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  1. #521
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    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.
    Statistically, that's not true. No job comes close to OEF/OIF but several jobs are more dangerous than military service during peace-time. That said, does the level of hazard in an occupation indicate that occupation's value to society or its importance? Police and firefighters are generally more praised, at least post-9/11, than fisherman and loggers, even though the former two are more dangerous. So it also appears that the kind of work, not the level of hazard, is more important in determining social value.
    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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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Statistically, that's not true. No job comes close to OEF/OIF but several jobs are more dangerous than military service during peace-time. That said, does the level of hazard in an occupation indicate that occupation's value to society or its importance? Police and firefighters are generally more praised, at least post-9/11, than fisherman and loggers, even though the former two are more dangerous. So it also appears that the kind of work, not the level of hazard, is more important in determining social value.
    It's not the level of hazard that distinguishes the jobs.
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  3. #523
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    It's not the level of hazard that distinguishes the jobs.
    But it's the level of hazard that's used to justify compensation, benefits, and social privilege.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-06-2014 at 04:20 PM.
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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Just some interesting comparisons. Deaths per 100,000:

    Cancer: 191.5
    Accidents (non-vehicular): 57
    Vehicular accidents: 19
    Violence: 9

    (All causes)
    Alabama: 939
    Mississippi: 962
    West Virgina: 933
    Oklahoma: 915
    Louisana: 903

    (Murders)
    Flint, MI: 64.9
    Detroit: 54.6
    New Orleans: 53.5
    St. Louis: 35.5
    Baltimore: 35

    Living in the South is more dangerous to your health than going to war.
    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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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    But it's the level of hazard that's used to justify compensation, benefits, and hero-worship.
    ... And you have identified the difference between those who are Soldiers and those who are not. Those who are not have "hero-worship" based on perceived hazard. Bravery is associated with risk. I can't speak for all Soldiers, but risk is just part of the job. It does not bear on why I do it.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 05-06-2014 at 04:29 PM.
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  6. #526
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    ... And you have identified the difference between those who are Soldiers and those who are not. Those who are not have "hero-worship" based on perceived hazard. Bravery is associated with risk. I can't speak for all Soldiers, but risk is just part of the job. It has bear on why I do it.
    In your last sentence, are you saying that "risk" is a or is related to a value that motivates your desire for military service?

    Also, I did edit my post from hero-worship to 'social privilege' since that captures more of what I'm aiming at here.

    So, this brings me to my next question. African-Americans, as a group, are over-represented in the military by a couple of percentage points, enough to be significant. Does that mean the values in African-American communities are more aligned with the values of the current military culture than in white, Hispanic, or Asian communities? I suspect that there's an element of racial-cultural framing with the emphasis on "military values" in the discourse here.

    There is, I suspect, a relationship between a state's level of poverty and a state's recruitment rate, as far as I can infer through the education spending data provided earlier (since education and poverty are related). This seems to contrast with Paul Ryan's recent comments:

    “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” Ryan said.
    There seems to be an underlying contradiction in values and culture here. If there is a "culture problem" or "tailspin of culture" of not working, why are African-Americans overrepresented in the military?
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-06-2014 at 04:31 PM.
    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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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    It's superficial because it is a reading of history without any factual basis. It has no more evidence than any modern day conspiracy theory.
    I think differently. Is there any evidence extant about how man developed fire? Not that I'm aware of. I am guessing there is only evidence that at point our ancestors didn't have it and at some other point they did. Same thing probably for cooking, spears, spears tipped with shaped stone heads, the wheel and on. What we know is those people found the implement or the practice useful and kept it. All we can do is speculate as to the details of how those things came to be. It is speculation because there is no evidence at all, that is why it is called speculation. There is no youtube video of Kronk getting a good idea and then trying it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    And those are excellent examples of the normative barriers that I have been speaking about. Here is a good research paper addressing these normative obstacles. Some excerpts:
    Now let us take Ms. Goodell's, the lawyer, points 1 through 4.

    1. "(1) stereotyping – the assumption that no woman can do the job without testing the abilities of the individual woman;"

    This is great in theory but military organizations have to deal with people in the tens of thousands and in times of big wars, in the millions. Assumptions have to be made especially ones based on past experience and history. For example, it may not be fair but it is practical to assume that it wouldn't be worthwhile to take people into pilot training who only have one eye.

    2. "(2) differential training – the failure to account for the potential for improvement for women who often have less prior physical activity;"

    This is special pleading. It is acknowledging that women are weaker but they might be able to get stronger if they get special training. If they had less prior physical activity and can't make the standard that's their fault. As far as I know the standards aren't a secret and the streets are free to walk and run in.

