10 October 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the Uneducated

Can someone please stop these people from lowering the standards for recruitment? How high were they in the first place?

The new standards put aside silly formalities like education because having an education doesn't mean a soldier will have "loyalty, duty, honor, integrity or courage." If that's really the case, maybe the No Child Left Behind should concentrate more on honor and integrity. Just a thought.

This continued reduction of standards comes at a crucial time in American history, where opinions regarding the army are split much as they were during the Vietnam war. Soldiers are being told they are doing a noble thing in Iraq while they experience the result of the moral bankruptcy of the government that sent them there.

Most of these soldiers believed, at least at the beginning, that they were doing a noble thing. When some are finally allowed to return home, they shouldn't face criticism for the crimes of others on the one hand, and the offensive publicized reduction of recruitment standards on the other hand. Soldiers should be left alone to make their own conclusions about their time in Iraq. Some will still think they did a noble thing. Some will change their minds.

Stop the reduction in standards.
  • We will have better educated soldiers, which means less chance of another Abu-Ghraib.
  • We will have less soldiers, which means less opportunity for future Neo-Cons misadventures.
And stop the Don't Ask Don't Tell. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to this country.



JollyRoger said...

I said quite awhile ago in Reconstitution that the end-result of this would be a plethora of Lieutenant Calleys, given the reduction in standards. But really, they simply have no choice. Since the ra-ra crowd refuses to sign up and go fight this "most important war since WWII," the Army and Marines are left to take what they can get-and that increasingly includes folks like gangbangers and skinheads. For them, service in Iraq is an invaluable little teacher of the skills they'll surely put to use later at home.

People in the Sun said...

In a way, after being in the army for three years I tend to believe there may be a Calley hidden in all of us. I think the situation itself and the deliberate lack of control by superior officers and the government leads to this situation where moral lessons mean little.

At the same time I do think education could make a large difference in the way people respond to extreme conditions. In these situations, being uneducated may lead soldiers to follow White Supremacists rather than following moral lessons they may have learned earlier in life.

Ironically, with the No Child Left Behind, education has come to mean not much more than having good memory skills.

JollyRoger said...

I was in the Army of a generation ago, and we were professionals. I think even the lowliest grunts had just a hair of pride in what we were doing.

The true professionals have figure out that they are fodder for a meat grionder and that the "patriots" back home don't have anything for them but a yellow car magnet. As attrition takes them out, it isn't hard to figure out who's going to stay behind.

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