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  1. #501
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Diplomats, businessmen, engineers, policemen - they all are burdened with secrets and are having mobile phones. The consequences of a leak can be huge, even lethal.

    The military isn't special for what exists in it, but (if at all) for what exists ONLY in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by former_0302 View Post
    Can people's personal lives make them professionally vulnerable? Why do we spend six figures on a background check before giving someone a TS/SCI clearance? Would you personally be comfortable with giving a clearance to a known philanderer? A known drug user? Etc?

    I also know some people who value their oath of enlistment/office more highly than any other commitment they ever made, but I'm struggling to think of any objective method by which you could differentiate them from anyone else who just didn't want to live up to the commitments they've made. The oath of office/enlistment is a lifetime commitment, in the same way that marriage vows are (or, at least, that's how they're designed). A lack of willingness to live up to one doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of willingness to live up to the other, but it does indicate a lack of good judgment on the part of that individual, and a possibility of being put into a vulnerable position by enemy intelligence services. I can't be the only Archer fan here, but the 'honeypot' is not just Sterling Archer's favorite intelligence operation; it does actually happen.

    That's only one example of the sort of things that people who aren't ethically sound can be drawn into. There are lots of examples of bribes, kickbacks, embezzlements, etc., involving military personnel. All of those are, IMO, moral issues.

    I suppose that while I understand your distinction between personal and professional ethics, I don't consider them separable as you apparently do.
    Frankly we have thousands of men and women with security clearances that are so called philanderers, and while their behavior disappoints me I realize I live and work amongst humans whose behavior is influenced by a number of factors. None of them happen to be saints, but most strive to be good.

    There may be a correlation between philandering and those who betray their country, but I suspect we make our nation more vulnerable to the honey trap when it is viewed as a career ending crime.

    On the other hand, there is no gray space for the following:

    There are lots of examples of bribes, kickbacks, embezzlements, etc., involving military personnel.
    These are professional ethics violations, and should be prosecuted, just as travel voucher fraud should be. There is no doubt that some philanders don't have a good bone in their body, and they'll be involved in professional ethic violations also, but it doesn't apply across the board. Unfortunately our system doesn't take the total person into consideration before it passes judgment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    I would suggest that Viscount Slim shares my view. On page 194 of his book Defeat into Victory, he says
    Slim shares your view?

    I nominate this for post of the year!

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    Quote Originally Posted by former_0302 View Post
    Why should the military reflect society?
    Exactly! As I asked a while ago should NASA reflect society demographics?

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Exactly! As I asked a while ago should NASA reflect society demographics?
    Because the military isn't a special or elite class of society. It's not independent from the political-economic system of the country. It has changed, and will change, as the country changes. It's really only a question of how painful the military will make it for itself.

    Insofar that military selectivity is based upon the merits necessary for effectively fighting and winning the nation's wars, policies and practices of exclusion and discrimination (i.e. phyical ability, mental or emotional health) are necessary. However, the military still retains vestiges of normative-driven discriminatory practices, among which is included the exclusion of women from combat positions. Another major one surrounds the treatment of PTSD and mental health. It's these norms, which are fiercely guarded but ultimately unrelated to the ability to fight and win wars, that undermine the military's capabilities to do so, and also causes unnecessary friction within the ranks and with the civilian population. And as I've pointed out earlier and elsewhere, the demographics of the country are changing rapidly. It's becoming more diverse, more urban, less religious, more social, and more independent. These are not easily translated into the current military culture.

    There is somewhere a minimally required base of knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an "effective" soldier/airman, et al in the modern combat environment. And I very much doubt it has anything to do with race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, sexual preference or that it approximates to that of the 19th and early 20th centuries, upon which the model of our military is based. And it's from structure that culture is produced, not vice versa, meaning that a change in military culture first requires a change in structure. And that begins with dismantling the unnecessary discriminatory practices and suppressing those destructive norms that obstruct's the military's ability to adapt to the current social-political environment of the country. The geographical and demographic patterns of enlistments indicate this will be difficult from within the military institution; which only means that it will be (painfully) imposed by the political leadership rather than pre-empted by forward thinking military leaders.

