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Ask a Soldier

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Flying Pig, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. GoodGame

    GoodGame Red, White, & Blue, baby!

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    Sorry if it's sooner than you wanted though I'd be envious to have 20 year + 6 to calculate my retirement by. :congrats::goodjob:
     
  2. classical_hero

    classical_hero In whom I trust

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    What are you going to with yourself after that?
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Probably, back in the days when they were raiding airfields left-right-and-centre: they did attack an airfield in 1982 at Pebble Island under the leadership of a very capable officer called Gav Hamilton (later killed in action and awarded an understated MC), but without vehicles. I can see it being quite a popular way to do it in North Africa.

    Congratulations; you'll soon find there's a life beyond polished boots and bayonets where your self-worth isn't (entirely) dependant on being able to do more press-ups than men you could have sired. I think a few of our guys have been given the same order - I was lucky and managed to stay in for over thirty years, thanks to my commission, but can't really see anyone else doing the same today.
     
  4. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    It's rough out there, our ship just lost three sailors to ERB.

    At my detailed brief last week they are forcing out all O5s that do not volunteer for IAs or sea duty. Good for me and the force, but obviously not the plan for those individuals. E9 forced retirements have not hit the Navy yet, but they are coming.
     
  5. Atlas14

    Atlas14 "Sophomoric Troll Master"

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    Apologies in advance if a similar or identical question has already been asked.

    So...I assume killing other human beings is legally wrong and considered morally wrong in whichever society you live in. What makes it magically ok to kill other human beings that live outside of human-created borders that believe in different things than you. What have you done to reconcile differences with these "enemies" by means other than violence? I'm also assuming you haven't ever been personally attacked by the people you are ordered to kill, so how do you justify your intentions and actions as self-defense (I'm also assuming that's how you justify them...)?
     
  6. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    It's wrong legally because the state holds a monopoly on violence. As an instrument of the state you can be deputized to administer that violence as long as you follow relevant rules.
     
  7. Atlas14

    Atlas14 "Sophomoric Troll Master"

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    Isn't it odd to refer to one's self and one's relevance to society as an "instrument"? What's the difference between a local person that annoys the living guts out of you, has threatened to hurt you/your family, and expresses "radical views" as compared to your own, and between someone, say 2,000 miles, across a sea, an ocean, or a mountain range that has done the same? What specifically prevents you from firing your rifle on the local a-hole while you feel morallly ok with firing your rifle on the a-hole across the sea, or mountain range? Is it because he has a gnarly beard? Do you just do whatever your government tells you to do? Do you just like collecting a paycheck deriving from simple taxpayer dollars and that's what motivates you? I'm genuinely interested, as a pacifist (not trying to troll or whatnot).
     
  8. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    Trying to qualify your obviously trollish statement with a blurb at the end saying you aren't "trying to troll or whatnot" is pretty ridiculous. If you were truly genuinely interested as a pacifist you wouldn't throw provacative and insulting barbs.
     
  9. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Well, granted its only been a few days, but in checking the job market where I live for what I do, someone with my experience level should expect a salary from 50k to 70k annually. One of the attorneys gave me a great idea in suggesting that I specialize a bit into getting a reality certification to ride with my paralegal experience. Apparently, reality contract paralegals are in high demand in this area, and those with specialized skills can write their own ticket.

    So, if I can snag one of those certifications, get a job in the 40k to 60k range, between that, my retirement and my expected disability, I should be close to the 100k range inside of a year or two from now.

    On the Army side, pretty much anyone with 18 or more years of experience is getting a hard look regardless of their rank, and if there are any health issues, even potentially temporary ones, that render you undeployable, you're probably gone. Thats basically what happened to me. I got a pass two years ago at my first review board process, but this last summer I had some health issues that simply werent resolved by the time the board reconvened this year. I was actually kind of confident they would retain me, but give me a 1 year review as opposed to a 2 year pass; but the push to get rid of people was harder than I thought. Ah well.
     
  10. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Presumably those local guys didn't harbor people who plan and execute terrorist attacks. Also, that jurisdiction is for police, isn't it?
     
  11. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    I'd like to start off by saying that I do not believe that all killing is automatically morally wrong - obviously I'd have picked the wrong trade if I did. I believe that violence should generally be a last resort, and that usually (to quote Terry Pratchett) once you've drawn a weapon you have very few choices and they're all bad ones. However, it's legally wrong because Her Majesty says it is, and as a member of the Armed Forces you become, in effect, an extension of Her Majesty's wishes - as a country we 'draw a weapon' as soon as we send troops into war, and every member of the Armed Forces has sworn an oath to obey the lawful orders of his superiors. That means both that if you're told to open fire, the law and your honour (amongst other factors that I won't bother with) say you have to, and that (unless the order is blatantly unlawful) you are protected because the legality of it has been cleared 'above your pay grade' and so the fault is with somebody higher up (this works for orders such as 'invade Iraq' - no matter what you think of the legality, the lawyers for the Government say it's OK, so you have to do it - but not for 'shoot that unarmed child', because that's blatantly against the more limited set of laws that you actually have to obey)

    In nearly all situations, the Government will have tried peaceful means first. It's not good PR to see soldiers coming home dead or wounded, and it's also bloody expensive to pay for us all to ship out somewhere. Personally? In some situations, you've shouted 'Halt! Halt! Halt or I shoot!', but in a proper shooting war nothing at all. They're not personal enemies; they just happen to be on the wrong side - which means that you will do your best to kill them while they're doing the same to you. Once the fighting stops and they surrender, you treat them with civility in accordance with the laws of war, because it's not personal.

