Happy Veterans Day, fellow under-appreciated warriors!
As a veteran of the titular group myself, I feel your pain. You’re never saluted, hardly ever recognized or respected, get sent first into battle, and get the crappiest jobs around the base (or ship) once you get back. You probably come from middle class (or lower) roots, and saw the armed forces as a reasonably “easy” way to get money for college. (Either that, or you’re a redneck type that joined your particular branch of service after a post-9/11 night of heavy drinking and Toby Keith.)
But however you chose to enter the service, odds are you haven’t the slightest clue why you do the things you do (or did) from day-to-day. Those decisions are made over your head by people who are judged as “smarter” than you because they devoted 4 or more years of their lives to getting a (probably unrelated) degree before signing up. (Piece of paper printed sideways with a fancy font and a shiny gold seal? Right this way, officer!) Yep – you take orders on what to do from some yuppie spawn with an MBA that he/she wouldn’t have had a prayer of using in this economy anyway. (Either that, or you’re listening to some spineless boot-licker that made his/her way up to E-6 or above by being sure to “golf with the Chief”.)
On that note, I think it’s ridiculous that evaluations are weighted more heavily these days on the recommendations of your upper chain of command than they are on performance and core competency test scores. Leaders should be judged on intellect, not on how well they remember what their chain of command likes to drink on the weekends.
Anyway, just know that I’m with you, lower enlisted guys. And the 4-6 years you’re signed up for now may seem interminable (or else it did, discharged vets), but just look forward to what you’ve bought with your blood, sweat, and tears… a decent amount of money to pursue your own worthless degree (with the GI Bill), and a lifetime of decently-priced drugs and medical care with the VA Hospitals around this fine country.
Look, I know we don’t always agree with our superiors, but it’s no different in the civilian world, either. The point is, start thinking of what your “side hustle” is going to be now, while you’re still getting free room and board in the service. Maybe then you’ll be prepared to work for yourself once you get out, instead of the same idiots that are pushing you around now.
Oh, and as one lower veteran to another, THANK YOU for your service! Your job is thankless and glamourless, but I (for one) know what you put up with every day. Keep it up, boys – your drugs and college days await!
Happy Veterans Day!