First thing is first, let’ get straight to the point. Bottom Line Up Front, there are three types of people that I have encountered in my lifetime. There are the “supporters”, the “haters”, and the “not sure where I stand but one thing makes me mad” kind of person. So let’s dig in and start this highly confrontational, but could be interesting, conversation. The question at hand, Is The American Soldier Considered “A Working Job?”
The Foundation Of A Military Job
Now I know that 85% of you vets out there immediately thought of one thing when you read my title about a real job and the military. Yep, ole Gunny Walgren and his glorious video from 1/6. For those that have no idea what I am referring to, I’ll throw you a bone here and embed the video. (NSFW)
Your welcome, let’s move on.
So is serving in the military an actual working job, my opinionated answer is absolutely yes. However, I have enough restraint to understand that my answer is absolutely biased. I mean, I have conducted operations in over 14 countries, fought wars in three different countries for a total of five deployments. I have willingly put myself out there for a number of reasons.
This is not the question at hand though. We are not debating if military members are brave, or if they are warriors, or even if they serve a great nation. We are contemplating if this is an actual “working job!” So look above at the picture and tell me what you see. Do you see a man with a suit and tie or a man in a uniform. Are both a job, or is one of them a job and the other is serving?
There are always going to be individuals out there that just despise anything military related. It does not matter the reason, whether is be denial, jealousy, or even valid references that effected them and their family in the past, haters are always going to hate. Just because it glitters, doesn’t mean it’s gold.
Need an example, check out A teacher called members of the military ‘the lowest of our low. It is what it is, who am I to judge. Like I have said over and over again, if you don’t agree, that’s fine. I wasn’t left in this world to judge others. I wasn’t left to spread hate. I love all no matter what you believe or think. There is only one person I kneel too and he does all the judging for us all
There are plenty out there that hate the haters, but that brings you to their level of spreading more hate on social media. I was never given a key to the city to make legislation and tell people what they are forced to believe in because of a few wars I fought in. You do you, I’ll do me. You think we have it hard, check out Why Were Vietnam War Vets Treated Poorly When They Returned?
Then you have the supporters, the individuals who love the military and everything they stand for. They buy meals, volunteer at events, even donate towards great causes. They line the roads for those that have returned home, and for those that didn’t. Every chance they get , they say thank you and shake your hand. They are forever grateful for what you have done and have no shame in letting you know. I have literally had people burst into tears when they see my uniform with my Purple Heart and tell me how indebted they are for my service.
Everyone knows who they are, no need to continue on this path. I can wholeheartedly say that 95% of you know the haters and the supporters.
The I’m Not Sure Where I Stand
But then, we have this crew. They are hard to define as they have no idea where they stand themselves. They support the military members but hate everything about it. They complain and say things like “We are in national debt for your paycheck.” A whole new conversation, but I still believe we need a military, and although I don’t decide how the defense budget works, I do believe that if I dedicate 20 years of my life to it, I should get paid something. I need to support a family like everyone else.
They are not sure where they should stand on the outside, so they take the safe bet and remain silent, with little hints slipping out sometimes. Then other times they are fully supportive, which makes them confusing at the least. Do they support the military or not? How do I picture these types of individuals? They are the band wagoners. During 9/11 they shouted “kick their ass” and saluted the military deploying. Years later when the smoke settles and new tragedies are on the news like the election and the national debt, they change directions and blame the war. Like I said though, you do you.
You have to be careful with these ones, as they don’t pick sides, the bounce between them. You never know where they stand on any specific day and everything you say to them because evidence down the road. Just tread carefully, as they will be the first one to tell you “yep, I got you dog” for a job during transition, but are also telling the boss that you have PTSD and are bat wing crazy.
Is This A Job
So is being in the military considered a job? Well, I feel like I have been working my entire life. Since I was 17 years old leaving high school, let’s break down a broad assessment of what I had to do.
- Boot Camp (2004)
- School of Infantry (2004)
- (Fallujah/Karmah Iraq (2005)
- Ramadi Iraq (2005)
- 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (2007)
- FWIC / CMC / CMT (2008) 6 Weeks of School
- Chief Instructor of a School House (2008-2010)
- AMGLC (2010) 6 Weeks of School
- Marjah Afghanistan (2011)
- Sergeants Course (2012) 4 Weeks of School
- BIC / CIS / CDC / SIDP / SIC / 12 (2013) 12 Weeks of School
- SACO (2016) 1 Week of School
- LSS (2018) 1 Week of School
- Somalia (2018)
So basically, that is a generalized profile that shows school and deployments. I also have my B.A., M.S., LSS, and more. This also includes additional duties like Anti Terrorism Officer, Safety Manger, Substance Abuse Coordinator, Instructional duties, curriculum development, countless live fire ranges and so much more that could never fit in this article.
My body feels like it’s 50 years old. Probably due to the fact that I have been shot twice, hit by over a dozen IED’s as a turret gunner and vehicle commander, and have hiked hundreds of miles with hundreds of pounds on my back for 16 years. So what does this mean. Not much, it could still be considered serving and not working.
I also am not putting non-military society down either. Ten years ago as a young ego maniac war thumping kid, maybe. Not now. For instance I know people personally, you know who you are, that are worked pretty hard working in a nursing home. They are called all hours of the night, always on the move, and should be seen as people serving as well. Serving those in need, including veterans, and have had their bodies warn down too. So what is the difference then?
It’s a hard topic to understand, difficult to compare. According to the ole dictionary, a job is defined as a piece of work, especially a specific task done as part of the routine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price. So if we took this parameter and applied to to both instances above with the military and a nursing home, they would both be considered a job. I get paid a certain price, that is agreed upon through legislation, to serve in the capacity of an infantryman. I train, mentor, prepare, and willing fight an enemy that may or may not present itself during my time of service.
When good people do nothing, the bad guys win. There may be people out there that think our nation would be better off without a military presence, that by eliminating this factor peace would ultimately become the result. My thought, I would hate to test that theory and have the wrong hypothesis.
I challenge you to start the conversation. Leave a remark and let’s talk about what your thoughts are. Again, you have a non-judgmental approach from me, I just like to have conversations and learn from others.