copyright 2009
by Lin Stone

What are the two veterans sneering about?

This young kid hasn't learned how to salute yet.
Will he EVER make a soldier?
They don't think so.
So simple a thing, but it can put you scrubbing out grease traps for 30 days and 30 nights.

There are 7,003 reasons for joining the Armed Forces of the United States. Usually it is a poster that drags you in. There s this clean cut young man standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, leaning into a brisk wind. At the bottom of the poster are the immortal words: Join the Navy and See The World.

That sounds so romantic, but there is a hard kernel of truth that hurls that lie back at the poster and bounces it off the wall. I joined the Navy to see the world. What did I see? I saw the sea.

Personally, I love the sea. It s surface is easily the most fascinating scenery I have ever seen. Think about it. Sand dunes take hours to shift even when the wind is whipping its hardest, sometimes years pass before a grain of sand goes tumbling to somewhere else. The Grand Canyon, awesome as it is at first glance, has not changed at all since the first time I saw it in 1956. But the ocean is changing every second. Heavy storm or breathless calm, I loved the sea. Put me on a single-deck six foot yacht and I wouldn t need a book to read for three years.

But joining the Navy is not about seeing the world. Joining the Navy isn t even about seeing the sea. Joining the Navy is about serving your country, and THAT means HARD WORK. It means knuckling down to orders, and melding your identity into that of the team you are on.

 

Joining any branch of the Armed Forces is about responsibility. Even if every man, officer and duty roster on ship hates your guts, your responsibility will still be staring you in the face and demanding your attention. If you have trouble hauling out the garbage at home you may not be cut out to become one of those daring young souls that can help save the world. If you hate your mother for asking you to clean up your room occasionally I guarantee you will not love your drill master in boot camp .

 

What Is Boot Camp?

The very first obstacle confronting anyone trying to get into some branch of the US military is basic training or, as it is better known to the world, boot camp .

You may think you just need to grit your teeth and tough it out like the handsome hero in the movies that is sparring witticisms with a mean drill sergeant, but it s rarely that easy. Getting into the military is serious business and all branches of the military try their best to weed out the chaff, before it impacts the ranks.

A large amount of volunteers wash out in boot camp. Most of them fail because they weren t exactly prepared for boot camp. That may seem strange when you consider how we are bombarded by images of boot camp in various forms of media. Here is a simple, honest guide to help you survive basic training, whatever branch of the US military you decided to join.

Truth #1) Boot Camp Is Worse Than You Can Ever Imagine. Basic training is designed to put you under the greatest physical and mental stress you can imagine. Let s be honest here - it is bad, really bad and you will probably go through hell while doing it. Strict regimentation and grueling physical exercise combine to try and strip away you as an individual and pour you into a soldier of the United States of America. There are a whole lot of people in the world and most of us can only take so much stress. You need to be physically and mentally strong before you go in there or you may well wash out.

Truth #2) Be Prepared: Whatever branch of the military you re trying to enter, it s always good to prepare for what is to come, both in mind and in body. Different branches have different requirements. The Army and the Marine Corps are probably the most physically demanding of the bunch. This is not to say that the other programs are any kind of a snap, they re just slightly less strenuous on you, which is still quite a bit of pressure. Doing a steady regimen of exercise before going to boot camp can help get you through it. Reading up on the branch of the military you re going into can also help - each service has its own traditions and values and knowing them in advance can help you avoid quite a bit of pain.

Truth #3) Follow Orders: Yeah, we ve all seen the trope in the movies: the belligerent class clown in basic training triumphs in the end. Trust me, s/he doesn t; in the real world, s/he ll probably wash out with a lot of bruises, mentally and physically. Boot camp is to prepare you for a future in the military and every branch of the military asks for one thing: complete obedience to superiors and the chain of command. Of course, there s a bit of wiggle room there when you go up higher in the ranks but in boot camp, you re the lowest of the low and are expected to follow all your drill instructors tell you.

