Tag Archives: officer

What Do You Think

Many years ago, I used to be in the military. I retired from the military almost forty years ago. And, forty years ago, I loved the military. I was not under any delusion about why I was in the military or even why I stayed as long as I did. But, one thing is sure, when I became dissatisfied, I got out.

I went into a specific branch of the military because I did not want to be drafted into the army like the majority of Black people. I beat them to the punch by a few days and while I was in basic training my mother received my draft notice. I was happy for eighteen years, my last two was hell.

As First Sergeant, my last two years saw the change in the military. As the top NCO in my outfit, I felt it more than the men on the outside because I had to deal with the hard change of regulations and ensure my men understood them and adhered to them.

Most of these changes were meant to ensure people had their equal rights applied. There could not be hollering (shouting) at them, grabbing them (assault), in other words, handle with the softest of gloves. It was time for me to go because any one of the people could bring charges against me for hollering at them, etc. which would put me in serious trouble, and twenty years goes down the drain.

Why am I remembering all of this? I was watching television and saw the news about the deployment of military personnel. I also heard some saying they had no notice and it was not right. My question is this, why did they come into the military? Opps…I answered my own question as I think back to when I was in the military. Before I retired to get away from the new military, I talked to a few men that summed it into a neat bow.

I was told that they were there to get an education, to get away from home for a while and to save a little money for later. They did not come into the military to go to war and anything close to that. They wanted to start a family and expected the government to protect and provide for their family. I had a couple of officers tell me almost the same thing.

In my day in the military, it was not like that. We got little pay, very slowly made rank, was roughed up until we got our mess together ( it was expected and no one died but became better because of it) and we never dreamed of having any equal rights except at the toe of the First Sergeant’s boot (just a love tap). I have deployed within a four-hour notice. It was expected and not a mumbling word was heard. Those that were married, and later I was also, schooled their family that at any time the horn would sound and they could be gone for a few days to three months (anything over that is considered a PCS (permanent change of station) except under extreme circumstances).

I still say, like I said when I left the military, the military have gone soft. Then there are echoes of days gone by. I heard somewhere that people are talking about the draft. Well, to dodge the draft you can’t run to Canada now. The President closed that door. What about Mexico? That door is closed also. So, I guess the military is stuck and so are the draft dodgers. Humm…