Are civilians "insane" to military men and women?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Every now and then I meet a civilian who makes some stupic comment about military life (tax free wages, free air travel, exotic locales, lots of vacation, etc.) and it enrages me on the one hand, and it saddens me in the other. It saddens me because these civilians are the people our men and women in uniform spend their lifetime protecting, and yet these civilians are oblivious to the hardships they face. Maybe it is because our only contact with civilians is in recruiting posters and all those show are the “glamour” or the “benefits”, but never any of the hard times or challenges.

    Here’s a personal example: A few years ago, my BN was getting ready for a deployment. So we were going off to NTC for a month. My cousin found out from my mom that I was going to “be spending a month in California”, so she called me to tell me that she and her family was going to be spending time in CA and in Vegas at the same time and she wanted me to visit them.

    I explained to her that I was going to be in the desert, not LA, and that I was going to be in an Army exercise for that period. So she says “well, it’s only a couple of hours away, you can come to LA after work ends each day”. So I explained that the exercise doesn’t stop at 5 or 6 pm.

    Unfazed by that, she replies “well, at least come out for the weekends after work ends of Friday”. Again, I explain that it will not be possible, because the exercise goes on around the clock and we can’t leave the area.

    So, she asks where is this place that you are going to be. Once I tell her where Ft. Irwin is, she offers a solution. “Since we’re driving to Vegas, we’ll be going right be that place. We can just stop by just as the exercise is over and then you can follow up to Vegas in your car.”

    To this day, I have this image of a Hertz rental carrying my cousin and her family making its way down to the Whale in NTC looking for me. I also wonder what the valet at the Mirage would say, if me and my guys pulled up in my HMMWV.

    Any of you have any similar hard times explaining Army life to your family or other civilians?

    This tripped off a huge thread on another board I read.  But that’s a board reserved for ONLY US Army veterans.  Obviously, it’s a little skewed, so I’m interested in what we Axis and Allies player’s think?



  • It sounds like residency . . . .



  • It reminds me of a long-ago quote from Sgt Snorkel (Beatle Bailey cartoons), “I can’t believe all these people are running around with noone in charge.”

    Most civilians have no concept of military life.  I think for the most part that civilians are “insane” to the military and vise versa.  Two completely opposite planes of existence.


  • 2019 Moderator

    @SSG:

    It reminds me of a long-ago quote from Sgt Snorkel (Beatle Bailey cartoons), “I can’t believe all these people are running around with noone in charge.”

    I think that sums it up nicely.  I was home on leave reciently and I can’t tell how many times I had that thought.


  • Moderator

    Hehe some of us prefer no one in charge 😉, but we also appreciate the sacrifices are men and women make away from there families and loved ones, regardless of whether you agree with the conflict… Support our troops always!

    GG


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    I think it’s deeper then that.  Civilians never had to “work” 19.5 hour days 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year for 4 years.  They don’t understand that when you enlist, it is for that long and the army owns you for that period of time.  In the civilian world you sell 40 hours a week to your employer and they have no say over the rest of your life.  Not so in the military.  Even when you are “off-duty” you are still a soldier and expected to live up to not only the civilian laws, but the uniform code of military justice, your individual regulations, your chain of command (aka managers) and your co-workers at all times.  The only time you have to yourself is 4 and 1/2 hours which the UCMJ states must be alloted to soldiers for sleep.  (UCMJ also guarentees soldiers will receive sustenance each day at two times a day, minimum, and that sustenance will contain all the vitamins and minerals expected in a 2000 calorie diet….though, if anyone’s eaten MREs from the 80’s or K-rats you’ll know just how LOW those standards are!)



  • What are you talking about?  BBQ Meatballs MRE!  Fantastic!

    Though the ham patty could sub as a hockey puck…

    I hear they ARE better now though…


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Switch,

    The difference between MRE’s today and MRE’s of two decades ago is roughly akin to the difference in quisine between a 5 star gormet restaraunt and the potato famines in ireland.

    just to put it in perspective…and yes, I’m exaggerating, there’s no way the MREs of 20 years ago were anywhere near as good as the potato famine dinners were for the masses of Ireland!  Those lucky b@stards!

