Recruiting the best…

October 20, 2006

This morning I received an email from a worried mother whose son is considering joining the United States Army. She asked me for my opinions on the Army as well as informed me that she is trying to lean her son more towards the Air Force. I wrote her back with my opinions on the Army, as well as my opinions on the other Armed Services. I would like my readers to please leave their opinions, pros, cons and other information on all four services. Hopefully this will help her and her son make an informed decision.


25 Responses to “Recruiting the best…”

  1. Noble Duty Milblogger Coalition - A Soldier’s Perspective » Blog Archive » Help a Mother on October 20th, 2006 8:26 pm

    [...] Anthony, over at A Soldier’s Mind, has been gone for while. But, he’s back to his blogging with a post about a mother needing help with her son’s decision to join the Army. Check out HIS POST and send some words of wisdom her way. [...]

  2. on October 20th, 2006 8:30 pm

    I guess the real question is why is the son choosing the Army and why would mom rather he go Air Force. There are good reasons to join each service. By far, the safest force to join would be the Air Force in my opinion. However, I think he’ll get much more satisfaction out of doing something for his country in the Army or Marines. If he wants more choices on jobs or specialties, he should go Army. If he wants to be part of a special elite group of soldiers regardless of job, go Marines. Even though I’m a Navy brat, I’m not sure what I really like about the service. Being at sea doesn’t interest me at all.

    Personally, I’m partial to the Army. There is more money, equipment and opportunity in the Army in my opinion. Promotions are faster than the Marines and there are more leadership positions (mostly because there are more of us). However, joining the Marines or Army pretty much guarantees combat time.

  3. sue on October 21st, 2006 6:48 am

    As a mom, I have learned that the best thing to do when your “kids” are facing tough decisions such as this, is to really stay out of it. The mom should be there to listen, and to support her son, but not make the choice for him. She has done her job, and the time for her to be making his decisions for him has ended long ago. He is a strong, confident man of values and courage. I can say that because I know many men in the military and those are traits that every one of them share. She should be proud to have raised such an American, and support what ever he chooses. I can’t speak from the perspective of a Soldier like CJ, or even a Military mom. But I can speak as just a mom. We cannot make those kinds of decisions for our kids, nor push them one way or the other with out dire consequences all around. But that’s just my humble mom opinion.

  4. Mel on October 23rd, 2006 10:10 am

    As a retired Marine (36 years), with a son serving in the Florida National Guard in Iraq (combat medic), I agree with Sue — a very wise and insighful lady and mother. Regarding which service to join (if thats the son’s decision), I offer (humbly) a statement from the late President Ronald Regan: “…at the end of each of our lives, we will each wonder whether our life made a difference…Marines never have that problem…”. To that quote, I would proudly and respectfully add the Army (its take-care-of troops & boots-on-the-ground mentality make them winners in my view) and my shipmate-service, the Navy (what they do at sea (ships, subs and air) is nothing short of amazing. Air Force–worked with them, served with them and respect them, admire what they do…but it seems more “self”centered than “service” centered. Bottom line: the kid has to make a man’s decision and live with it–even if he regrets it later. I am sure, if given the chance to make his decision without any pressure from family or peers, that he will make a great decision because it will be based on who he is and not some false image of himself! As I said, Sue got it right!

  5. Kathy on October 23rd, 2006 10:34 am

    I can’t write poetry, but I speak plainly to all of the soldiers out there.

    I cannot believe that God wants you to shed your blood for the lies of our President and his cronies in the armament and military industries.

    You have been recruited under the falsehood that they are going to train you in team work and leadership and other trade abilities that will make you good citizens of the United States.

    However, life is stressful enough in this world without adding the guilt and trauma that they are piling onto your plate by having you watch your buddies and the innocent children and citizens in Iraq die because of the bloodshed they enacted and you were too young or gullible or greedy to question.

    My own son has been bribed into this Army. I did not ask him not to go. I only questioned the reasons why. His reasons all revolved around money, which is easily enough gained here at home. There were no shortages of jobs in his area. But the big fat bonus that he was promised by the Army for the amount of time he was willing to grant them was the motivator. At that point, in my mind, my son became a mercenary, willing to kill for money.