    3. "(3) trait selection – measuring only tasks that are perceived to be difficult for women, while ignoring equally mission critical tasks that women may be better at performing;"

    This is asking that war be redefined because it isn't fair. The loader in an M-1 has to sling those rounds and do it fast or people die. The rounds weigh so much. To go back a little further, a Legionary had to throw that pilum with force a certain distance or else. He had to be strong enough to wield that 20 pound shield and punch it forward with enough force to throw the opponent off balance or else. He had to push that sword hard enough to perhaps penetrate chain mail, or else. And he had to be able to pull it out. Things like that need to be done, or else. Those things, those particular things.

    4. "task definition – not considering if there are other ways to get the job done."

    This is a development of #2 and #3, asking that war be redefined in response to special pleading. There may indeed be other ways to get the job done, or not. We could, I suppose, make it our No.1 research priority to develop and field a Tantulus Device so we can field flocks of woman warriors as lethal as anybody. But Tantulus Devices may be impossible to make and besides, we have to deal with the right here and the right now, or else.
    Last edited by carl; 05-06-2014 at 05:52 PM.
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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Please do not confuse the tool with the skill. Excel is a tool that provides data for decision makers. Grant most assuredly had data presented to him that helped him decide what to do. McClellan may have had too much attachment to data, producing a species of the paralysis of analysis.
    I am not. That was exactly my point. Grant was Grant because he had what it took. Excel had nothing to do with it. Written and verbal messages did the trick. He also didn't have a TOC with lots of individual monitors and some really big TV screens in the front. He had a horse, a camp stool, a tent, a table, paper, pens and that new fangled telegraph, which produced written messages.

    As I said, what concerns me is that nowadays proficiency with excel spreadsheet making may shade the actual fighting and leading ability. Sort of like "Promote Capt. R.S. MacKenzie? No, he can't even do the simplest spreadsheet."

    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
    Oh geesh WM. That's like saying "I think Jim Thorpe would agree with me that good athletes have strength and endurance."

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    US Army tactical SIGINT/Electronic warfare teams have had women in them since at least the mid-70s. These teams deploy well forward on the battlefield, farther forward in fact than most of the infantry, armor, and artillery soldiers. They will even be found either with or in advance of the cavalry units that are the advanced scouts of the US Army.
    Oh. Right up there with the Iron Brigade and the Forrest's Cavalry. There, that is my smart aleck comment for the morning.

    The point is referencing small units that aren't fighting units in a time without a big war isn't a convincing argument for much of anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    BTW, I doubt that we will see ship to ship fighting of the type you described between the USN and IJN around Guadalcanal. I suspect future naval combat to be like the action that took place at the Battle of Midway, with a significant portion of the manned aircraft replaced by missiles of various kinds. Instead of a picture of muzzle flashes as destroyers and cruisers slug it out with cannon fire in the Slot, a more likely better image might be the sight of an Exocet slamming into the HMS Sheffield off the Falkland Islands, fired from a delivery platform completely out of the range of the ship's organic weapons.
    Never say never when it comes to ship fighting because you never know. At any rate ASW will probably involve ship to ship fighting.

    But if you don't like the Slot, how about the picket destroyers north of Okinawa? In either case, men drowned, were rent limb from limb or were burned up or all three, over and over and over. The point was we haven't seen any serious naval fighting since WWII.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Carl,

    Had you read the entire article, first you would know that "the lawyer" is also a former Surface Warfare Officer, and this is what the author has to say about your claims:

    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    This is great in theory but military organizations have to deal with people in the tens of thousands and in times of big wars, in the millions. Assumptions have to be made especially ones based on past experience and history. For example, it may not be fair but it is practical to assume that it wouldn't be worthwhile to take people into pilot training who only have one eye.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goodell
    Even if this study shows some differences in men’s and women’s abilities to accomplish particular tasks, it does not explain a decision to use de jure exclusions for women alone rather than individual evaluations for the exclusion of both men and women.123 Both women and men qualified, and both men and women failed to qualify in most tests⎯what purpose is served in excluding all and only women? For example, in the P250 carry, 90% of the women failed, but 10% passed. Moreover, 36% of the men failed. Certain physical tests, such as an arm pull, were relatively well-correlated to the ability to do static muscularly demanding tasks.124 The military has the advantage of a basic-training period in which to evaluate potential recruits; it could administer tests like those validated in this study and avoid de jure discrimination...