    So if it's the case that military knowledge, skill, or ability on the modern battlefield has nothing to do with any of the identities named above, then we have some serious questions to answer as to why there is significant social-economic divergence between the civilian population and the military. Even though the military is self-selective, which can be overcome through stronger institutional emphasis on education before and during service, self-selection is only part of the story; the other part of the story is how social structure filters a segment of society for military service through economic or social systems - why are African-Americans dispropotionately represented in the ranks? Is it because of "African-American" values (whatever they are) more closely align with the military's values than Asians and Hispanics (Paul Ryan might disagree...)?

    Senior leaders need to have this kind of dialogue amongst themselves, with the public, and with the political leadership to identify exactly where the points of friction are located.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-05-2014 at 11:06 PM.
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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Here's some stats for those complaining about "political correctness", equal opportunity programs, etc.

    This is from the 2012 military demographics report. Here are the numbers for the Army:

    O1 - O3: 19.73% female
    O4 - O6: 14.24% female
    O7 - O10: 6.56% female

    E1-E4: 14.05% female
    E5-E6: 11.62% female
    E7-E9: 10.86% female

    Women are not promoted at the same rate as men (or, more accurately, there is more attrition for females than males). It could be for a number of reasons - perhaps women are more likely to leave military service (why?). I think it probably has more to do with the opportunities available to women over the course of their career in addition to the normative values that attempt to regulate female behavior. What's interesting is that the attrition rate for females in the officer corps is higher than in the enlisted ranks. I wasn't expecting that. Perhaps its due to the smaller number of billets and the up or out system for officers, and since combat arms are closed to women, that translates into less key development positions for female officers.

    I haven't compared the Army to DoD average or to the other branches, but that can be forthcoming.

    EDIT: Here are the numbers for race (the data are not differentiated by race):

    O1-O3: 26.5% minority
    O4-O6: 23.4% minority
    O7-O10: 13.4%minority

    E1-E4 27.0% minority
    E5-E6 34.0% minority
    E7-E9 46.7% minority

    What are your theories? If all else is equal (i.e. if race or sex doesn't matter, only merit) why do we have such skewed data on female and minority pay grades?
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-05-2014 at 11:45 PM.
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    You are a reservist, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Because the military isn't a special or elite class of society. It's not independent from the political-economic system of the country. It has changed, and will change, as the country changes. It's really only a question of how painful the military will make it for itself.

    Insofar that military selectivity is based upon the merits necessary for effectively fighting and winning the nation's wars, policies and practices of exclusion and discrimination (i.e. phyical ability, mental or emotional health) are necessary. However, the military still retains vestiges of normative-driven discriminatory practices, among which is included the exclusion of women from combat positions. Another major one surrounds the treatment of PTSD and mental health. It's these norms, which are fiercely guarded but ultimately unrelated to the ability to fight and win wars, that undermine the military's capabilities to do so, and also causes unnecessary friction within the ranks and with the civilian population. And as I've pointed out earlier and elsewhere, the demographics of the country are changing rapidly. It's becoming more diverse, more urban, less religious, more social, and more independent. These are not easily translated into the current military culture.

    There is somewhere a minimally required base of knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an "effective" soldier/airman, et al in the modern combat environment. And I very much doubt it has anything to do with race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sex, sexual preference or that it approximates to that of the 19th and early 20th centuries, upon which the model of our military is based. And it's from structure that culture is produced, not vice versa, meaning that a change in military culture first requires a change in structure. And that begins with dismantling the unnecessary discriminatory practices and suppressing those destructive norms that obstruct's the military's ability to adapt to the current social-political environment of the country. The geographical and demographic patterns of enlistments indicate this will be difficult from within the military institution; which only means that it will be (painfully) imposed by the political leadership rather than pre-empted by forward thinking military leaders.

    So if it's the case that military knowledge, skill, or ability on the modern battlefield has nothing to do with any of the identities named above, then we have some serious questions to answer as to why there is significant social-economic divergence between the civilian population and the military. Even though the military is self-selective, which can be overcome through stronger institutional emphasis on education before and during service, self-selection is only part of the story; the other part of the story is how social structure filters a segment of society for military service through economic or social systems - why are African-Americans dispropotionately represented in the ranks? Is it because of "African-American" values (whatever they are) more closely align with the military's values than Asians and Hispanics (Paul Ryan might disagree...)?

    Senior leaders need to have this kind of dialogue amongst themselves, with the public, and with the political leadership to identify exactly where the points of friction are located.

