Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordful Wednesday

Military Mentality

After returning from Non-Commissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) down in Gunter Annex, Alabama I have had the chance to reflect on what was taught. Think of six weeks worth of guided discussion about the way the Air Force, and to another extent the entire world, should operate. While the world outside the Air Force might go back and forth about what standard to apply for morality; The Air Force, and the entire military, has standards that its members are held to. This military mentality is, in truth and application, how we operate as we do.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice and Regulations and Instructions provide us with a morality. These things are our bible, we are held to it, and it is enforced upon us. This makes many things much easier for us - for while the world might dither that which morality is best or perhaps there is no morality at all - we in the military have one.

In NCOA we mainly stayed in our lane and did not fully discuss what happens when we deal with people outside of our military mentality - people that our 'bible' does not apply to. Which is everyone else outside the military. What I was told, and could not agree with, is that the local culture - whatever it might be - is the correct way. This was disturbing for me as I view some things are universally right and universally wrong and without that belief I would not and could not ever bring myself to take a life. I was told that Sharia Law and beating women to death is right - inside Saudi Arabia, but not Michigan. This is tantamount to slavery being OK in 1859, but not 1869. History is rife with examples of why this philosophy is flawed.

Some of the things I learned at NCOA were valuable, others were not very valuable and actually destructive if the played out to the end. The military mentality provides with structure above and beyond the laws of our land. It is our 'bible' and it is a both comforting and fearful thing to be under.

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