Originally posted by GNielsen:
Originally posted by ninermedic:
I think there is a lot of misapprehension out there as to why people join the military.
I'm going to be one of the last people to criticize those who join the military, but the fact is that these days, lots of people join the military because they can't get a job, because they don't have the money to go to college and because they're running out of options. And, having been there myself, I'll share a dirty little secret that everyone pretends not to notice - some people join the military because they want the opportunity to kill people. But the biggest issue is the economy. When there was high employment, it was "can you see me? can you hear me? You're in!" There were court rulings specifying military service rather than jail time. Nowadays, the military can afford to be a little more choosy. But, Gladwell comparing the situation in the NFL to the military to me just shows what an elitist, Ivy League bubble he exists in.
And that's part of the story. Your observation is correct--for the enlisted side of the military. But it's not so true for the officers, and this is a really overlooked thing (I will not get into all of it here because it's really an entirely different discussion)--the officers in the military are like 80% the sons/daughters of officers in the military. I am an officer's son, did 5 years enlisted before I crossed over, so I've seen it from both sides: there are tons of privates who joined because there was nothing else to do, and they don't last more than 4 years before they jump out. But going through ROTC and BOLC (officer basic) and now working on a brigade staff...sounds cheesy, but it's in their blood? These are smart guys, could be doing other things, but they are officers because they come from officer families. It's an overlooked aspect in this discussion
the overall discussion isn't totally wrong, because the military is still "marginalized" as it continues to draw from the same pool...it's just not all "ghettoized" dead-enders with nowhere else to go.
[ Edited by ninermedic on Sep 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM ]