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Old 12-01-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Military People Stereotypes

I would just like to ask some thing, please answer if you know any thing about this subject or just feel free to share your thoughts here, why do many people have so many stereotypes about some one who is a "military person"?~

I've noticed that often people when they notice from some form of indication that I am in the U.S.A. Military Navy, often from the shirt I am wearing because I have just left a DEP meeting, in-person they will "thank me for serving our country", but online it's a different story:

when ever I mention that I am in the U.S.A. Military Navy on online forums and then proceed to express my personal views, thoughts, and perspective on ANY subject: it seems most people will respond by saying that "that will be beat out of me soon by the Navy".~

What?~

I do not know what kind of "ideal" many of these people have about "what it means to be a Navy military man or person", but it seems if I'm "not it" in their eyes then "the military" will some how "correct me" into being "what they (not the military) think I should be".~

I know that many people have almost no knowledge at all about the U.S.A. Military, but no matter how much I have tried to reason with people who hold stereotypes of "military people" they seem determined to not be open to learning any thing that contradicts their held stereotypes or beliefs about "military people".~

I have not been shipped out to basic training yet, but I will be in January 2014 now, but my recruiters and every one in the military who have been in for far longer than I have have taught me much: including that "A Non-Marine, Non-SEAL, Navy Sailor is their specialty first. We don't say I am a Navy Sailor, we say I am a (Navy job) Aerographer's Mate and a U.S.A. Navy Sailor. Unlike a Marine who is always a Marine first, their job specialty second. You want action, you want combat go Marines or Navy SEALs that is their special area. You want technology and super specialized fields then go regular Navy, that is us."
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 12-01-2013 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorsWolf View Post
I do not know what kind of "ideal" many of these people have about "what it means to be a Navy military man or person", but it seems if I'm "not it" in their eyes then "the military" will some how "correct me" into being "what they (not the military) think I should be".~
More like, what they (the military) think you should be.

From what I've seen you write, you're a free-thinking person who believes that individuals have the right to express themselves and dance to the beat of their own drum.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but free-thinking is exactly the opposite of what you're taught in basic training. Don't think, just obey. Don't question authority. Don't second guess your commander. Do what you're told, follow orders, trust in your leadership at all costs. Free-thinkers don't make good sailors -- they have an annoying tendency to ask "why?"

I would assume that's what people mean when they say the military will beat it out of you. You'll be taught that your personal views, thoughts, and perspectives are less than irrelevant. You eat when they say eat, you piss when they say piss, you sleep when they say sleep, you run when they say run, and you shoot when they say shoot. But most of all, you think what they say think.

I could be wrong. I admit I'm not speaking from personal experience. So let's touch base when you finish basic training and see who's further off the mark.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:00 AM
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I agree; many aspects of my personality are incredibly suited to being in the Military. More so when I was younger. However, I don't have that 'just obey" disposition. I couldn't do something that I felt is wrong. I even struggle with that on Call of Duty. And because I lack that mentality, it would be a very miserable life for me at best, and at worst, I could compromise an operation and/or other people.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:09 AM
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Everyone joins thinking they know what they're letting themselves in for, but being in the military is a completely different lifestyle to what you'd have experienced up until now. It's more immersive than just about any civilian job you can name and for extended periods of time it's all you do for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. IME it also bears very little similarity to what TV and the movies would have you believe.

You've no doubt been making assumptions about military life based on the big differences between how you live now and how you'll live then, but it's the small stuff that you'll end up caught by. I'm not going to tell you "they'll beat it out of you", because that sort of thing is (or at least should be) frowned upon, but you will find a military life is different than you expect in a hundred tiny ways. If you're still in in 5 years you'll look back on yourself as you are now and shake your head at your naivety, although half of that will be due to 28-year old you laughing at 23-year old you no matter what line of work you end up in. Even earlier than that, by half-way through basic training you'll probably find yourself sniggering at some of your more starry-eyed expectations, and if/when you make it through basic the memory of telling people "I am in the U.S.A. Military Navy" before you actually set foot in training and expecting them to take you seriously will have you rolling around the floor in fits of laughter.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchrodingersCat View Post
More like, what they (the military) think you should be.

From what I've seen you write, you're a free-thinking person who believes that individuals have the right to express themselves and dance to the beat of their own drum.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but free-thinking is exactly the opposite of what you're taught in basic training. Don't think, just obey. Don't question authority. Don't second guess your commander. Do what you're told, follow orders, trust in your leadership at all costs. Free-thinkers don't make good sailors -- they have an annoying tendency to ask "why?"

I would assume that's what people mean when they say the military will beat it out of you. You'll be taught that your personal views, thoughts, and perspectives are less than irrelevant. You eat when they say eat, you piss when they say piss, you sleep when they say sleep, you run when they say run, and you shoot when they say shoot. But most of all, you think what they say think.