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    Depends on the enemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by former_0302 View Post
    I think it's a bit more complicated than that.

    1) Everyone who carries a gun in combat is by necessity privy to a large amount of sensitive information.

    2) The miracle of satellite phones and satellite internet make the transfer of information from personnel engaged in combat operations to the outside world much easier than ever before.

    3) The combination of the above two circumstances makes soldiers in combat accessible to enemy intelligence in a way they never have been before.

    If you don't consider the above to be a big deal... we'll have to disagree. If you don't think that the above necessitates an interest in the moral character of the people you put into that role... again, we'll have to disagree.

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Slim shares your view?

    I nominate this for post of the year!
    Apologies for the hubris.
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Let's exclude the non-combat and non-reconnaissance troops, the air force and navy for a while.

    For line-of-sight-to-threat army troops the special requirement is military discipline.



    Other than that there are some slightly special requirements (firearms safety, explosives safety, secrecy, psychological stress), which have equivalents in select civilian jobs.
    Gefechtsdisziplin has only remote equivalents in civilian jobs, such as some professional divers (doing welding works underwater in teams, for example), some firefighters (I wouldn't add police raid and hostage rescue teams).


    note: Combat does not demand that you don't cheat on your wife. It may demand that no ill-controlled long hair creates gaps in your NBC protection, though.
    You sound like the Army trying to justify why combat awards should only be given to Soldiers in combat positions. Sorry, but my clerks ran to the bunkers from the same rockets that landed in my FOB every week. You need to go downrange.

    Don't think those engineers, mechanics, and cooks in all those civilian equivalents had to put up with indirect fire on a regular basis.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 05-06-2014 at 02:13 AM.
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  11. #511
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I don't buy it.
    Career soldiers have a tendency to think of themselves (or the military) as superior to the general
    population - particularly if they happen to write in English. It was only a question of time till this
    attitude would resurface once the topic wandered towards the civ-mil-relationship and
    representativeness issue.

    There's nothing that special about the military. And the people in it aren't that special either. Many of
    them would be (or were) failures in civilian life, for example - and this includes officers and NCOs.
    I am assuming you are a civilian. You have never been a police officer, or a fireman, or a medic. You have never held any position where your personal wants, needs, and desires were subordinate to those of the people you served. That should it come to it, your life is forfeit so that others may live.

    I guess not.

    What allows you to do that without fear, or remorse, is belief in a set of values. Values that transcend simple day-to-day life. That connect you to something bigger than yourself. That allow you to go to the most miserable places and do the most horrible things and then come home with honor and not kill yourself.

    This value system is not something shared by the average civilian in the liberal west. The closest thing it comes to is a form of tribalism - a dedication to your tribe. But that is only the part that connects you. It is not the ideal that drives you to sacrifice for others.

    I am sorry, but very few positions in the civilian world compare on any level. You are right that we do think of ourselves differently from, but not superior to, the population we serve. It is part of being a Soldier. It is part of being a service member. It is something that you take on with an oath, not a simple contract. Too bad you don't see that.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 05-06-2014 at 02:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    I am assuming you are a civilian. You have never been a police officer, or a fireman, or a medic. You have never held any position where your personal wants, needs, and desires were subordinate to those of the people you served. That should it come to it, your life is forfeit so that others may live.

    I guess not.

    What allows you to do that without fear, or remorse, is belief in a set of values. Values that transcend simple day-to-day life. That connect you to something bigger than yourself. That allow you to go to the most miserable places and do the most horrible things and then come home with honor and not kill yourself.

    This value system is not something shared by the average civilian in the liberal west. The closest thing it comes to is a form of tribalism - a dedication to your tribe. But that is only the part that connects you. It is not the ideal that drives you to sacrifice for others.

    I am sorry, but very few positions in the civilian world compare on any level. You are right that we do think of ourselves differently from, but not superior to, the population we serve. It is part of being a Soldier. It is part of being a service member. It is something that you take on with an oath, not a simple contract. Too bad you don't see that.
    Interesting comment, one I largely agree with. We identify with people who hold similar values. You may find the following uncomfortable, but your comments apply equally to insurgents and terrorists. As for feeling superior to the general public that is a broad claim by Fuchs, who is the general public? If it is those who wait outside a store overnight on black Friday to rush in and get a good deal on a computer, and work a 9-5 job that means little to them, so they turn to drugs and mindless T.V. to escape life, I don't necessarily feel superior, but I'm glad I chose the path I chose, because I serve among those who also seek to contribute to a higher cause. Superior? Happier? More meaningful? I don't know what label to put on it. What I described is a segment of the public, and it doesn't reflect others that I'm actually envious of, such as pathfinders in science, those who lead social revolutions (Martin Luther King), etc. General is too general of a term :-).

