The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

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Posted on | January 18, 2013 | 16 Comments

It’s called the United States Army. We had a couple of letters from our son who seems to be at the Holy Crap phase of training, where it has begun to dawn on him exactly what he has signed up for: Sergeant wakes them up in the middle of the night and makes them stand in formation an hour or so, just for the sheer sadistic hell of it.

Psychological brutality serves a purpose for the former civilian, and what might be called Introduction to Military Discipline — you will obey the order because it is, by God, an order — is a prerequisite to all later lessons. The private must fear his sergeant more than he fears the enemy.

OK, that thought occurred for non-random reasons, including the idiotic alternative of getting a Ph.D. in Gay Lumberjack Studies.

Aaron Clarey of “Captain Capitalism” fame is the author of Worthless: The Young Person’s Indispensable Guide to Choosing the Right Major, which I recommend. Not necessarily because I agree with it 100%, but with a son currently majoring in Kill America’s Enemies, I figure maybe your kids need to think more seriously about this stuff.

 

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/dustbury Charles G Hill

    “Holy crap” sums it up well: it was that way 40 years ago, and if we know what’s good for us, it will be that way 40 years from now.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatChristyChic Christy Waters

    God bless your son, and I thank God for him.

  • M. Thompson

    Best way to turn a boy into a man (provided the raw material is there).

    I knew a few guys who were using the military as a way to turn their lives around after getting in some bad straits.

    Best of luck to him.

  • Robin

    My son, Scott, reported for Basic on the 15th at Ft. Benning. I’m sure he is in the “Holy Crap!” phase as well. I chuckle every time I remember Basic at Ft. Jackson, SC (1974). I don’t have to do it again.

  • Patrick Carroll

    God bless him and good luck to him.

    In my experience, getting rousted in the middle of the night was a way to get us used to the idea that the bad guys always have a vote on your plan.

  • herddog505

    Oh, how I remember that feeling! “What psycho ward did they get this sadistic idiot from, anyway???”

    Good luck to your son, and here’s hoping he quickly gets to the “So THIS is what it feels like to be a soldier. So THIS is what the Drill Sergeant was trying to teach me all along. Hmm. It feels pretty good, actually” phase.

  • herddog505

    I absolutely agree. I would advise almost any young man to do a hitch right out of high school as it grows you up in a hurry. I hated almost every second of basic and AIT, but I bless the day I walked into the recruiting office.

  • http://opinion.ak4mc.us/ McGehee

    I suspect there will be another “Holy crap” phase when he begins to realize what he’s capable of — that he didn’t know about until the Army showed him.

  • http://twitter.com/wjjhoge WJJ Hoge

    Send your son my thanks and best wishes.

    You’re right in saying that he’s picked a difficult, but rewarding, major. As a reservist, it was my minor, and that was hard enough for me.

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  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Good morning, young master McCain! May we expect your company at formation this morning? *g*

    There’s gonna come a point somewhere in his training where he is seriously going to wonder if it’s worth it. Remind him of three things:

    1. They can’t kill you in training, at least not on purpose.

    2. Trainingends.

    3. You said you were gonna do it, so you might as well get a reputation for doing what you say you will.

  • Quartermaster

    The military has been transformed for the worst into a PC diversity racket that young men are best advised to avoid. I tell good young men to go to Engineering School and avoid the military like teh plague.

    I used to advise young men to go in if they didn’t know what they wanted to do with their life. I hate it that I have to tell them to stay away.

  • Robin

    I feel bad for you.

  • Quartermaster

    Thank You. I feel bad for me. But most likely not for the same reason. Mine is based on what I’ve seen the military become. Politicians have debased it to the point it won’t be much of a fighting force much longer. Anyone that doesn’t see that hasn’t been paying attention.

  • Robin

    You know, sir, I heard my Dad say the same things about the military while I was in. Each generation sees things as being worse, but the soldiers we have today are much better than in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. I remember having to buy ammo so my troops could go to the range. I also remember having to walk because we didn’t have money for fuel. We have more troops with combat experience than just after WWII and no country on Earth can even come close to beating us at anything military. Please have some faith in our troops.

  • SDN

    “a son currently majoring in Kill America’s Enemies”

    Considering that his 2nd Looie is probably fresh from an institution that is teaching that YOU are “America’s Enemies”, better hope he flunks out…..