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Thought I'd share this: recently spoke with a younger Millennial evangelical (about a decade younger than me) who recently got out of the Army (enlisted). Deployed to Syria and Afghanistan but sounds like more time in Syria.
He tells me Syria was not a just war. There were no good guys. We shouldn't have been there. He remains troubled by atrocities committed by groups the US is helping.
His advice is DO NOT JOIN THE MILITARY and if you feel you must, DO NOT JOIN THE ARMY ESPECIALLY. He has thought a lot about the recruitment crisis, attributes it to some causes we're familiar with, but others that don't get mentioned as much:
1. He personally hates Woke but doesn't think that's the real issue and it didn't really affect his experience. He thinks Woke is emblematic of the fact that the people on top are inept bureaucrats with an HR mentality who don't care about the mission OR the men. In his view, Woke recruiting ads, dangerous levels of black mold in the barracks, and the atrocious care at Walter Reed Hospital all have the same principal cause.
2. He thinks Army is worse in this regard than the other services, though they're all bad.
3. He thinks that this quasi-peacetime/COIN Army is the worst of all worlds for recruiting. He thinks some men want to be in a peacetime Army, march around, polish monuments, and get college paid for. Some want to be in a wartime army and kick the ass of the designated foe. No one wants to be in an Army where you still sometimes get shot at but no one knows what the point of any of it is.
4. The pay and benefits aren't worth it. See also point #1 -- the state of things like Army healthcare and housing, which are technically part of the "comp" package, but the old-timers he served with told him they have deteriorated a lot relative to yesteryear.
I'm glad the book deal has gone through. Can't wait to read it.
I have a question about the "illegitimate and immoral wars" reference. In your opinion, how should the US have acted after 9/11?