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The Army: Yesterday vs. Today
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The other thread was getting off topic, so I started this one.

What do you think of today's Army vs. the past? What has changed? What do you feel is "wrong" with soldiers of today?
 
Posts: 458 | Location: San Francisco | Registered: 08 September 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of SSG. T
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The way I look at it is like this; Who trained, and mentored today's Senior NCO's? Because today's Senior NCO's, are the one's that are training and mentoring young NCO's such as myself today. So before we can say, "today's Soldiers are this and that", we've got to look at who groomed the leadership of today?

George Orwell once said, "every generation imagines it's self smater than the one that came before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it". Granted, I'm sure the troops of yester-year had it much harder than we do today, hell even their PT was harder, running in OD Greens or BDU's with boots, hard bodies right there. In my opinion, there is nothing "wrong" with today's NCO's or Soldiers for that matter, we just work smarter, not harder. Today we have the luxury of technology that they didn't have back then, it's almost like the Army evolved to accomodate the Nintendo generation, lol.

In respect to discipline, the Army is far more lax now than it was just 7 years ago when I came in. Everyday at least one junior enlisted Soldier comes to talk to me and they aren't standing at parade rest. I'm not a real stickler for stuff like that, I don't feel that a Soldier needs to have his/her hands behinde their back, head and eyes forward to show respect. So long as they address me by my rank and last name, everything is fine (perhaps I am partly responsible for the collapse of the ridid tower of discipline that folks like Pathfinder1 worked so hard to erect, my apologies).

I think the biggest issue with today's Army and it's Soldiers is the common sense factor; Not the lack there of, but rather the over abundance of it in today's Soldiers. Back in the day, if SGM said jump off a bridge, off you went. Today if SGM says jump off a bridge, one or two might take the leap, but the rest will stand back a moment and assess the situation before choosing to follow or disobey the order. I'm not saying Soldiers from back in the day were stupid, or lacked common sense, but they lived the mantra of "not to reason why, but to do and die". That attitude works in some instances i.e. RUN!!!, GET DOWN!!! IN COMING!!!! However, the majority of the time, especially with this new and unconventional warfare that today's youth has been thrusted into, you had better be a thinking man or be a dead man; The latter is simply unacceptable for most, including myself.

I could go on forever on this subject, but they don't pay me to hang out on the Armystudyguide forums all day, lol. Soldier's from the old school will disagree with some of what goes on in today's Army, but the bottom line is this; The sole purpose of the the Army is to fight and win the wars of the United States. When we stop doing that, then we have a problem. In short, and with all due respect to retired and old school Soldiers, chill out, fall back, we got this, enjoy your freedoms, it's our turn to defend them.
 
Posts: 570 | Registered: 29 January 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post


USAR Career Counselor
Picture of Daddy Warcrimes
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One issue I have is the sense of entitlement I see in many Soldiers (not just new ones coming in, but many who have been around a while).

This is of course largely the Army's fault by providing across the board bribes to put and keep people in boots. It's also reflective of our society as a whole where we teach that everyone is a winner and that we have a "right" to an easy life.
 
Posts: 2867 | Location: 13th BN ARCD, AZ | Registered: 15 February 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of SSG. T
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quote:
Originally posted by Daddy Warcrimes:
One issue I have is the sense of entitlement I see in many Soldiers (not just new ones coming in, but many who have been around a while).

This is of course largely the Army's fault by providing across the board bribes to put and keep people in boots. It's also reflective of our society as a whole where we teach that everyone is a winner and that we have a "right" to an easy life.



I think that falls along the lines of the "money talks, bullsh*t walks" mindset that a lot of Soldiers and even Society as a whole (generally speaking) has adopted. I imagine there is a majority of Soldiers in the Army that are like myself; we need the Army, we need the job security, we need the pay and benefits. The folks at DA are well aware of this, and it's no secret that money will make people do things they wouldn't normally do; Money changes people. I don't think it's so much a sense of entitlement, but rather the "f*ck you, pay me" mentality that is more inherient to today's youth and young enlistees. This of course is perpetuated through the media, and entertainment industry, however with as jacked up of an economy as we have currently, can you really blame them? The sense of duty, honor, and loyalty to one's nation isn't as much of an incentive as a couple stacks in the bank. I think the sense of entitlement comes from a society that remembers the Veitnam era, where Soldiers came back to a nation that seemed to hate them, as if they choose to start a war. In an effort to keep that from happening again, Soldiers are becoming accustomed to all the little extra perks that a greatful nation has so willingly bestowed upon it's service members; Not everyone is a hero, and not everyone is a winner, but heaven forbid PVT. Snuffy learns of this. That's when the standards start dropping a little more, and we now find our selves in a time where we celebrate mediocracy along side excellence.
 
Posts: 570 | Registered: 29 January 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post


USAR Career Counselor
Picture of Daddy Warcrimes
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I have nothing against a soldier being justly compensated for his service, but we already do that.

My gripe is about those who think they 'deserve' a bonus in spite of the fact that their MOS is 200% over strength.

My grip is with the guy who left the Army, and wants to come back in, but complains that the Army won't let him be anything but a 11B.

My grip is with the soldier threatening to call IG because the education requirements for direct commission changed in the middle of her application process.

If you need a bonus to reup, reclass to a bonus MOS, or get out. Don't tell me how much the Army needs you.
 