    HM the Queen has told you explicitly not to touch your irritating neighbour, but she has equally told you to shoot on sight the foreign terrorist if you see him armed. We have a police force for domestic incidents

    Again, I wouldn't be OK with just shooting any foreigner I didn't like. As I said, it's not a personal grudge; fighting wars is different to the FIPAC that you see on a Friday night in Soltau. Orders are orders, as it were. The enemy has signed up to the same contract as you - you take the free (well, in practical terms) food, the free living space and the pay and in exchange you agree to fight and, if neccessary, kill and die when told to do so. I wouldn't consider it morally wrong for an enemy to injure me (luckily, the only battle-scar I ever sustained was after I left the military!), because when I took the Queen's Shilling I quite literally signed my life away.

    Your oath says that ' will observe and obey all orders of Her Majesty, Her Heirs and Successors, and of the generals and officers set over me' (no mention of politicans in that, note), which international law amended to 'all lawful orders thereof. To some extent your conscience comes into play; it is actually illegal to obey an order that you know to be unlawful, but as discussed above (no doubt Mobby can clarify the precise legalese of it) there are certain things for which the response is 'stop thinking, man!'

    No... I'm pretty sure I've discussed at length what led me personally to join up and what kept me in for so long, but if you're in it for the money you'll never last.
     
  12. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Why is the taxpayer going to be on the hook for a "disability" if you are able to work?
     
  13. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    What's the average weight of inductees into the various services, and how much does that change after basic training? I've been working on getting fit since September, and I figured military standards were a good guideline, but the maximum weight to enter the Navy for someone my height, according to their website, is 150. My doctor tells me that 185 would be on the 'low' end of the healthy-weight spectrum for my height, so I'm confused.
     
  14. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    My nephew just got in to the USAF. They told him he couldn't be over 175 pounds when he enters basic. He's about 5'8".
     
  15. cav scout

    cav scout The Continuum

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    Are you sure you didn't accidently misread minumum as maximum on the Navy webpage? There are minimum weight requirements as well.
     
  16. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    'Cause thems the rules.
     
  17. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    You will put weight on - you won't get near Basic if you have a large amount of fat on you (and when I joined up there weren't many people around who would be considered 'obese' today), and you're definitely going to put on a lot of muscle. We paratroopers tend to be bigger than most, partly due to an institutional obsession with getting massive in the gym but also due to the emphasis that our training places on hand-to-hand combat and carrying excessively heavy kit for miles and miles. It's fair to say I think that the average soldier today is a fair bit heavier than the average soldier of my era.

    Apart from the Royal Marines (who give a flat minimum of 60kg; just under 10 stone) the British don't have a set minimun weight - they'll take your height and weight, then your waistline if you appear to be overweight, and use that to make a judgement. You have to remember that a 20kg pack feels a lot heavier for a 60kg man than it is for a 100kg one, but it's actual weight isn't going to change, so just being small and fast isn't actually that useful.
     
  18. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    I understand that. But do you know why those are the rules? It seems that we should be more prudent with our tax dollars. Is there an option for someone to refuse the payments if it violates their principles? I can't see someone that rails against welfare queens wanting to be forced to take payments for disability when they are able-bodied enough to earn a nice living. Do people receiving these payments have to be drug tested to maintain these payments? Should they?

    EDIT: These are likely more appropriate questions for a separate thread, though I am probably not the correct person to start it. I do not expect answers here in this thread.
     
  19. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

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    Well it depends on the nature of the disability. A soldier who lost a leg in training or in active duty should receive continues payments. A soldier that has a condition that is nothing to do with being a soldier should be treated in the same way as a person who leaves any other government service. Soldiers should get more continuing care after they leave, for example many homeless people are ex military, if they need it.
     
  20. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    Of course I know. If I get busted in my service to the nation, said nation will care for me in compensation. Why do you find that unreasonable?

    As to the option to rufuse....its a benefit one has to file a claim for. No claim filed, no compensation.

    Re: the drug testing...I dont mind that. Been doing that for 20 years anyways...

    But if your intent is to label a career veteran with service connected disability with 'welfare queens' then we dont really have to continue this conversation, as thats more than a bit insulting.

    They can via the VA healthcare system. Just had my VA benefits brief, and wow, there is a virtual ton of things the VA does for vets; but the sad fact is many vets dont take advantage of it for whatever reason.
     

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