  13. #513
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    You sound like the Army trying to justify why combat awards should only be given to Soldiers in combat positions. Sorry, but my clerks ran to the bunkers from the same rockets that landed in my FOB every week. You need to go downrange.

    Don't think those engineers, mechanics, and cooks in all those civilian equivalents had to put up with indirect fire on a regular basis.
    My country never handed medals out for running to cover. If we had, almost all of my grandparent generation would have had the medal since almost all of them had to run to a bunker hundreds of times. They had to put up with hostile fires - literally fires- on a regular basis.

    Also
    http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/11...bs-in-america/

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    I am assuming you are a civilian. You have never been a police officer, or a fireman, or a medic. You have never held any position where your personal wants, needs, and desires were subordinate to those of the people you served. That should it come to it, your life is forfeit so that others may live.
    Actually, incorrect. I served in the military. Besides, to subordinate "wants, needs and desires to those people you serve" is the nature of every work contract. You wouldn't need to get paid otherwise.

    What allows you to do that without fear, or remorse, is belief in a set of values. Values that transcend simple day-to-day life. That connect you to something bigger than yourself. That allow you to go to the most miserable places and do the most horrible things and then come home with honor and not kill yourself.
    Wow, that's some nonsense. Soldiers have no fear because ... "values"?
    I suppose you're the one who has no clue (or has delusions) about soldiers here.
    Same for remorse.
    And what drives soldiers in warfare isn't a "belief in a set of values". It's hate driven by propaganda and psychology mixed with comradeship and authority.

    You're inflating "values" beyond recognition.
    I understand the right wing in the U.S. does so, pretending "values" are important above all and then pretending the own team has them. I suppose you fell for this delusion and applied it to the 'team military'.

    This value system is not something shared by the average civilian in the liberal west. The closest thing it comes to is a form of tribalism - a dedication to your tribe. But that is only the part that connects you. It is not the ideal that drives you to sacrifice for others.
    That's not "values", but comradeship - plus a heavy dosage of bollocks. Look at underground coal miners and how they bond at work in face of constant danger. They're civilians.

    I am sorry, but very few positions in the civilian world compare on any level. You are right that we do think of ourselves differently from, but not superior to, the population we serve. It is part of being a Soldier. It is part of being a service member. It is something that you take on with an oath, not a simple contract. Too bad you don't see that.
    A coal miner is different from a clerk, is different from an electrician - every job is different from most jobs. The trivial difference doesn't matter and doesn't explain the obvious pattern of American soldiers thinking of themselves as so much better than the common population 'who does not really deserve their stalwart service'.
    And yes, that's the impression conveyed, not the impression that they merely think of themselves as "different", not superior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    My country never handed medals out for running to cover. If we had, almost all of my grandparent generation would have had the medal since almost all of them had to run to a bunker hundreds of times. They had to put up with hostile fires - literally fires- on a regular basis.
    Fuchs,

    I apologize for inferring your lack of service or commitment. At this point it would seem that we are talking past each other. Since part of the problem is inter-generational shifts in values, comparing today to the past makes the case that things have changed today.

    In any case, I think I am just going to have to disagree with you and leave it at that.
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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    We may agree to disagree, but let me first explain WHY I discuss this at all.


    Soldiers in general aren't that much different from civilians. Their organisation is a bit more authoritarian, but even this is not always true.

    Soldiers deployed in a war zone live an altogether different life - about as much different from other soldiers (even those in 'the rear' or in 'camps') as from civilian relatives who live in safety.
    Yet this applies to civilians in a war zone as well.
    The odds of sacrificing much - including life - were much higher for a German civilian in 1944 than for an American soldier on occupation service in Iraq, ever.
    So the difference isn't that much between military and civilian, but between war and peace.

    The attitude of some (many) soldiers that they are meeting higher standards than the general population, have more 'values' (which often sounds a lot like 'higher morality') goes hand in hand with the perception that they deserve 'much', and regularly 'more'.