Posts: 2867 | Location: 13th BN ARCD, AZ | Registered: 15 February 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of SSG. T
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quote:
Originally posted by Daddy Warcrimes:
I have nothing against a soldier being justly compensated for his service, but we already do that.

My gripe is about those who think they 'deserve' a bonus in spite of the fact that their MOS is 200% over strength.

My grip is with the guy who left the Army, and wants to come back in, but complains that the Army won't let him be anything but a 11B.

My grip is with the soldier threatening to call IG because the education requirements for direct commission changed in the middle of her application process.

If you need a bonus to reup, reclass to a bonus MOS, or get out. Don't tell me how much the Army needs you.



LOL, I can see how that would frustrate you. I think too many Soldiers are under the impression that they are irreplaceable (holla at Beyonce`), or that the Army needs them so, so bad that they treat reenlistment like a bidding war, this ain't Def Jam, lol.
 
Posts: 570 | Registered: 29 January 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of SGT SiX fOuR
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I totally agree with you, Daddy!


"Every day is a holiday, every meal is a feast, and every paycheck is a fortune..."
 
Posts: 63 | Location: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington | Registered: 23 October 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of Pathfinder1
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I "HAVE TO" put my 2 cents in.....
1. I agree with SGT T - the NCO's that trained or failed to train today's NCO's are at fault. Along with the lack of training comes not enforcing standards. (Military Courtesy, Physical Fitness, Discipline, General expectations). That started real bad in the late 80's. That's why I am so grateful for those that kicked my #$$ so many times and "made" me comply. It's obvious to me when my son (an E-5 Supply SGT and 2 tour of Iraq vet) shows up on leave with a scraggly beard.

2. The point of questioning things really is a large issue with me. When I addressed a soldier, the only replies accepted were: Yes, Sergeant, No Sergeant, or I don't understand Sergeant. To have a soldier "debate" with me over an issue is absolutely unimaginable to me.

3. Sense of entitlement is definitely an issue in my viewpoint. I never received a reup bonus, and never expected one. All the "I Love Me" badges - I 'earned". Seems like recently, soldiers seem to think they "deserve" to do what they want, when they want. This is evident with my daughter (E-4 Korean Linguist). She shows up at Ft. Meade and tells them "It's too cold, I'm not doing this". Where does a troop get the thought that they can tell NCO's what they will or won't do????

4. Technology is far beyond what I had. I thought we had it made with a TACSAT!!! GPS??? Junk in my day - heavy and killed batteries left and right. Digital radios (AN/GRC119 and 113's) were just kicking in as I was leaving. M249 was new. We didn't have ACOG's, GMRS type squad/team radios. We didn't have self contained sleep systems. We barely had Internet. Maps were still transported in cabinets. We were better off buying tourist maps from gas stations on deployments.

I really could go on and on, but I'll end up getting the post closed and kicked off the forum. All in all, It still works. Just depends on MOS, time you served, what unit you was in, your mindset and your chain of command.

AIRBORNE- ALL THE WAY, and THEN SOME.
 
Posts: 81 | Location: Pacific Northwest | Registered: 03 March 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post

Picture of Sivy2009
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As for the questioning the leaderships decisions, well, I kinda understand that in today's Army/world. If you blindly follow people you end up with a nice criminal case on your hands now. In Vietnam the war crimes were put more on the command and not the individual soldier.

Now in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars a soldier has to question his actions anytime a hostile reaction is necessary in order to avoid landing in jail for making a simple accident/mistake.

How could you not expect soldiers to act different when the world around them puts so much more "political/individual" pressure on them to be perfectionists in environments where even the best of the best cannot be perfect?


"Sic Vis Pacem Para Bellum"
 
Posts: 447 | Location: Hawaii | Registered: 10 December 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post

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I entered the US Army basic training in 2003. I have seen the changes in just about seven years, and I can see where Pathfinder1 sees issues. Things have become so much more 'lax' now, than they ever were before. I honestly am surprised the military can function as well as it does with the lack of structure now. I will not sit here and stroke my own ego though, I too am guilty of lacking discipline at times, and just being a dumbass in how I act, think or speak. But I also know when I %$@# up that its my time to own up to it and pay the cost. And believe you me, I have messed up alot. But I have learned from it, I have grown from it and learned how to be a better soldier from it.

I think a lot of our issues come from the way some of these new soldiers were raised. I know when I was little nobody batted an eye when your parents smacked you around. You did something wrong, and pain was the way of correcting that wrong doing. Now, you so much as raise your voice and CPS wants to take your kids, make you go to 200 hrs of sensitivty classes and 20 hours of parenting classes. When did the adult, the parents lose control? This also rolls over into the Military. As PF1 states his daughter was able to say "It's too cold, I'm not doing this." her "mom and dad" aka Section and Platoon NCO's should of gone upside her head and made her do it, aka do the damn task and get a nice little set of extra PT for being a smart ass.

One other small issue is that ALOT of the NCO's now aday want to be friends with their peers, and subordinates. They seem to have an issue differentiating a professional work relationship and a personal one (which isnt allowed anyways). I can see having moral building nights, and going out as a section or platoon for dinner or drinks (with a DD of course) to he help build commaderie, or to welcome the new soldier, but being on a first name basis AT WORK??? NOT PROFESSIONAL, not conducive to good discipline, and not proper.
 
Posts: 72 | Location: Ft. We-Gotcha | Registered: 29 October 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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