Monday, April 02, 2012

Army Games

Friday during my volunteer shift at Coffee Strong, a sergeant came in to talk about a possible separation action he thinks his command has in store for him after five deployments as a Ranger to Iraq and Afghanistan. He's about six months away from 18 years service when he will qualify for a pension and is concerned that the Army wants to ditch him because of his attitude after those deployments. He says the what they call attitude is him not willing to be a "yes man" and put up with their bullshit.

The sergeant is not the first career NCO I've encountered who seems to be of no further use to the military. Since last fall, I can think of three others, including some E-7's who have described similar situations to me, including one who was discharged just shy of reaching that 18 year protected window.

By the time a soldier gets to the middle NCO ranks with 15 or more years of service, the Army has invested a lot in that soldier and certainly vice-versa. Yet these days, it seems that the Army is all too willing to discharge an experienced NCO after repeated deployments if he shows any signs of the stress of those deployments. Even more cynical is the Army's willingness to make sure the soldier doesn't get the pension that he would otherwise receive.

Maybe it's just my imagination, but when the Army treats its lifers like that, it's going to have a very difficult time earning soldiers' trust.



Anonymous Labrys said...

Frankly, I don't think the military gives a shit about gaining trust of the troops. I think they count on the lousy economy providing an endless supply of fresh "meat" to use and abuse.

10:15 AM  

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