Thursday, August 16, 2007

On the Soldier

I am going to be away from the net for a while and will not be posting for a week or so.

I've got a lot I'd like to post, and quite a bit of bullshit has happened that some will find humorous, but I don't have time to rant right now.

What I would like to share tonight is something about the character of a Soldier. While we might be crass, crude, occasionally vulgar, and of course dangerous under the wrong conditions it is also true that you will have no better friends than those you make in the Service.

Every day something happens that makes me pause and reflect on how it would never happen in civilian life. American individualism is one of her greatest characteristics, but it does also create a lot of self-centered, self-important people. The military however is a different culture, one more concerned about the needs of the many over the needs of the few (or the one.)

I can't speak from experience of other Services, although I believe it is the same, but Soldiers look out for each other. "Don't screw your buddy", "help your buddy", "look out for your buddy" - I've heard this thousands of times from Drill Sergeants, Platoon Sergeants, First Sergeants, and Sergeants Major. And I have seen it from so many of my buddies - putting their needs, their time, their priorities behind taking care of each other. And you can read in the stories from the war. Soldiers have an incredible capacity to stand deprivation and suffering for each other. Certainly I am not saying it is perfect, but it is a noble character I have observed time and again - not in the institution, but in the men I serve with.

Mainly I post this becauseI have been observing it daily and it has been on my mind how different it is from the business world I have spent most of my professional career in. Just on my mind I guess.


Anonymous said...

We'll be missing you, Grump. Glad you're in such good company. Looks like you've found your calling.

Anonymous said...

Do you propose a draft? Should the 13th AMD be passed on?