    For now, the cost rebuttal to the stereotyping analysis tells us something about the contours of the strength argument. The claim must be that the differences are large enough that it is possible to measure strength traits with a single cutoff that will include most men and exclude almost all women. The claim must further be that this cutoff exactly corresponds with the military’s needs. As a “statutory scheme which draws a sharp line between the sexes,” this argument seems suspicious. Drawing such a line “solely for the purpose of achieving administrative convenience,” is arguably a purpose
    “forbidden by the Constitution.”
    Your second point:

    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    This is special pleading. It is acknowledging that women are weaker but they might be able to get stronger if they get special training. If they had less prior physical activity and can't make the standard that's their fault. As far as I know the standards aren't a secret and the streets are free to walk and run in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goodell
    Such a conclusion is not supported by research; to the contrary, a substantial body of research shows that women are systematically discouraged from physical activities and sports from the day they are born.130 Therefore, it is not surprising if women show less physical prowess when they arrive at the military as young adults...

    Differences in physical training are profound and go well beyond a few hours on a sports field or at a gym...Reversing a lifetime of training is no small task, but there is evidence that training women intensively can close the gap. A four-month, three-times-a-week training program for female civilian firefighting candidates produced 25% of approximately thirty-six participants in the program who passed a physical test to compete for the job as New York City firefighters.136 This result was still worse than men’s 57% passage rate,but substantially better than the overall women’s passage rate of 9.5% for the 105 women who took the test.
    Your third point:

    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    This is asking that war be redefined because it isn't fair. The loader in an M-1 has to sling those rounds and do it fast or people die. The rounds weigh so much. To go back a little further, a Legionary had to throw that pilum with force a certain distance or else. He had to be strong enough to wield that 20 pound shield and punch it forward with enough force to throw the opponent off balance or else. He had to push that sword hard enough to perhaps penetrate chain mail, or else. Things like that need to be done, or else. Those things, those particular things.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goodell
    Critics often invoke women’s lower scores on the general physicalfitness tests as proof of women’s lower ability to perform in particular military positions. The military disagrees; it does not hold the general physical-fitness requirements to map onto job-specific requirements.157 In fact, the military has different requirements based on age group and sex. For example, as of 2000, in the Navy’s general Physical Readiness Test, men over 50 needed to complete 42% fewer curl-ups and had 12% more time to complete a 1.5 mile run than women 17−19 years old; the push-up requirements were the same.158 Standards were set similarly for the Army and Marine Corps fitness assessments.159 Older men are likely to be less physically capable by these measures than the women the critics claim are an intolerable liability, yet the critics do not argue that the test results should be used to exclude those men...

    That study and others show that physical ability is a complex phenomenon and that men and women may have very divergent scores on some tests, but substantially overlap on others. There is not a uniform distance across men’s and women’s scores, so the scores do not justify a static line drawn precisely where it will include most men and exclude most women. For example, women were significantly closer to men in a task that involved carrying the P250 fire pump both up and down ladders in a longer time frame; 38% of women and 14% of men failed.163 Similarly, the larger rating-specific study analyzes the difference in women’s and men’s scores and finds statistical overlaps vary enormously.164 For example, the overlap between men’s and women’s scores was 90% in a task that simulated carrying molten metal between 99 and 168 pounds and moving sideways and pouring it into molds; it was 7% in a task that simulated pulling an airplane tow bar, bearing about 62 pounds of weight, for 300 feet.
    And your last point:

    Quote Originally Posted by carl
    This is a development of #2 and #3, asking that war be redefined in response to special pleading. There may indeed be other ways to get the job done, or not. We could, I suppose, make it our No.1 research priority to develop and field a Tantulus Device so we can field flocks of woman warriors as lethal as anybody. But Tantulus Devices may be impossible to make and besides, we have to deal with the right here and the right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goodell
    Technological advancement is one of the major ways that the United States remains a world military leader.190 For example, the P250 fire pump used in the Navy study has since been redesigned to run on jet fuel instead of gasoline, to eliminate the need to store highly flammable gasoline on ships; the new model is also smaller.191 As Martha Minow has noted, redesigning the status quo for those who have been left out can result in advantages for everyone.192 “[L]ighter firefighters’ helmets” 193 would probably benefit not only women but also men who must wear them for long hours during disasters in Navy ships...