    The men who fought in World War I and World War II saw an imminent threat to our nation in the persons of Adolph Hitler and Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan who decided that they were going after their own agendas of world wide domination.

    Saddam Hussein is in jail and you are fighting people who are trying to explain to you in their own way that they want their country back to govern for themselves.

    The armed forces can continue to brainwash our children and convince them that they have good morals to impart to them and that they are fighting a Good Fight for Our Freedoms. We didn’t lose our Freedoms on 9/11 and we are not in danger of losing them from the Muslims except through the hype that our government continues to provide to keep you in harms way.

    I was always proud of my son when he was in school and how he came home to proclaim that he had stopped a fight during the day and counseled the people who were involved to solve their problems a different way. I don’t understand what made him change from that person, but these are the values that I imparted to my son and we had many discussions about thinking whether or not a fight was worth getting into. I’m sorry to say that I’m ashamed that he stooped to fighting in the Army because they promised him a good paycheck, knowing that the greater possibility was that he would be going to Iraq to fight in this mess that our President has created and which is not a “good and worthy fight”.

    “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is the credo that I have always lived by. It is the one strong guiding principle that God gave to us when his commandments were given to us. I cannot support our troops in the new killing fields of Iraq that have been created for them out of the greed of our President and his cronies for their oil money and their armaments and defense contracts that they benefit by. Make no mistake, gentlemen and ladies – you are fighting the bad fight.

  6. Chad on October 23rd, 2006 2:04 pm

    So Kathy (which your such a chicken for not leaving your email for us to address you), I guess when someone breaks into your home, you are not going to protect yourself. Your a sitting duck. The Lord doesn’t want us to be stupid and let other run all over us without protecting ourselves.

    What don’t you address So-damn-insaines followers about why they killed their own before pointing the finger at our armed services. I had a conversation with my dad this weekend and thinks that only those who have served in the military should have the ability to vote. I thought it was a crazy idea until now. Shut your pie hole you have no freaking clue about life other than the voices talking to you in your head. And last time I checked, there were plenty of times that the Lord commanded his people to kill others. Iraqies governing themselves?? Hello?? Even crappy NPR is reporting that Iraqies are kiddnapping other Iraqies and then calling their families to ask what religion they are and if they “guess” the wrong religion, killing their loved ones. Ya, we should let them run their own country.

    That is great that your son stopped a fight but I have told my son who had one of his teeth knocked out the other day by a kid who was pissed at him to next time let him get in a shot and when hurt him enough to get him to stop. My kid is HUGE for an eight year old (outweighs other kids by a good 25 pounds and trained in Kenpo Karate) and I will be darned if I will just allow him to get his butt whipped.

    Stand up for yourself!! I am very Christian and you are such a God-shmooker for trying to bring God into this.

  7. sue on October 23rd, 2006 3:39 pm

    Wow Kathy,

    I’m so glad your son is more than what you raised him to be!! I won’t criticize you for what your son is doing because I have all the respect in the world for him. But I will say that you, as a citizen of this country really need to turn off the MSM and start checkin out what’s going on in the real world that your son and all of US live in. HELLO!!! You sit there and say that we lost no freedoms on 9/11??? Have you BEEN to an airport lately??? Lady, we all lost a great deal of freedom on 9/11. And I’m not talking about the crap arguments about the Patriot Act. I’m talking about the freedom to get on an airplane and travel and not fear that you will be hijacked and rammed into a building. The freedom to go to an airport and actually get on a plane with out having to practically undress to be checked. The freedom to walk into just about any building in this country with out being searched and scanned and wanded. WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN????? In a hole for 5 years????

