Monday, April 10, 2006

Army Update: The Officer Corps

Thom Shanker at the New York Times reports that young Army officers (Captains) are leaving the Army in greater numbers as they complete their service obligations (West Point: five years; ROTC: four years). Read the whole article; click here.

Even the most dedicated warriors cite the pressure on marriages caused by multiple deployments. How this is compatible with our current heterosexuals-only "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has yet to be explained - at all. 'No wonder the Pentagon has stopped defending the policy on whatever merits it may have had, and merely notes that the (then-Democratic) Congress passed the law (and then-President Clinton signed it).

From SLDN: What has also generally been noted, and [SLDN Executive Director Dixon] Osburn brought this up as well, is the way in which the military responds to questions about the necessity of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

During the ban’s early years, the Defense Department maintained that the policy was necessary for good order and discipline, and that gay soldiers had a deleterious effect on unit performance.

Now, the Defense Department does not defend the policy, but rather notes it is simply following a law enacted by Congress.

It's definitely time for our national leaders to encourage real Americans to consider military service, even if they eventually plan other careers later in life.

Hat tip to Steve Gilliard.


At 10 April, 2006 13:09, Anonymous Samwise Galenorn said...

Not meaning to change the subject, but the Army is offering a nice bonus for people to stay.
To entice more to stay, the Army is offering new incentives this year, including a promise of graduate school on Army time and at government expense to newly commissioned officers who agree to stay in uniform for three extra years.
That is a pretty nice incentive. Graduate school is hard to achieve, and with the Army offering that, wow!!!

At 10 April, 2006 13:18, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, so if you don't mind the probability of trading your marriage, your limb and/or your life for a college degree then it's wonderful!

At 10 April, 2006 14:23, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

That's a heck of a carrot for them to dangle, but tell me, how are you going to make it through grad school with a head full of shrapnel?

At 10 April, 2006 19:34, Anonymous Samwise Galenorn said...

A number of Army national guardsmen injured in Iraq are in college right now. Do you crap on them and say 'Hey, your injured, you should get out of college'?
Dan Inouye is one of those 'head full of shrapnel' people, who used his GI bill to get a decent education. WWII was very good at building a middle class, when the GI bill allowed thousands of 'non-upper-elite' people to go to college.
If the military would bring back the old GI bill, then a huge amount of people would join the military.

At 11 April, 2006 17:01, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

I'm not the one crapping on them, son.

Thousands of our vets have permanent head injuries, and they will never even feed themselves again let alone go to college. I'm just pointing out the cynicism of the Bush regime offering to pay for grad school when it won't even buy body armor. They don't pay out the bonuses they promise now, and they don't let people leave the service when their terms are up.

Do you honestly think these same people are going to pony up when someone wants to go to grad school?

At 11 April, 2006 17:49, Anonymous Samwise Galenorn said...

No, I don't think they will honor their committment. I agree with you. But you don't crap on someone who did join, calling them shrapnel head. You just don't do that. Dan Inouya lost his left arm in WWII.

However, in the past, the USA did honor that agreement. We need a liberal president who will reinstate the old GI Bill, to help rebuild the middle class.

At 11 April, 2006 21:36, Blogger Sadie Baker said...

I am not crapping on anyone. I am not calling anyone a name.

My father went to school on the GI bill, and my uncle, too. The GI bill is exactly what put my family in the middle class. I believe in the GI bill and I believe in the US military.

What I do not believe in is the Iraq war, which will destroy the lives of many Americans forever, for no good reason. I resent the Republicans trying to dress it up like they are doing good for the troops by "sending them to college." The price they are asking for that college help is way too high, and it is disgraceful that in the richest country in the world, going to fight the Republican war is the only way some people will ever get a shot at college at all.


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