military service seems quite fulfilling to the majority of citizens in all parts of the world as opposed to any other career or professional endeavor. This tendency is attributed to the mere notion that military training is the only reliable standard for determining the degree of toughness and an individual’s tenacity to overcome hardship world over. As revealed in the Marines’ conversation, “a young man wanting to measure himself against the tradition of maximum endurance would not be disappointed. “Boot camp’s still tough as hell,” (631). In this perspective, the main drive into the military service is for men and women to prove their worth and the intrinsic elation that comes with the notion of perceived toughness.
Besides the euphoria of becoming a soldier, the military service largely works to the detriment of its active service officers in a number of ways. As depicted in the two chronicles, the cons of serving in the military outweigh corresponding pros by far. Most importantly, the military has proven over and over again that staff development is not one its top agenda like other professions do. Instead of financing higher education for its staff, the military deem it fit to subject its staff to the torturous physical training for its own sinister betterments. There were no promises of college funds, “signing bonuses” or great “civilian opportunities” later on in life. Instead, the Marines promised that if John joined the Corps, he would find standards that had not been lowered (631).
Even though the military requires energetic personnel with exceeding quantity of physical strength, the dire need for college education among the marines should not overridden as is the tradition in the military service. The day-by-day account of boot-camp training activities included drill matching; classes in subjects like Tactical Weapons of Opportunity and physical training- miles of running, thousands of repetitions of exercises, pugil stick fighting and endless humps (631). These rigorous trainings leave no room for the intellectual development of marines to which critical thinking and analytical skills form part and parcel.
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Furthermore, the kind of training and organizational cultures inculcated at the military bases amount to gross intellectual assault to the critical thinking and sound judgment in the marines. All they know of war is from Dolby-deafening action movies. “Mainly these kids rage in the fist of the hormonal, the impulsive, and the puppy-playful…and vague dreams of executive glory- great soldier material” (632). This type of an unhealthy culture coupled with an imminent brain washing perpetuated by the top brass within the military is the root cause of marines’ failure to think critically. Needless to say, the military trains its soldiers to rely solely on orders from commander so as to accomplish their daily tasks.
Subjective nature of the military training culminates into an outright inexperience and inability of its soldiers to make quick decision during the time of emergencies. This was evident in the latest scenario where captured Americans from a downed helicopter squat here on camera and you see their inexperience in how they’re big-eyed scared as kids at their first horror flick. Boys hang their heads with a shame almost sexual. They are blaming themselves for crashing, guilty at how sand can spoil the rotor blades of our most costly chopper (607).
Additionally, the military is doing injustice to the families from where commanders gladly recruit kids for training. It was a kid enlisted, against his will, to do the heavy lifting for a nation launched on a mission botched from the start (606). As much as the military enjoys the services of the young boys, their families are subjected to untold sufferings over their long time absence since they spend much of their time undertaking various military operations. I know these trapped boys from the inside. In the event soldiers are captured by the enemies and their family members get the winds of such captivity back at home, sorrow takes grip of them until such a time when they will be reunited with their loved ones. “Some of the captives will come home, back to their folks ghetto stoops or trailers or tract houses strung with computer-generated welcomes” (608).
In conclusion, although the duty of the military to defend the country against any foreign attack remains crucial to all sovereign states of the world and the forces offers lucrative employment opportunities to citizens in the capacity of soldiers, military’s lack of freedom and mindless service works to the detriment of officers because it not only destroys families but also relapses an individual’s cognitive ability for the much needed critical thinking.
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