Truth #4) Think It Over: Seriously ask yourself this question: Do I really want or need to be in the Army/Air Force/Navy? Don t just decide on this new career as a spur-of-a-moment thing. If you re not a hundred percent sure about it, you d sure enough better skip the pain of basic training and go through an alternate career path.

the end

Hand Picked Essays About War

Justifying World War I

General Pershing was the leader of American troops during the first World War, the one fought to make the world safe for democracy.  This was the first time that officially designated American troops fought under a flag not their own.

The Cold Crucible of Valley Forge brought out the best in us.

These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls

***

John, John Brown here speaks as one that knows his own mind.

**

Breakfast is Served: The invasion of the United States by one angry Irishman.

***

On The Beaches, by Winston Churchill.

***

Old Ironsides 

***

Distant Possessions, by Andrew Carnegie.  Is the Republic, the apostle of Triumphant Democracy, of the rule of the people, to abandon her political creed and endeavor to establish in other lands the rule of the foreigner over the people, Triumphant Despotism?  

As the war clouds gather round us again the War Will Make Us Rich theory rears its ugly head once more.  The theory is that war will save our economy and in some magical way boost the supply of Happy Bucks bumping around in our pockets.

**

The economical logic of War. There exists a science of human action that is applicable to all purposeful activities. This science is referred to as "praxeology." Although economics is its most developed branch, the basic principles of this science can also be applied to analyzing violent action including warfare. Thus Murray Rothbard wrote:

The Peasant With Presence  The story of Peter the Great and how he came to reverence a mere peasant as the mighty Catherine, Ruler of all Russia.

Meant To Be One.  Hope and Love are the only tools known that can break down the barriers between warring nations.

**

BOOT CAMP!  Joining any branch of the Armed Forces is about responsibility. Even if every man, officer and duty roster on ship hates your guts, your responsibility will still be staring you in the face and demanding your attention. If you have trouble hauling out the garbage at home you may not be cut out to become one of those daring young souls that can help save the world. If you hate your mother for asking you to clean up your room occasionally I guarantee you will not love your drill master in boot camp .

Combat Ready:  Never shirk your training. Maybe you didn t volunteer to be here, maybe when you signed up you were drunk, or maybe you were just flat out lied to so you would sign on the dotted line. It doesn t matter how or why you are here. Put that behind you and remember this one thing: You are making habits that will last you a lifetime; make the right ones.

Coping with War, getting ready, prepared for those with children who still think it will be a thirty day lark.  John Wayne won't be there.  Neither will Rambo.

Will the War with Iraq trigger a new round of inflation?  We can look around us now and see the answer to this question.

Perceptions and reality lessons learned from the war.  

Finding Peace in Times of Terror... 

As the war clouds gather round us again the War Will Make Us Rich theory rears its ugly head once more.  The theory is that war will save our economy and in some magical way boost the supply of Happy Bucks bumping around in our pockets.

The Sling Shot, a deadly weapon that was used long, long ago.ne Step Away From Death.. Some of the best humor on earth comes from the firing line.  Here, let me give you a few examples that prove my point. 

Should You Spend
A few dollars a month for a dental insurance plan --
or wait and spend $3,000 for dentures?

Your teeth can last a lifetime, with proper care.

Click HERE for the best dental plan companies in the United States.

 

...

There are MORE  Hand-Picked Essays
in the following categories

 Personal   *  Family  *  Inspirational  *  Helpful  *  Social  * Money  *  Freedom  

Don't Make Us Come And Get You!

We want MORE Essays.  The writing inside the essays accepted here
must be of superior quality.  The topics must be either timely or enduring in
nature.  If you can pass that hurdle, your tightly written essays with strong
values will be published here free of charge.  A link back to your home page,
or to your email address will be provided inside your byline, IF you want it.  
Click HERE to make your submission

Children under the age of 13 MUST HAVE
 permission from parents before they can
 click on any of our links