Thank you for your service, Civilian…
Life in the military is fundamentally different from civilian life… This is the first sentence on a pamphlet I received as I went through initial military processing when I volunteered for service.
Essentially, the military is a dictatorship which has the expressed purpose of defending a civilian populous from external threats. Organizationally, the military has a chain of command comprised of two levels of leadership: Military leadership (Sergeants, Captains, Generals), and civilian leadership, namely the house, the senate, and the president, to which the military leadership are beholden.
Ultimately, the orders that the military receive originate with the civilian leadership, under the assumption that the civilian leadership has what is best for the general populous at heart.
There seems to be some disconnect in the American conscious which prevents, generally, the realization of the correlation between what our military does, and those who tell them to do it. I could list ad nauseum instances where it would seem that our higher civilian leadership acted in contravention to the best interest of the People it serves, especially and with particular regard to the money it spends, where, why, and how much.
I just want to point out, before someone thanks me for my service today, that the military only does, without question, what it is told to do by elected and appointed civilian leadership. And also to a great degree follows strategy formulated by civilians who are not elected or appointed, hold no oaths of office, and are not accountable to the people.
The loudest I hear cry, “Thank you for your service,” are those who apparently have little interest in the close examination of military operations or their expense. I find it disgusting how media decries the ‘beauty and magnificence’ of the televised spectacle of America’s military might via the detonation of massive and multiple ordinance, and how it makes no mention of the egregious expenditure to the people. I find it scary how in one breath one can exude gratitude for another’s military service, but with the next can chastise the civilian leadership for their incompetence or criminality. All while unwitting of the fact that that same civilian leadership is the source of the orders given our armed forces.
This Memorial Day, as you remember the fallen, also take time to begin to better understand the reasons for which we fall. Examine and understand the cost and effectiveness of the prosecution of war. Take out your tax returns for the last 15 years and remember that 40% of that money falls under the category of ‘doing your part.’
The civilian leadership in this country is determined by democratic process. Under a republican form of government (which this one is still presumed to be), the PEOPLE are directly responsible for all their civilian leadership does and does not do. This includes how they spend our money, and how our armed services are managed and employed. Is this what you expect?
Thank you for your service, Civilian.