    (Yea, I’ve eaten them.  Ham that’s green and soaked for months on end in vegatable oil; heating packs that only work sometimes; “cheese” substances that if you eat it you can forget having a bowel movement for the rest of the day, maybe even the week; tang that was rejected by NASA for the space project; chiclets that can be used as projectile weapons should you run out of ammunition; crackers so dry and bland that you could probably soak all of Lake Superior in them and still have a dry cracker…)

    (Yea, MREs today are EXTREMELY better then they were at the start and middle of the Clinton years.  Of course, technology has improved and the Joint Chiefs of Staff dictated the food had to improve…possibly because the 101st and 82nd had drawn up plans to invade the Pentagon and hold it ransom until the food improved…can’t prove that last though…hehe)


  • Moderator

    But you see this I understand unlike another USA citizen. Becoming a soldier is officially signing your right to be mentally or physically exhausted, your right to go wherever you want, your right to eat whatever you want, your right to not take orders today, your right to be grumpy (don’t know why anyone would be but…), etc.

    I UNDERSTAND THAT IS WHY I DON’T PLAN ON JOINING UP! But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect our boys and girls, in fact I think they outweigh several civies in there lines of work but probably some would disagree.

    GG


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Can’t you just catch something and BBQ it? or is that against geneva too?



  • Don’t know if it is a “civilian” thing.  Some people are just plain stupid.  An example:

    http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S17494.html?cat=1

    There are certain things that they are not going to get.  I never served, but was in ROTC and had basic training and officer training in college, so I have SOME idea (although not much, admittedly).  But when I got back from basic my family thought they turned me into a savage from my new eating manners.  No matter how large the meal, I had it eaten in about 2 minutes.  On the plane back I remember I stopped at a Burger King at the airport, cuz I REALLY wanted a double whopper.  Asked me if I wanted a drink with that, my respose was Hooh!

    It’s a different life, and hard to explain to people who have never been exposed to it.

    As for myself, I never understood why officers were kids right out of college who did not have clue 1 about how to run a platoon(in RL)… but they were in charge.  The PSG took orders from a kid 10 years (on average) younger than him.  Why the hell isn’t the PSG in charge?  I mean really, screw the degree.  The experience of the PSG out wieghs some kid’s degree in pottery (or whatever).

    When I became part of it, it made sense.  The PSG genuinely enjoys his job, and the day to day running of the platoon is his resp (among one of his resp. is to train some 2nd looey on his job).


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Guerrilla:

    But you see this I understand unlike another USA citizen. Becoming a soldier is officially signing your right to be mentally or physically exhausted, your right to go wherever you want, your right to eat whatever you want, your right to not take orders today, your right to be grumpy (don’t know why anyone would be but…), etc.

    I UNDERSTAND THAT IS WHY I DON’T PLAN ON JOINING UP! But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect our boys and girls, in fact I think they outweigh several civies in there lines of work but probably some would disagree.

    GG

    That’s your privalege.  No one says you have to sign up for service.  (I personally espouse the theory that you should have to serve for two years before you can vote, but that’s a personal opinion and I understand the arguements for and against it.)

    @Imperious:

    Can’t you just catch something and BBQ it? or is that against geneva too?

    No, it violates PETA and we don’t want to get in trouble with them!

    @Zooey72:

    There are certain things that they are not going to get.  I never served, but was in ROTC and had basic training and officer training in college, so I have SOME idea (although not much, admittedly).  But when I got back from basic my family thought they turned me into a savage from my new eating manners.  No matter how large the meal, I had it eaten in about 2 minutes.  On the plane back I remember I stopped at a Burger King at the airport, cuz I REALLY wanted a double whopper.  Asked me if I wanted a drink with that, my respose was Hooh!

    It’s a different life, and hard to explain to people who have never been exposed to it.

    Yea, eating fast is a motto.  We always said “eat it before someone else does!”  because literally, if it was on your plate past the 120 second mark, you were EXTREMELY lucky!

    And yea, I remember my first day out of basic combat training.  I went to McDonald’s and I musta been menacing enough to scare the clerk into giving me a hamburger, a small fry and a chocolate shake, even at 8AM.  I wasn’t getting some frilly cra-sand-which.  (Spelling intentional.)



  • Heh, funny stuff jen.

    I remember during basic I was late coming out to formation in the morning.  Not really late, more that I did not check myself over before going.  I was standing in formation and the Drill srg. looked down and said “ZOOEY!  WHY IS YOUR CARGO POCKET UNBUTTONED?!”

    “I don’t know drill srg.!”

    “Zooey, if I could kick you I wouldn’t have to drink so much at night!”

    I laughed, and he nearly PT’d me to death.



