Would you volunteer to join the army?

  pj123 16:59 20 Jun 2008

Would you volunteer to join the army?

I know I wouldn’t.

Just been watching a couple of old TV programmes which I saved to VHS where army recruits are subjected to the worst treatment I have ever seen.

From what I can make out the people who are supposed to be training them (mostly Sergeants) have absolutely no people skills.

They don’t seem to have any intelligence at all and if they were in civilian life they wouldn’t know what to do. That is why they stay in the Army.

The latest film I am watching is called Soldier Girls, it is an American army recruitment film. It is no different from the UK films.

I joined the Royal Navy when I was 15 years old and the trainers (Petty Officers and Chief Petty Officers) were at least human.

Yes, we sometimes had to run around the parade ground with a rifle above our head but we never got our messdeck trashed. We were helped all the way through.

  mobileman1953 17:04 20 Jun 2008


  Quickbeam 19:15 20 Jun 2008

I nearly did when I was 17 but chose a different path. Would I volunteer now, no... because I have had a lifetime to be wiser.

Most young soldiers aren't interested in the world of politics, so their reasons are very different for joining Vs mine for not joining.

Of course if my homeland was threatened by an invading force, that would change things for most of us.

  jakimo 19:17 20 Jun 2008

"they don`t seem to have any intelligence at all"

Thats a bit harsh don`t you think,they are fighting a war said to be in this countries interest.

Its MP`s intelligence you should be questioning

  Rigga 19:29 20 Jun 2008

well It's all very well saying that the trainers are hard.. but modern war is hard.. very hard.. harder than any trainer can train you for.

Maybe it's well that the trainers are nasty, killing people is a nasty business. war is a nasty business.

I have never been a soldier, and would never want to bo one.. but if I ever needed to fight I would want to be prepared, and no matter what each of us thinks about the methods, I'm pretty sure that most of the people who train our soldiers have the best interests.

Well that's what I'd like to believe anyway.

At the end of the day, they are trying to teach soft young people how to survive. If that means teaching them the world is a not very nice place.. then they may have just saved a few of them when they get to the frontline.


  laurie53 19:47 20 Jun 2008

You have to be more scared of your sergeant than you are of the enemy.

That's the guiding principle.

I've suffered it, and used it.

  jakimo 19:53 20 Jun 2008

Well said,I'm glad I would have someone to stand next to if push come to shove,

In all the threads posted on this subject in the past,you would stick out like a sore thumb,and be in the minority. and I'm not to happy about my father\grandfather\and 3 uncles being referred to un-intelligent

There would certainly be a run on white feathers if pj123 is an example

  csqwared 20:04 20 Jun 2008

I joined at 15 having been an army cadet for a couple of years, my thinking was that I had enjoyed what I had seen so far, I would be taught a good trade and be able to retire at an age when I could still do other things - all of which came to pass. Yes there were tough times, also extremely happy times, the crux of it being we were all in it together and we all helped each other through, a maxim which seems to puzzle many of todays youth.

As a boy soldier I visited a boys naval training ship as I ran competitevly for my regiment and saw no difference there in the treatment of the lads than we endured as 'brown jobs'.

  peter99co 20:48 20 Jun 2008

I think the word Discipline is a word not very often used and if what it means was practised more, we would not be so suprised when we encounter it.

  Arthur Scrimshaw 21:51 20 Jun 2008

What other way is there?

  Forum Editor 23:31 20 Jun 2008

because that's the tried and tested way to make people realise that they are not permitted to question the orders of those in command. Show me an army composed of free-thinking individuals and I'll show you an army that will fail in battle.

Unfortunately, a system that on the one hand produces a smoothly functioning fighting force also provides a fertile environment for sadists and bullies - trainers who enjoy inflicting physical and mental distress on others. That such people exist in modern armies is indisputable and regrettable.

People volunteer to join armies for many reasons, and it's dangerous to generalise, but it's undoubtedly a fact that some join because they find it hard to manage their lives as civilians - to them the army is a safe haven, a place where decisions are made for them by others, and where they gain a sense of security from the comradeship of others like themselves.

Whatever the invidual motives are, we should be glad that in today's world there are still those who volunteer; people who are prepared to endure the training and the fear that comes when they engage in combat situations. We can't all be Einsteins, and we don't all have the qualities which fit a person for military service, so let's accept the differences between us and have no more stupid remarks about white feathers.

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