    Kathy you can be a pacifist all you want. Just don’t be ridiculous
    about it. I don’t care whether you agree with our Presidents policies or not. That isn’t the issue though you insist on making it so. The issue is whether or not what your son will be doing, fighting in Iraq, is a noble and just cause. And when thousands of people have the vote for the first time ever and the chance to try and form a democratic government, one man/WOMAN, one vote, it IS a good and noble cause whether you see it or not. God Bless your son, and all those like him, who have the courage, and strength to stand up and protect YOUR BUTT and the butts of all the other people who say the shameful things you do.

    And I do agree with Chad, there are many places in the Bible where God commands people to kill, in his name (Isaiah 1:24-31). He is a merciful God, a God of Peace, but he is surely a vengeful God who’s wrath knows no boundaries. (”Vengence is mine sayeth the Lord.”) I think you should read the Book a little more carefully and get back to us as to where it says that you are to just sit back and let bad people continue to rape, steal, torture, gas and kill innocent people by the hundreds of thousands. And whether or not you or any of the others who believe as you do about why we are there, want to understand, or admit it, Saddaam was in violation of 17 different resolutions of the UN. We were, if for no other reason than that, justified to take action. And can you please tell me about the Peaceful reasons the planes were hijacked and all those innocent people were killed on 9/11? Enlighten me!!! What did THEY do to deserve to die?????

    May I draw your attention Kathy to Ecclesiastes 3:7-8 I’m sure you are old enough to remember the song Turn Turn Turn by the Byrds? That came right out of the Bible. “He sets the time for love and the time for hate, the time for war and the time for peace. ”

    And you brought up an interesting point about your son being a mercenary. Too bad our soldiers aren’t paid more for the thankless job they do. And I say thankless because look at you Kathy. Sitting there with all the opportunities in the world at your fingertips, criticizing the President and not rotting in jail for it and all because wonderful men and women like your son, put their lives on the line to make sure you can. Kathy you really need to check the line up of your priorities.

    I won’t even discuss the war for oil/money comment.

  8. Kathy on October 24th, 2006 10:06 pm

    Hey Chad. Nice to hear from such a wonderful person. I did leave my email in the space for which it was provided. If you pay attention to the site conditions, it says that the blogger doesn’t share the emails specifically for the purpose of protecting our right to privacy. He said people who email individually instead of sharing for all to see are chickens. I believe I opened myself up for your comments in a public forum. I would consider that brave.

    As far as my knowledge of the Bible, I did choose to focus on Thou Shalt Not Kill because I believe that is what God would want. That is what Jesus presented to us in the New Testament – Love your enemies and pray for them – are the words I believe he used.

    People teaching their children that it’s okay to strike back when they’re attacked by another child, especially when it’s against school policies, is why we have a warring mentality in the first place. If parents like me can teach their children that talking through a problem instead of fighting about it were more prevalent, we would have less need of guns and people with more tolerant attitudes instead of a strike back mentality.

    And Sue, I’m a voter and a reader and I don’t watch MSNBC. I happen to read history books and spend a considerable amount of time at the library to make sure I have correct information and full knowledge of a situation. I read newspapers and do comparisons about what different people have to contribute. I read international newspapers and listen to what the rest of the world is saying and doing in response to this situation as well.

    The bible is full of wonderful stories, but the guiding principles are what really count. And I do believe that God said he is the vengeful one and He is the one that is to enact that revenge – not us on his behalf.

    Chad, whatever the Iraqi people are doing, they have done for centuries. This is nothing new. It’s just that we have decided to involve ourselves in their centuries-long fight. They’ve been governing themselves without us for years in their own way and we, as Americans, are pompous idiots if we think that we’re going to be able to control them or convert them to our way of thinking in a year or two or even ten. I personally don’t wish to see my son embroiled in their stupidities.

    As far as us losing our freedoms because of 9/11, not you or anyone else in this whole world will convince me that the Saudis on those planes were anything other than paid puppets to enact a catalyst for the Patriot Act, which didn’t have an ice cubes chance in hell of being passed prior to that date, even though versions of it had been up for consideration.

    I agree with you about the military being underpaid. For the risks that they take, our Pentagon and our Congress and our President should be ashamed to collect their wages every month considering the risks that they are asking our children to take on their lame assed behalves.