    And that's an attitude shared by almost all military forces staging a coup d'tat.

    Attitudes are a matter of freedom of speech and freedom of thought and generally not to be cared about - unless there's good reason to believe they might turn harmful. And this is the case when a military thinks it's better than the civilian world. Then it's about time to set the record straight.
    Military personnel merely do a different job, they're no better or more deserving people than civilians.

    The same applies to journalists. They tend to assert that they deserve many privileges. Nonsense.


    ---------
    It shouldn't surprise that this is coming from a German. To Germans, war is about the entire nation, not something delegated to a fraction of the population. We also don't have any kind of 'veteran' cult, so I only write that "I was in the military" or "I was in the Luftwaffe" and never claim to be a "veteran" or something. I also never mention my time in uniform to Germans unless asked specifically.
    There's simply no value in 'having served' here. Right after WW2 everybody had served in uniform or suffered from bombing raids or more. Everybody had seen battle. Later on "I have served" was merely a code for "I am no leftie" and wasn't really about the military per se. This 1970's code fell out of use long ago, though.

    The debate whether soldiers are distinct, superior, different, more moral et cetera is only provoked by anglophone sources. It is really a speciality, not a global phenomenon.
    Some German troops of our time were infected with this school of thought because it's so flattering to them, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    You sound like the Army trying to justify why combat awards should only be given to Soldiers in combat positions. Sorry, but my clerks ran to the bunkers from the same rockets that landed in my FOB every week. You need to go downrange.

    Don't think those engineers, mechanics, and cooks in all those civilian equivalents had to put up with indirect fire on a regular basis.
    I thought the US differentiated between those who qualified for the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Action Badge?

    The infantry demanded (not in my army) that there be a difference between those who ran for cover and those who ran at (assualted) a defended active enemy position under fire IMHO quite rightly so. I was also a paratrooper with a number of 'operations jumps' under the belt and never got paid an allowance for that either - IMHO quite rightly so as parachuting was merely a means of transport and delivery into combat of my choice.

    One understands and tolerates the adolescent macho strutting of young soldiers to prove who is more badass than the next. This should not extend to senior NCOs and officers, however.

    But your essential point as I seem to understand it is that yes, the risk to soldiers in time of war is in a different league than those in even the most hazzardous civilian jobs. In a hazzardous job you get a big pay check commensurate with the risk. A troopie is down there near the minimum wage. What do you make of that? You look out for #1 and you do OK but if you lay it all on the line for your country you get diddly ....

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    Fuchs,

    As you are aware, mythologizing military service is often a right-wing form of political correctness. This is true to an extent in the United States, and certainly within the ranks, which is to be expected as most institutions have self-reinforcing norms.

    JMA,

    It's not true, at least in the United States, that people are paid in accordance to the risks they take on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 10 most dangerous jobs (by fatalities per 100,000) and their average hourly wages are:

    1. Fishers ($13)
    2. Loggers ($13)
    3. Pilots
    4. Iron and steel workers ($19)
    5. Farmers/ranchers
    6. Roofers ($16)
    7. Electrical line workers ($22)
    8. Drivers ($12)
    9. Refuse collectors ($17)
    10. Police officers

    Firefighters and construction workers are in the top 15.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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    Another gem from that seminal work by Lord Moran : Anatomy of Courage which gives some insight into this age old problem (written a mere six months after the armistice):

    The clear, war-given insight into the essence of a man has already grown dim. With the coming of peace we have gone back to those comfortable doctrines that some had thought war had killed. Cleverness has come into its own again. The men who won the war never left England; that was where the really clever people were most useful. I sometimes wonder what some of those good souls who came through make of it all. They remember that in the life of the trenches a few simple demands were made of all men; if they were not met the defaulter became an outlaw. Do they ask of themselves when they meet the successful of the present how such men would have fared in that other time where success in life had seemed a mirage? Are they silently in their hearts making those measurements of men which they learnt when there was work afoot that was a man’s work? They know a man, for reasons which they are too inarticulate to explain, and they are baffled because others deny what seems to them so simple and so sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Interesting comment, one I largely agree with. We identify with people who hold similar values. You may find the following uncomfortable, but your comments apply equally to insurgents and terrorists. As for feeling superior to the general public that is a broad claim by Fuchs, who is the general public? If it is those who wait outside a store overnight on black Friday to rush in and get a good deal on a computer, and work a 9-5 job that means little to them, so they turn to drugs and mindless T.V. to escape life, I don't necessarily feel superior, but I'm glad I chose the path I chose, because I serve among those who also seek to contribute to a higher cause. Superior? Happier? More meaningful? I don't know what label to put on it. What I described is a segment of the public, and it doesn't reflect others that I'm actually envious of, such as pathfinders in science, those who lead social revolutions (Martin Luther King), etc. General is too general of a term :-).

