I Would Make A Terrible Soldier….

November 16, 2013

SoldierOne of the things they tell you that you must learn when you become a soldier is to follow orders without any questions or doubts.  It is not up to you to determine if what they order you to do is moral, right, wrong, or any other type of reasoning. That lesson is drummed into you during basic training and throughout your time in the military. Your superiors are the ones who decide what you do. You have little or no input into that process.

I guess I was a typical five-year old in that I constantly asked the question “Why?”  I had to understand as much as I could about what I was seeing or doing. What may not be typical of me is that I never grew out of the “why” mode. To this day I seem to question everything that I am not familiar with. Over the years this constantly asking “why”  has caused me to change courses in my life. Asking too many questions gets me in trouble in several different areas but I guess I am kind of like an addict in that I just can’t stop asking….

6 responses to I Would Make A Terrible Soldier….

  1. 

    You are not correct when assessing the current US military. Soldiers are expected to question an order that is immoral or unethical. They may not like the answer- but they are expected to question it.
    In general, soldiers follow leaders easily who make sense in their orders. If one ends up in the platoon of a soldier leader like you describe- often junior soldiers will warn others “he is a killing machine”. It gets back to the top and the leader is often relieved of command. That has happened during this war more times then one thinks- before they hit the battle field.
    You would have the actual problem when it means killing another person, not following orders. Right? That makes more sense as to why you would be a terrible soldier. I have no problem with that- but call it what it is.
    The days of the unquestioning soldier ended at MeLie Massacre and Hamburger Hill. It happens occasionally- but it is rare. No longer is the “triumph of war” raping and pillaging a town.

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    • 

      Thanks for your opinions Janette, but I think following orders did not stop at Hamburger Hill. But maybe you are saying they can questions orders as long as they don’t disobey them. What is moral and what it not is different between people. I know you come from a strong military family so I will respect what you say without necessarily agreeing with it.

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  2. 

    Spoken nicely by a person who never served and probably does not know anyone who has served on the all volunteer military.

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    • 

      Janette, sometimes you wear me down when I don’t happen to agree with you. We often look at things from different perspectives. I respect that, you don’t seem to be able to do the same. To insult me because my perspective is not the same as yours is demeaning. Please realize that the world may just not be what you think it is 100% of the time.

      And as to your assumption, I have several nephews and nieces and friends who are or have been in the “all volunteer army” as you call it. And just because I personally have not does not mean that I am ignorant to its practices or policies. I have also lost several good friends to our various wars so I am not untouched by our military activities.

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  3. 

    I often feel the same about your comments. You often insult me when I disagree with you.
    As a wife of a soldier, a mother of a soldier in harms way right now, I am letting you know that it is illegal to follow an immoral order. To think otherwise spits on the honor of those who serve, much as my husband experienced when he got off the plane from Vietnam.
    It is a huge issue to me. I am sorry if that offends you. We come at military with different perspectives. I feel a soldier is necessary to protect our ideals – freedom, liberty, human rights. My perception of your feelings is that if there were no army there would be no war. I may be interpreting your part incorrectly, but it is my perception. Do you think evil will leave simply because you wish it away?
    Of course today is the 150 th anniversary of the Gettysburg address. There are reasons for soldiers. The ways they are used is up to politicians.

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    • 

      Of course we interpret things, especially the military, differently. When you say it is illegal to follow in immoral order the word immoral is the center point. If I were a pilot, or now a drone controller, and told to send several missiles into a tightly packed neighbor somewhere in the middle east because there might be a person there who is a suspected terrorist I would so no. The missiles would likely kill too many innocent people. I ‘m sure I would be prosecuted for not obeying orders. As I said before what is moral and what is not is very subjective.

      I can understand to at least a small degree that you, being from a strong military family are hurt by some of my words. I hate war and especially all the damage done to innocents because of war. I try to put the blame for that at the decision makers. They seem to turn to war as a first resort instead of a last and too many innocent people, the proclaimed enemy and our own soldiers, are killed. I never intend to diss the front line soldiers in these wars. As I say they are just following orders that I would would hopefully not. I know there has always been friction between Quakers peace stands and those in the military. They took a lot of suffering as a result. It is just that I am strongly pro-life in all regards. The very foundation of my life is that there is the light of God in each of us and none of us have the right to extinguish it in any other human being.

      Let me say again I am not targeting my anguish against the soldiers, only the deciders. Sorry when you interpret that otherwise….

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