Gruntworks Op/Ed

State of the Armed Forces.

As a civilian you may not fully understand life in the military. You go about your day to day life as a drone or a zombie, doing the same thing every day. Obviously there are little things that change the dynamics of the days you go through, but the point is they are 90% the same. You wake up Monday through Friday and go to the same job and put the same skills to use. The difference in each day? Could be a different task; may be working late or starting earlier than normal. By and large though, it’s the same…and I lived this life. I was a design trainee for a fire protection contracting firm that specialized in fire Product Block - Ruck Up Decalprotection sprinkler systems for commercial establishments. There were a few jobs that were for privately owned residences. I woke up at 0700 to arrive at 0800. I sat in the same traffic on the same roads. I took lunch at 1200 to 1300 and punched the clock at 1700. Some days I was in as early as 0400 and left as late as 2200. I never worked overnight. But I never exceeded 40 hours a week unless authorized by my boss.

In the military, it is much different. At a minimum you dedicate 12 hours a day to the machine. 0600 or 0630 is PT. 0900 or 0930 is work call. You often times work through lunch and normally go home around 1800. If you are a leader, you expect 13-15 hour days as good days. You sometimes pull CQ or Staff Duty which is essentially babysitting adults. It’s a strange lifestyle to be a part of. Yet we sign on because we love that flag and what it represents.

As a civilian you don’t hear too much about the bloopers and blunders of the military, unless you are friends on social media with someone like me. Someone like me who shares the newest story or meme in regards to real life events. Hell, I take to my page, ‘The Ball Pit’ and rant about it or tell the tale exactly as I recall. But the fact remains, you are by and large sheltered from the bloopers of the military life, unless you are a civilian married into the life.

Recently there have been massive blunders committed by the Armed Forces. One being the Marine scandal of nude photos being passed around a social media site. Fast forward a few months and the Army decides to have a cocaine raid on Fort Stewart. As a civilian, you don’t hear about this unless you’re prior service and know where to look…or if you have friends who are military and happen to catch it in your news feed.

What is happening to the military? When I signed up, the worst thing to happen was when someone would smoke some dope or get a DUI; and that’s the blunder. Now we are creating a nude picture pipeline and a cocaine trafficking system. Don’t even get me started on Fort Hood’s prostitution ring. (The sad thing about that, is it was a senior NCO and higher echelon leaders who took part in it!) Is this the Guinness Book of World Records? Are we trying to beat the latest moronic incident with another?

If you’re trying to get famous, you’re doing it all wrong. You’re shedding horrendous light on those of us who keep our noses clean and stay the course. Stop fucking it up for the rest of us.

Man, what has become of this military? When did we become so moronically ballsy and careless? Where did the leadership go wrong?

Product Block Safety PinIs there something that just clicked to make Joe think they could get away with this madness? Right, I forgot. The relaxing of all military standards, the authority of NCO’s being pulled away, and the mountains of paperwork that just keep piling up. I forgot. Silly me. We’ve adapted to modern day culture and society. We’ve turned the Armed Forces into a civilian breeding ground as opposed to turning it into a family of trained, effective, war winners and Soldiers.

We are a politically correct group. We are no longer the most feared fighting force on the planet. We’re a joke and we can’t do shit about it. Yes. I say we because I am still active duty. I say we because I am a part of this abomination. I am here, as a NCO, hands tied to my ankles, and can’t use physical exertion to get points across anymore.

When I messed up as a private, I was in the trees, sweating. I never made those mistakes again.

I was late to PT one time. I low crawled the entire 60 minutes. When it was over, our platoon police-called a specific area. Not that day…I did it…by myself while low crawling. Now I have to write a counseling statement and utilize my personal time to make sure they arrive on time. I can’t make them low crawl or do push ups. I have to make them show up earlier. And I have to be there.

This version of the military is garbage. That is my opinion and I’m sticking to it. I know I’ll have some backup and some heat coming to me on this, but I don’t care.

Train your Soldiers right. Show them the right way of doing business. Teach them what isn’t ok in the military and mold them to be the best future we can offer the military.

It seems at this moment, because I haven’t dug into it, that the Air Force, Navy, and the Coast Guard are all not doing dumb shit. I hate to say it, Army and Marines, but be like them!

The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Gruntworks, the staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site


Active Duty Army Artilleryman; avid Clash of Clans player; husband who thoroughly disgruntled his wife; creator/host of The Ball Pit on Facebook and YouTube; blog writer for Gruntworks; Twitter - @theball_pit; Instagram - @theballpit1; Facebook - @theballpit1; YouTube - Subscribe to the channel, like and follow on all the social media platforms above, and check out all of my blogs found here, and at Gruntworks!

2 comments on “State of the Armed Forces.

  1. RJ "Trim" Blair - Gruntworks Blog Editor"

    On point!

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