  • i gotta’ admit - the offers to join the army are pretty sweet.  The sign-up bonus for 4 years is amazing, given a captain’s rank, and a salary/benefits comparable to what i’m already making.
    Too bad i may be ordered to kill people.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @cystic:

    i gotta’ admit - the offers to join the army are pretty sweet.  The sign-up bonus for 4 years is amazing, given a captain’s rank, and a salary/benefits comparable to what i’m already making.
    Too bad i may be ordered to kill people.

    Actually, as a Doctor, the only way I can imagine you being required to kill someone is if they break into your hospital and start shooting helpless patients.  I would think, in that situation, you would loose your will and at least wound those killing your patients so they have to stop.

    But the odds of that happening are pretty slim now.



  • @Jennifer:

    @cystic:

    i gotta’ admit - the offers to join the army are pretty sweet.  The sign-up bonus for 4 years is amazing, given a captain’s rank, and a salary/benefits comparable to what i’m already making.
    Too bad i may be ordered to kill people.

    Actually, as a Doctor, the only way I can imagine you being required to kill someone is if they break into your hospital and start shooting helpless patients.  I would think, in that situation, you would loose your will and at least wound those killing your patients so they have to stop.

    But the odds of that happening are pretty slim now.

    why is that?


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Well, bear in mind I know nothing about the Canadian military, but in the American Army (AA) our Doctors are entrenched well behind the action where they can treat the wounded.  They arn’t even issued guns, nor do they need to qualify like soldiers.

    Actually, they don’t even go through any combat training at all.  In fact, the only training doctors get are the rudimentaries of military customs, history and proceedures so they can function in the team without causing too much trouble.

    MDs get a direct commission as a Captain (0-3 paygrade) and medical specialists (neurologist, orthopedics, etc) get a direct commission to Major (0-4).



  • Apparently i would have to go through basic training if i entered, and we are commonly housed on army bases.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Yea. Doctors are housed on army bases (or they can get private housing) here too.  But our doctors don’t go through BCT-B (Basic Combat Training Battalion) they just show proof of their license and take a 4 week class on military customs and curtesies at Ft. Lewis, WA.



  • Ditto Zooey: stupid people are everywhere.  And if you don’t know the subject at hand, you are likely to make incorrect assumptions.

    Ditto GG: you signed up for service, so….

    Anyway, to claim that “regular work” is only 40 hours a week is not correct.  I hold two jobs for over 50 hours.  Also, did you forget about your field, Jen?  IT work is a constant job.  You get calls at home.  You get calls on vacation.  Ditto CC’s work - he’s been run through the mill over and over I’m sure.

    I realize these guys are probably just venting, but not only did they volunteer, they are being trained as soldiers.  You don’t learn to kill & survive by watching the game on the couch eating potato chips.  My only hope is that you never have to utilize that training.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Yea, but Jermo, most people consider a full time job as “40 hours.”  I always included the time travelling too and from the clients/office as well.  So I actually worked closer to 14.5 hours a day, 6 days a week and was on call on Sunday.

    Thus, upgrading to 19.5 hours a day, 7 days a week is nothing. wink



  • @Jennifer:

    Yea, but Jermo, most people consider a full time job as "40 hours."  I always included the time travelling too and from the clients/office as well.  So I actually worked closer to 14.5 hours a day, 6 days a week and was on call on Sunday.

    Thus, upgrading to 19.5 hours a day, 7 days a week is nothing. wink

    This is a little crazy.
    I have the odd “20-hour day” - fortunately my week is rounded out with a the odd 14 and 16 hour days, with two 8-hour days thrown in.  The odd weekend i’ll do a couple of 12-hour shifts.
    SOOOO much better than residency - 1/4 days i’d do 30-hours straight with 12 hours working the other two.  Mind you - i got 2 weekends off over a 2 month period . . . .



  • I have life SO easy!

    M-F, average 11 hours a day.
    About 1 Saturday a month I have to work
    About 2 holidays a year (of 10) I have to work.
    About a dozen overnight trips a year.

    Time and a half OT.  3 weeks of vacation, a week sick (and of course 2 weeks worth of holidays).

    Paid for drive time… and I average about 250-300 miles a day 🙂

    Am I lucky or what???  😄


  • 2007 AAR League

    I dont work right now. AHH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA. :lol: 😛 8-) 😄 🙂 :mrgreen: 😉 :roll: :evil:


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    Yea, well, now you see why I re-enlisted, CC.  Easier working days, less responsibility, much better benefits, a lot less stress, longer life expectancy….

    Ah well…I hear teaching’s a breeze compared to being a senior project manager…


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