    Is this enough standing up for myself, Chad? I didn’t have to hit you over the head, did I?

  9. Chad on October 25th, 2006 10:39 am

    Your right, I am a wonderful person!! Thanks for being so judgmental of me instead of judging just my thoughts and ideas. How Christ-like!!

    So if you focus on the New Testament, why is the Old Testament even in the Bible? Christ did teach us to love our enemies but he also didn’t say “Turn you back on them so they can hurt you.” I believe if faith, love, etc. but when it comes down to it but I don’t think the Lord wants us to blind and dumb when it comes to protecting ourselves or protecting his other children from nuts (terrorist or crazy people in general).

    Quote “People teaching their children that it’s okay to strike back when they’re attacked by another child, especially when it’s against school policies, is why we have a warring mentality in the first place.” Chad now - Hmmm, I guess we should just let other beat the crap out of ourselves and do nothing. If fists are flying our directions, we are past the point of talking and “using our words”. The kid hit my son for no reason. He got suspended and my son didn’t. Boy, are your arms tired from hugging the liberal tree?? Can you please put a daisy in my shotgun like the hippies did in the 60’s? Yikes, you are in a soar spot if someone breaks into your homes. Why not put a sign on the door that says “Take my stuff and I won’t fight back.” Even Christ got upset with the money changers in the Temple and threw some stuff around and beat a few with a whip. Again, the LORD DOESN’T WANT US TO BE STUPID!!

    Quote “Chad, whatever the Iraqi people are doing, they have done for centuries. This is nothing new.” Chad now - Just because it has been going on for centuries doesn’t mean that it is right. Wrong is still wrong if it happens one or for thousands of years.

    Quote “They’ve been governing themselves without us for years in their own way and we, as Americans, are pompous idiots if we think that we’re going to be able to control them or convert them to our way of thinking in a year or two or even ten. I personally don’t wish to see my son embroiled in their stupidities.” Chad now - Governing on their own? You consider genocide governing?? Holy sweet mother of pearl!!! And I think the proper term for Americans is ethnocentric……and we are. Nothing wrong with knowing we have a BETTER (not perfect) way of governing. And hats off to your son for actually getting off his butt and doing something instead of the liberals who whine, whine, whine about this and that. I am tired of complainers. Get off your butt and do something!!

    So then why is the Patriot Act still around if it wouldn’t have passed before September 11th?? If it is SOOOO bad, why hasn’t the government gotten rid of it?

    Completely agree that military is underpaid. And even under recognized.

    Oh Kathy, you’re so silly. You need to work much harder if you want to hit me over the head!!! LOL!!! :mrgreen: :cool: :lol:

  10. Mike on October 25th, 2006 3:31 pm

    Liberal Mother,
    I find that your stance of christain faith much differant than mine. I consider the men and women of the military to be called servants of God, to spread liberty and freedon in places that have never had an election. To allow religious growth of there own choosing and not have to worry if the dictator will throw you to the Lions or gas your village or take your young daughter away for God know what. The People in the middle east are barbarians with a heathen God that calls on his faithful to murder, maim, and destroy. The Heathen have taken there war to the shores of the US and europe and asia and across the world.

    The God that I know has given this Christain Nation , his finest, the men and women of our arm forces. God has gifted this country with an ecomony that feeds the world and Protects the world. The only reason that men and women of honor are on the Battlefield is because of thinking like yours, you can NOT appease heathen as they are evil, you can NOT trust because they are heathen, they do not know the our God.
    We as a nation are at war, personnally I pray that the Angels of GOD go with the men and women, our finest , to protect them on the Battlefield of this world.

    God forbid that we have gutless librals ever leading this country again.

  11. Sterling on October 26th, 2006 1:29 pm

    This is a very interesting discussion. I will be going into the Army in May, and I’m currently in college. I could make about $40,000 starting out in the civ world, but I chose to join the Army because I want to serve my country. I am also Christian and I can justify my choice within the Bible. I chose to serve my country because other will not. “Who then will answer the call”, “Blessed are the peacemakers”. I believe that God honors those who will stand up against evil, in all it’s forms. Conflict has plagued our world since God created it. I believe that our best chance at peace, is to keep U.S.A #1. We have to stand up for ourselves. If someone doesn’t want to be associated with USA’s forign policy, then Canada is not very far away.

