The U.S. military represents the best of our youth.
I am always upset when I read or hear someone denigrate the quality of the American serviceperson. I have read and heard people say that serving in the U.S. military is only for losers or those who can’t get a real job. Facts and my own experience say otherwise. In a recent article written by General William S. Wallace, Commanding General of TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) General Wallace states that only 28 percent of the 17 to 24 year-old population qualifies to wear a military uniform. The other 72 percent fail to meet minimum standards on education, character and health. I seriously doubt that similar statistics apply for the private sector. So you tell me where the best of our youth are employed. I say it is with the U.S. military. Who but the military has programs to encourage educational achievement? WIth programs like JROTC and the National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) the U.S. military is striving to provide an environment where the youth of America can learn leadership, responsibility, critical thinking and many other skills that will serve them both in the military and throughout their lives.
From my personal experience of working with both the Navy and the Army for over 30 years I can state that nowhere in the private sector have I met men and women of any higher character, dedication, and moral conviction than in the U.S. military. The day I retired from civil service at Fort Monroe, Virginia, headquarters of TRADOC, was the proudest day of my life. Not only did I receive the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service but I also received a U.S. flag that had been flown over Fort Monroe. Fort Monroe has been an active post since 1823 and has a proud history. What Fortune 500 company treats its retirees as well?
So the next time you hear or read someone not giving the men and women of the U.S. military the respect they are due, take the time to correct them. It is the least you can do for everything they have done for you and our country. If my words are not eloquent enough to convey to you how outstanding these men and women are then maybe this video taken during a ceremony at Arlington Cemetary will be.