What the Army thinks of its own soldiers

Here is a video of a meeting that certain soldiers were required to attend if they declared their intent to not re-enlist:

I couldn’t find a transcript of the presenters’ pitch anywhere, so I transcribed most of their spiel:

[Presenter #1] How many of you have an iron-clad, all-bills-paid, already-accepted-to-a-college-of-choice, place-to-live, everything-paid-off plan for when you get out? Think about that.

[Presenter #2] OK, we know the military is not a refuge for individuals who can’t make it in society. We know that. We know that you all have the capabilities to survive out there and do very well. But we know that some of you out there are immature and haven’t grown up yet, and need more responsibility. Some of you soldiers are real young. I didn’t really start to think about what I wanted to do with my life until at least 26, 27. Some of you are what — 23 years old. Not really know [sic] what you want to do with your life.
[...]
[Presenter #1] You can’t go home and live with momma. She’s not going to put up with you anymore. You are not the same person. Your friends back on the block are still doing the dumb, stupid stuff they were doing three years ago when you left.
[...]
It’s true — if you go out there in the real world and spend all your money on beer and someone’s going to be evicting you and you’re going to be sitting on the street homeless with a cardboard box sitting around calling up Seargent [inaudible] saying “Can I come back in the Army?”
[...]

A few things stick out for me:

  • The Army “knows” that it is “not a refuge for individuals who can’t make it in society”, but also that it is a valuable refuge for those soldiers that are too immature to make it in society. In other news, black is white.
  • Immature soldiers who can’t cut it in the real world are much better off, apparently, if we put them in charge of powerful weapons.
  • If you have any debt, you would be crazy to leave the Army.
  • If you haven’t gotten accepted to a college, you would be crazy to leave the Army.
  • If you would have to live with your parents, you would be crazy to leave the Army.
  • You would be particularly crazy to leave the Army to live with your parents, because the Army has changed you such that you are now intolerable to your parents. Apparently, this is an improvement.
  • Getting shot at is much better than having debt, not attending college, or living with your parents.

Not to mention that leaving the Army is a sure way to end up in a cardboard box.

Good to know.

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