  12. Mike on October 26th, 2006 2:16 pm

    Sterling, My nephew just graduated into Special Forces and is on his way into Battle. I congratulate you on serving a higher calling than $$ or Liberalism. I believe that you and men like my nephew are part of this countries next “greatest generation” and I know that our God needs men like you instead of the gutless cowards that are on the left.
    I would tell you that God’s finest serve to protect this country now and in the past. I also believe that the liberals need to find a place that they can call home before they rot the core of this country.

  13. CSM (retired) DAVID GREEN on October 30th, 2006 9:39 am

    I would say let him talk to all the services. Of the thing she needs to do is let him make his own decision. First things first what does he want . It has often been said the ARMY has the competivite edge on benefits and the only service to back up in writing its Contracts because it unlike the Air Force. The Air Force has open contracts. Also as of recent I have ran into people who have servied in Joint assignements and don’t feel the Air Force has a clue on Leadership and taking care of its people. If its to keep him out of harms way A.F. Recruiter may lead you to believe that they don’t serve in Combat but not true. Asymetrical warfare isn’t what people think of there are no front lines and the last I checked a Air landing Feild or Airports make good tragets they don’t move. Give me chance to move around in modern Warfare I’ll take my chances any day.

  14. Anthony on October 31st, 2006 7:41 am

    CSM Green,
    I completely agree with you about the Air Force. I currently work in a joint environment and my girlfriend is also Air Force. There are only a select few Air Force members who treet the military as more than just a 9-5 job. Very few of them take care of their troops and I would trust very few of them to lead me out of a wet paper bag.

  15. SGT White on November 3rd, 2006 2:30 am

    Wow, Kathy,

    Your post totally blew me away. You are the first mother that I have ever encountered who let personal politics get in the way of being proud of her son. To each his own though, you have the luxury of voicing your opinion (however misguided that it may be), your son is ensuring that you have that right. He is looking out for you even though you are not looking out for him. I salute him in his endeavors, followed with a pat on the back. He has opened his eyes and saw that our country was in a time of need and he proudly answered that call. Keep reading that good book, but pray at the end of the night for your protectors overseas. I respect you Kathy, more than you may know, I respect you because you have raised a son who knew what was right, a son whose good actions will overshadow your negative actions. Good day, and I also salute you.

  16. Chad C. on November 6th, 2006 11:35 am

    Kathy - If you are gonna quote Bible, and claim Christian… at least have some knowledge of the subject before spouting off and using it for your own personal reasons.

    I always thought this commandment was quite obvious, and very rudimentary to understand, but I run into so many liberals who throw it around thinking it is their trump card to everything war related.

    “Thou shall not murder” is the proper translation. There is a difference between killing and murder. For example, killing a late nite home invader with rape on his mind, is not considered ‘murder’. It’s justifiable homicide. You killed him to save your life and dignity. Thats basically what we’re doing in the middle east. I feel silly having to explain this to a grown adult. But, here I am doing it again.

    Next time the thought comes to mind to use this commandment in a debate… remember that it refers to your neighbor, not the guy strapped with explosives and blowing up your favorite coffee joint that is crowded with your friends and family.

    And your son obviously has a much better understanding of sacrfice, brotherhood, honor and duty, and you seem to have. He also understands that freedom doesn’t come free. And above all he understands that you can’t “talk through your problems” with a islamo-fascist who is hell bent on everyone’s destruction.

    If you’re so big on reading history books, you should know this. History is doomed to repeat itself, because of pascifist cowards who refuse to defend freedom at all costs.

