For over two decades the Military has been on a slippery slope. Many blame technology but I beg to differ. Technology has drastically escalated in the last decade, programs, phones, and the internet in general. Although it has been around for over two decades, I don’t believe that this was the corporate of our rapid change.
Lets take a small stroll through Tech History. In 1983 Global Internet was created and not until 1994 did we actually start to surf the internet, chatting online, using AOL and looking up useful information. This was a great time for all of us. Technology has reached a point where it was much easier for us to look up information and do work. No more typewriters, note pads and researching books for our information. That actually started to happen around 1975 or so except without global internet.
Since before GOD can remember our military’s face was of the Drill Sergeant screaming in your face putting the fear of GOD in you. This was the initiation and your transformation from civilian to soldier, a warrior in the making. Discipline was priority one, standards were high and your military values were a way of life. When you got to boot camp or basic training, there was a drill sergeant screaming in your face. When you got to your first duty assignment, there was a sergeant there to guide you and yell at you when needed. Smoked you when you derailed from the standard, made sure you were physically fit at any cost, and taught you everything they knew. And by GOD those boots better be shined so well you can practically see yourselves in it!
Officers and NCO’s (Non-Commissioned Officers) worked hand in hand but always knew their place in the ranks. Officers planned, NCO’s executed the mission without question of authority. Soldiers knew their place too. Guided by their squad leaders, platoon sergeants and took orders from a bad ass 1st Sergeant, TOP! The NCO Corps was a strong bond of Sergeants that knew what the fuck was going on and what needed to happen at any given moment. If you got out of line, they put you back in line that quick. There was no back talking to an NCO, Officers got saluted with upmost respect and we knew our jobs like life depended on it. Our main mission was to always be prepared to fight a war. After-all, that’s what the military is there for, correct?
Weakness is like a virus in the military and if you don’t contain it, well, look at what happened. Although technology is not the corporate, it does have some blame. Since technology started to evolve quickly, information put out on the internet benefited the soldier in a positive way. Well, at least that’s what it was intended for. The corporate was that weak link in our formation. That soldier did not like how much he was being yelled at, smoked or embarrassed in front of his peers. Regulations became that much easier to access and the NCO Corps started to crumble before our eyes. IG complaints rocketed more than ever and it put the fear in the eyes of the NCO Corps. Technology, IG Complaints and a War all at once crumbled our military. The best occurrence of technology we have now are the weapon systems in place to help us engage our enemy and effectively train far more advanced than before.
Changes occurred way too quickly. Uniforms, berets, no more shined boots, no more physical disciplining soldiers, and revisions to our regulations. We’ve become the paper disciplined military our older generation NCO’s were afraid of. Everything we fought for, worked hard for and time spent all to waste just to cater the new generation of soldiers rolling into our ranks. These changes left our generation of NCO’s clueless of what to do. Our attitudes, discipline tactics and how we spoke to soldiers were a creative task. The fear of an IG complaint was always there. The outcome of the changes were never in good favor to our men/women in uniform. This has caused many weaknesses within our ranks and has spread out like wild fire.
Sadly this fire continues to burn through our ranks with no signs of any positive changes for our future. The virus has even infected the only generation of NCO’s left from the green era. Hope has been lost, the GOF is destroyed, PTSD has skyrocketed through the roof, NCO’s and Soldiers have become buddies, Officers take charge over an NCO, PT Failures across the board, Soldiers do more extra duty rather than their actual jobs, military values has become second priority, standing at attention for an officer and parade rest for an NCO hardly exist now. These are just a few examples. I can go on and on for hours on this but you get the point. In light of things, there seems to be a new trend brewing to make some kind of positive impact on our current generation of soldiers. Hopefully things can really turn around and we can march right back on the trail we once foot printed.