    The military evidently does not turn away the men who do not meet the physical requirements that the critics advocate, because men as well as women failed each one of the tests in the studies discussed above.201 It is more likely to be cost effective to use a second alternative, based on a less partial view of the job: Select the best people for the other 99% of the job description.
    It seems as if you have not done your homework. You are welcome to rely on your speculations, but I only ask that you don't expect the rest of us to do the same.
    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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    Thanks for the detail but I don't want to get into that detail.

    My point is simple - and perhaps I should have explained more carefully...

    I have sympathy with the police, fireservices and first responders in general as their sacrifice is is essentially on behalf of others. This is like the soldier who dies in combat for his friends, his unit and the country (however misguided the particular war may be). Quite frankly I see no comparison between a driver dying in a motor accident and a soldier KIA. In fact the more I think about the comparison the angrier I get. Outrageous.


    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    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.

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Carl,

    Furthermore, if it as Fuchs claims that the only distinguishing factor in military labor from civilian labor is the "combat discipline", then you will have to establish that women are not capable of achieving "combat discipline". It is clear that all of the physical requirements in the military can be completed by women, and it's irrelevant if the strongest man is stronger than the strongest woman. Can you establish that the weakest man is stronger than strongest woman? If not, then there is no factual basis on which to exclude women by using physical strength as criterea.
    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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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jma
    I have sympathy with the police, fireservices and first responders in general as their sacrifice is is essentially on behalf of others. This is like the soldier who dies in combat for his friends, his unit and the country (however misguided the particular war may be).
    So it is a normative valuation, not a factual one.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    Quite frankly I see no comparison between a driver dying in a motor accident and a soldier KIA.
    What if both joined their respective jobs to pay for college or for the healthcare benefits for their families? There has been extensive discussions about values here, and you have made clear that it's based upon the assumption that people join "on behalf of others" and implicitly that culture and norms surrounding that act makes service-members in some way socially or even materially privileged compared to the public. But here the top 5 reasons people enlist:

    1. Education
    2. Stability
    3. Respect (from community, family)
    4. Sense of community
    5. Adventure and challenge

    Seeing how people join for self-gain, and that's how the military actively recruits and retains, on what basis can you argue that there's a special military culture and that this culture ought to be preserved?
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    In your last sentence, are you saying that "risk" is a or is related to a value that motivates your desire for military service?
    The fact that you confuse "risk" with a "value" indicates that you will never understand what I am saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Also, I did edit my post from hero-worship to 'social privilege' since that captures more of what I'm aiming at here.
    There is no "social privilege" associated with being a Soldier. Tell those that came back from Vietnam that it was their "Social Privilege" to be spat on and called "baby killer".

    Like leadership is the result of the perception of the followers, any social recognition, good or bad, is a result of how the population perceived the Soldier.


    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    There seems to be an underlying contradiction in values and culture here. If there is a "culture problem" or "tailspin of culture" of not working, why are African-Americans overrepresented in the military?
    Sorry, I am not African-American, so I canít answer that for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC
    The fact that you confuse "risk" with a "value" indicates that you will never understand what I am saying.
    Then I guess I will never be privy to your wisdom.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    Then I guess I will never be privy to your wisdom.
    ... few ever are ...
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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    This is why I asked you if you were a reservist.

    You really need to sit and listen to good Americans who joined the military to be professional soldiers over a career rather than as a hobby.

    I put it to you that this is the source of problem in the military which Lind has highlighted.

    The system attracts those with real potential to be professional soldiers less and less as the Congress continues to offer an easy and often cheap way to get a degree or as an option for a place of employment of last reort.

    What gets lost in all the waffle is the aim of a military. What is the aim of the military of the US or any other state?

    In my day the first principle (of war) was - the Selection and Maintenance of the Aim. It is against the aim that all this waffle about women, gays, intersex and demographics must be measured. It any of these aspects when measured against the impact on the military being able to meet its aim - its reason for existence - then it gets thrown out.

    As a civilian you would understand that in commerce and industry any practice or procedure which reduces the bottom line gets tossed. The military's bottom line is the defense of the nation - any aspect which reduces its ability to achieve that aim should likewise also be tossed.


    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    So it is a normative valuation, not a factual one.



    What if both joined their respective jobs to pay for college or for the healthcare benefits for their families? There has been extensive discussions about values here, and you have made clear that it's based upon the assumption that people join "on behalf of others" and implicitly that culture and norms surrounding that act makes service-members in some way socially or even materially privileged compared to the public. But here the top 5 reasons people enlist:

    1. Education
    2. Stability
    3. Respect (from community, family)
    4. Sense of community
    5. Adventure and challenge

    Seeing how people join for self-gain, and that's how the military actively recruits and retains, on what basis can you argue that there's a special military culture and that this culture ought to be preserved?