  17. SGT White on November 6th, 2006 1:02 pm

    I am reminded of an old quote from my collection:

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    ~ Samuel Adams

  18. Cameron Yokley on November 15th, 2006 9:08 pm

    I really dont see how Kathy’s comment or the debate has anything to do with the topic. Arguing personal political stances isn’t going to help with this mother’s problem. In response to the topic, I’d say do ROTC in college and then make the decision. If he does join the service he will be able to do so confidantly and comfortably. That’s what I plan to do and I believe it’s a worth-while endevor that will give you son plently of time and reasons to decide for himself.

  19. Lee on November 19th, 2006 12:26 pm

    It is funny, as to how some lefty wacko turned this into a political argument. To the mother whose son is looking at joining the Army, he should do what he wants to do. He should not do what a bunch of people in here tell him to do. I have over 16 years of active duty service in the Military. I have been to Panama, Iraq (the 1st time) and Iraq the second time. While, it is an easy bet to say that your son, should he choose to go in the Army will be sent into harms way. He is just as likely to be sent into harms way in the Air-force. Which ever branch he chooses he will be serving his country proudly. I can say, having done 2 tours in Iraq over the past 3 years, that while Iraq is not a vacation spot, I had some great times with my team-mates while there. Would I want to go back, no. Would I go back, if ordered, you bet. Do I have regrets over my choice of a military career, hell no.

    For you left wing liberal wackos. When I put on my uniform, I am representing the American People, at that time I have no politics. I do what is ordered. The president is the commander in chief, and was elected by the people of the United States.

  20. Omar on December 4th, 2006 11:08 am

    You should be proud of your son, just for considering of joing the miltary.:smile: I’m planning on joing the Military next year. I want to serve my country with respect, honor,and with commitment as well. Even though I’m 16, I only have to wait one more year to enlist.

  21. Omar on December 4th, 2006 11:19 am

    I Can’t wait to put on my uniform, and represent the american people

  22. Harold J Macek on December 13th, 2006 1:34 pm

    If I were 17, and knew what I do—I would stay out of the services…this is a selective war…right or wrong?? Who knows..I see it as rich and poor…the rich go to college, paid for by family…the poor try to get money from the services for tuition…That may be ok in peacetime…not t times like this…There is no glory in serving..much less dieing for it..coming home maimed for life for it…Let every one sign up in a draft, with no outs for the rich to go to college..if they call your number–so be it..if not borrow the money–go to school…

  23. Anthony on December 13th, 2006 8:40 pm

    That is possibly the most idiotic thing I\’ve ever heard Harold. Maybe you should try doing something for your fellow man. It feels real good. Get out of your hole and do something for yourself and your country.

  24. Richard Woodcock on December 19th, 2006 7:48 pm

    Anthony, don’t be so harsh. Implicit in any oath of service is a belief that your government will not make a cavalier decision about when and whether to waste your life “in service of the country.” What Harold is saying is, given the shit for brains planning and the fact that Iraq may turn out to be the biggest tactical and strategic mistake in history, why would someone volunteer to compound that mistake?

  25. Terri on December 30th, 2006 8:43 pm

    As a mom who faced the decision of one of my children deciding to join the military, here’s how I handled it then and how I handled it recently when my step-son decided to enlist. With both my son and step-son, I told them to explore ALL of the options available to them in all branches of the military. Both chose the Army…. my son National Guard and my step-son Active Duty Army. I proudly supported both of them in their decision, because they both took the time to explore what was available to them in all branches and made an informed choice, based on what they hoped to get out of their military service. My son remains in the National Guard and plans to continue until he’s able to retire, he enjoys the military, and appreciates the opportunities he’s been given because of the military. His MOS happens to be one which has a shortage, so he has the constant chance of being deployed as per the needs of the military, which doesn’t bother him, as he feels he should do what is necessary for his country. My step-son leaves for Basic Training in June, has grown up a military brat and is well aware of the positives and negatives of living a military lifestyle. Both had specific career goals in mind, when they chose to enlist, and both felt that the military would afford them better opportunities to reach those goals. My advice to this mom would be to support your child in whatever decision he makes, and be proud of the fact that he feels the calling to serve his country.

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