Welcome to active duty

Ho ho ho

I tried to be sympathetic. I really did. Honest. But what about the National Guard deludes people into thinking they didn’t sign up for a military responsibility?

Well, there’s really two issues going on in that article. The first, the idea that “z’omg! I actually have to, like, go to war and stuff?!” is just stupidity. But let’s be honest here, L_Z, you and I both know that the promosie of a job and college money attracts some real characters who aren’t exactly rocket scientists.

At the same time, that article looks to be projecting the complaints of a few onto the attitude of the many. 13 soldiers out of 1,000 isn’t quite an epidemic, and isn’t uncommon even within the active ranks.

Now, the second issue, that of there being a two-tier caste-like system in place has more teeth to it. I’ve seen it from both the active and reserve side of things, and yes, there is a problem there. If you’re called up for active duty, you should be treated like an active duty soldier. That means you get both the responsibilities and duties of an active duty soldier, of course, but you should also get the benefits.

Right now that’s not happening, though. The military tends to treat reserve soldiers the same way that corporations treat temporary employees, unfortunately. Training is often lacking and equipment is usually barely serviceable.

I don’t think anyone who signed up for the guard in the 1980s or 1990s realized they were agreeing to be a Manpower Incorporated for the army. In the old days they really were a last-ditch mechanism.

We should probably revisit this; it seems like the only reason it’s done is the military trying to save a few bucks.

And let’s not forget saving the reservists themselves a huge amount of hassles. Active duty life is like living on another planet.

The problem is with the level of training given in unit and the predeployment time they are alloted for it, where reservists inevitably get shortchanged.