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I thought the US differentiated between those who qualified for the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Action Badge?

    The infantry demanded (not in my army) that there be a difference between those who ran for cover and those who ran at (assualted) a defended active enemy position under fire IMHO quite rightly so. I was also a paratrooper with a number of 'operations jumps' under the belt and never got paid an allowance for that either - IMHO quite rightly so as parachuting was merely a means of transport and delivery into combat of my choice.

    One understands and tolerates the adolescent macho strutting of young soldiers to prove who is more badass than the next. This should not extend to senior NCOs and officers, however.

    But your essential point as I seem to understand it is that yes, the risk to soldiers in time of war is in a different league than those in even the most hazzardous civilian jobs. In a hazzardous job you get a big pay check commensurate with the risk. A troopie is down there near the minimum wage. What do you make of that? You look out for #1 and you do OK but if you lay it all on the line for your country you get diddly ....
    When first proposed, the Combat Action Badge was the Close Combat Badge and you had to be in an armor, cav, or artillery MOS to recieve it. Rumsfeld changed that after he was confronted at a Town Hall by a female MP who had engaged the enemy several times on convoys but would not be elligable for the award because of her MOS.

    As far as running for cover, I am not sure what else you want a Soldier who is not involved in identifing the POO and engaged in counterbattery fire to do in a rocket attack. I suppose they could stand in the open and look up. Not sure that is the wisest choice. You don't get a CAB for indirect fire attacks unless you are within the blast radius of the munition fired at you. I led a recon that was attacked by a command detonated IED, but the only people who got the award were the people in the vehicle that was hit.

    But yes, you get my point. I don't think you can compare the two on any level. The only civilian jobs that come close are Police, Fire, and EMT personnel. It is the difference between having a duty and having a job. Hard to explain, but I know it when I see it.

    On a seperate note, that female MP who stood up to the SecDef and asked a question that all the Army brass did not want asked demonstrates a level of intestinal fortitude that was quite impressinve. Reminds me of the old joke about the Marine, Army, and Air Force General standing around the flag pole talking about their subordinates courage.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 05-06-2014 at 03:32 PM.
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  20. #520
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    JMA,

    Continuing the conversation of job risk, here are some more statistics.

    As of January 2010, from Congressional Research Service:

    OIF: 4,410 KIA, 31,942 WIA
    OEF: 2,299 KIA, 19,572 WIA

    Troop levels also from CRS:

    Cumulative FY02 -FY10:
    OIF: 1,013,200
    OEF: 238,300
    Combined: 1,251,500

    That comes out to the following hazard rate of KIA/WIA rate per 100,000 of:

    OEF: 964 KIA; 8,213 WIA; 9,177 combined
    OIF: 435 KIA; 3,152 WIA; 4,116 combined
    OEF/OIF: 536 KIA; 4,116 WIA; 4,652 combined

    Now, that's wartime. In comparison, during the eight years of the Clinton administration, there were 7,500 military deaths (I'm assuming most non-combat related). That gives an approximate rate of 53.72 deaths per 100,000.

    As of 2007, the BLS had the following deaths per 100,000 rates for the jobs listed in the previous post:

    1. Fishers: 111.8
    2. Loggers: 86.4
    3. Pilots: 70.7
    4. Iron/Steel workers: 45.5
    5. Famers: 39.5
    6. Roofers: 29.4
    7. Electrical workers: 29.1
    8. Drivers: 28.2
    9. Refuse collectors: 22.8
    10. Police: 21.8
    ...
    12. Construction: 19.5
    13. Firefighters: 17.4

    So, yes, the obvious answer is that military service during a time of war is more dangerous than any civilian job. But during a time of peace, it is more dangerous to be a fisherman, logger, or pilot.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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