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My understanding is that sergeante enlisted many years after the draft was ended in the US and not reinstated during his time. I imagine para.2 is based on personal observation.emc wrote: As to the second, there is currently a purpose -- the War on Terror -- but I think the real reason that they could always find the guys to fill the combat jobs was, for much of the Cold War, conscription.
We had a Sergeant Major called "Jimmy the Fruit" ... different service same standard of humour.sergeante wrote:I think you don't know what I mean. When I was on active duty, back in 80s and early 90s, homosexual sailors were considered a joke, not a threat. On one cruise we had a mess attendant that everyone called "Sexual Chocolate". (Let your imagination run wild with that one -- you'd probably come up with something approaching reality.) Nobody was angry with him or wanted him off of the ship. If anything, most guys kind of felt sorry for him, for his unfortunate personality extremes.Salamander wrote:
I think you mean that there are enough complications with just "heterosexual males" at sea, and that we have become "sufficiently and correctly tolerant as societies."
"Sufficient" and "correct" tolerance? Who says? When it comes to social and cultural issues, suffcient and correct are in the eye of the beholder. Our societies aren't under existential stress at the moment, or anywhere close to it, so many are happy to monkey around with what works, in the name of whatever social justice goal they think they're achieving. We ever had to face a real threat again, we'd abandon these nonsenses much more quickly than we fell for them. They're luxuries, not truths.
Two groups of people who did care were local police, who got to easily fill arrest quotas, and Soviet spy agencies, who could blackmail closeted gays in sensitive positions.ChrisPat wrote: We do see the heavy and indiscriminate hand of The Law at work. Truth is back when homosexuality was illegal most people didn't care so long as they weren't bothered.
Just so. In the all-volunteer force we had a 14 division Army, 192k Marine Corps, the "400 ship" (not quite, but close enough) Navy, and the Desert Storm-plus-all-other-commitments Air Force. We found all of the male recriuts we needed, and had money to provide the big retention bonuses of the late 80s (like my $11k for six years as a machine gunner). All it takes is a perceived purpose that goes beyond just another employment option.Dave AAA wrote:
My understanding is that sergeante enlisted many years after the draft was ended in the US and not reinstated during his time. I imagine para.2 is based on personal observation.
Some aspects of the military life are indeed a vocation, but unlike nursing and the ministry, military men are not doing their real job most of the time. Even field training is not like combat all that much -- you come in for the weekends the majority of cases. Also, the war against the islamists is basically an (American) Indian War at this point. It's baked-in to the structure of everything that goes on and, while it is real, it's hard to portray as existential. The difference with the Cold War is that the threat was real and perceived to be existential. That turned the calling factor up to 11.ChrisPat wrote: You could say that about religious ministry or nursing, the military life is a vocation and not everybody is called. Right now we're struggling to maintain numbers and capability; of course life's meant to be a struggle but we ain't winning nor even holding ground at the moment.