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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    You really need to sit and listen to good Americans who joined the military to be professional soldiers over a career rather than as a hobby.
    That does not change the factual reasons for why people joined the military in the first place. I was one of those "who joined the military to be [a] professional soldier over a career" and then decided against a full-time military career after several years, including one in Afghanistan. And the question also has to be asked: is it desirable for the US to maximize the number of "professional soldiers" or full-time careerists in the ranks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA
    The system attracts those with real potential to be professional soldiers less and less as the Congress continues to offer an easy and often cheap way to get a degree or as an option for a place of employment of last reort.
    The inverse is true. The less that material benefits are offered, the less people are likely to join. As I pointed out in an earlier post, there is a relationship between a state's education spending and the quality of recruits from that state. There's also a relationship between education spending and declining enlistment rates - and that tells me that the military is offering insufficient incentive for quality enlistments (assuming the aim is to maximize quality enlistments). The more education people receive, the less likely they are to join the military (and this applies through all levels of education). That means they are finding opportunities perceived to be better than a full time military career. Recruitment achievements and practices since 2001 provide a good case study on incentives - and it has nothing to do with any special character of those enlisting.

    What gets lost in all the waffle is the aim of a military. What is the aim of the military of the US or any other state?
    That's a good question, and one I raised earlier when I discussed the military's mission(s) and functions with Carl.

    It is against the aim that all this waffle about women, gays, intersex and demographics must be measured. It any of these aspects when measured against the impact on the military being able to meet its aim - its reason for existence - then it gets thrown out.
    I agree - which is why it's important to establish that all of the policies of exclusion are in fact detrimental to the "Selection and Maintenance of the Aim".
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-06-2014 at 08:37 PM.
    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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    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    JMA,

    Additionally, in looking at the enlistment and retention data I presented earlier, African-Americans present an interesting case study. They are over-represented in the services and, in the Army at least, they form a substantial portion of the senior NCO corps. These are your "professional soldiers" - but what are their qualities? What makes them professional soldiers? Is it their longevity in uniform? Their professional development? Are you going to argue that their over-representation is due to their greater patriotism than white, Asian, or Hispanic communities? I'm willing to bet that a number of them were not quality enlistments - they originated from states with few opportunities, but the military offered an opportunity that was otherwise not available. That is one of the functions of the military deliberately created by Congress and exploited by the military for enlistment and retention goals. And frankly, I think it's insulting to disparage the reasons why people enlist by mythologizing the hero-narrative and ignoring the real reasons why people actually decide to serve.
    Last edited by AmericanPride; 05-06-2014 at 07:58 PM.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
    What if both joined their respective jobs to pay for college or for the healthcare benefits for their families? There has been extensive discussions about values here, and you have made clear that it's based upon the assumption that people join "on behalf of others" and implicitly that culture and norms surrounding that act makes service-members in some way socially or even materially privileged compared to the public. But here the top 5 reasons people enlist:

    1. Education
    2. Stability
    3. Respect (from community, family)
    4. Sense of community
    5. Adventure and challenge

    Seeing how people join for self-gain, and that's how the military actively recruits and retains, on what basis can you argue that there's a special military culture and that this culture ought to be preserved?
    None of that applies to people who join an go into a combat arm like the infantry, one where you are definitely going to be shooting at people and where they are going to shoot at you personally if there is a war. It is eminently possible to get all 5 of your reasons without going into a real combat arm. And even if you go into one in peacetime for the macho factor and change your mind when a war comes, getting out of it is easy. So any of those who go to the sharp end voluntarily, at least now, are doing for something other than the GI bill and health care.

    So it seems to me that since the purpose of the military is to fight and win, the motivations of people who do that most directly are most important.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    AP, you have an awful lot of faith in statistics and biomedical research in light of this:

    http://www.economist.com/news/briefi...it-not-trouble

    In any event, even if one were to stipulate that your various research/numbers are true... why does the military need to be an instrument of societal change? To be specific, why impose women into combat arms fields as adults, when instead, you could impose them into coed sports from an early age?

    Again stipulating that your research is true, choosing coed sports as your entry vehicle for change would a) bring a generation of women up from an early age raised in the environment that you seem to be perturbed that they have missed out on, b) physically prepare them for more rigorous activities as adults, and c) impose the cost of change on society in general, rather than on the military exclusively.

    Would that not be better than imposing this on the military as an experiment, in which the lives of people may well be on the line?

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