I could be wrong. I admit I'm not speaking from personal experience. So let's touch base when you finish basic training and see who's further off the mark.
Correcting as requested: see this the mentality that many who have little interaction with the military or little understanding of the military life have.~

This is not a "bad" thing, there is just some need for education here.~

Let me explain:

1. The first thing many people not in the military need to know is: most if not ALL of us serving in the military are here because we volunteered by our own free will, with most if not all of us knowing exactly what we were getting ourselves into and thus I chose this path of life and every thing that comes with it: it's not all completely about "obeying" it's about a commitment you made upon joining the military, agreeing to all of its' rules, and signing that legal contract.~


2. The military or at least from what I know of the Navy is not some "big evil corporation that will allow no room for free thought and crush all mentions of questioning authority": the military is an organization with jobs and like many organizations with jobs it has rules, but these rules do not make those of high authority "gods" incapable of ever being corrupted or questioned, the military is an organization run by "people": when an order is given whether it is illegal according the military rules and/or the country's rules OR not, there are procedures, rules, and measures and practices to be followed and than can be taken to question it and more.~


An example is joining a banking corporation: now according to the rules and regulations of that banking corporation and the laws of the country it is in taking money from the banking corporation for yourself without permission is illegal, you know this, you knew this before joining this corporation and agreeing to work for them, would you do it any way "just because you felt like it"?~

Most likely not.~

The same goes joining the military and for example deciding to get drunk on duty, the military has now a "Zero-Tolerance" policy in regards to being intoxicated from alcohol or ANY substance while on duty: you WILL be fired and NEVER allowed to come back in.~

Another military example that applies is abusing your authority for "sexual abuse" of female military personnel, again the military takes these kinds of things very seriously.~
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 12-01-2013 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emm View Post
Everyone joins thinking they know what they're letting themselves in for, but being in the military is a completely different lifestyle to what you'd have experienced up until now. It's more immersive than just about any civilian job you can name and for extended periods of time it's all you do for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. IME it also bears very little similarity to what TV and the movies would have you believe.

You've no doubt been making assumptions about military life based on the big differences between how you live now and how you'll live then, but it's the small stuff that you'll end up caught by. I'm not going to tell you "they'll beat it out of you", because that sort of thing is (or at least should be) frowned upon, but you will find a military life is different than you expect in a hundred tiny ways. If you're still in in 5 years you'll look back on yourself as you are now and shake your head at your naivety, although half of that will be due to 28-year old you laughing at 23-year old you no matter what line of work you end up in. Even earlier than that, by half-way through basic training you'll probably find yourself sniggering at some of your more starry-eyed expectations, and if/when you make it through basic the memory of telling people "I am in the U.S.A. Military Navy" before you actually set foot in training and expecting them to take you seriously will have you rolling around the floor in fits of laughter.
I made no such assumptions and I do not know what life in the active duty Navy Military will be like.~

I know only what I have learned and been taught so far.~

Perhaps things will be different in a thousand tiny little ways than my life now or perhaps it will be vastly different than my life now, what ever it will be like: I welcome it and I look forward to what ever it will be and I will try to make the best of what ever situation I find myself in or I am doing and I always find some way to appreciate every thing.~

I signed my contract knowing full well exactly what I was getting myself into: I am ready and willing to die for my country, agreeing to all of its' (the Navy Military's) rules.~

I do not like it when people make assumptions about the kind of person that I am and the kind of things I would do: military or not, it is not fair to me nor to any one it is done to, and it is very presumptuous of those who do so.~
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 12-01-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:33 AM
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It's the same as someone about to start their first semester of university calling themselves an aerospace engineer, or a guy applying for an apprenticeship calling himself a plumber. All their research into the job may have been done, but they have no qualifications or experience so to claim the title is laughable.

That said, you've already decided what you're going to believe and as I've noticed that you don't actually ask your thread-starting questions in order to hear other points of view I'll leave you to it. Best of luck with your chosen profession.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:40 AM
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I am former Air Force.

It's human nature to categorize people based on our existing knowledge base. It is shorthand thinking. If we didn't do this, we would be overwhelmed with information overload. Not good, not bad, it just is.


As a service member, you will be expected and held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen. We don't give guns to those who guard the gates unless we trust them not to use them against us. "Higher standards" is a societal subjective concept. It means that behavior that lies outside societal norms are discouraged. (Although, I would like to note that the US military integrated before the rest of US society did.) As such, when people say that BMT will beat freethinking out of you, this is what they mean.

There is a misconception that service members are not allowed to question authority. There is nothing further from the truth. We are called to follow lawful orders without hesitation. That means we always evaluate the orders we are given, knowing that we rarely have all the information available, in an extremely small window of time. If we carry out an unlawful order, we are held just as accountable as we are if we fail to carry out a lawful one.

Individuality is permitted in as much as it 1) doesn't interfere with the mission, and 2) doesn't detract from the professional image needed for societal trust.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigGuy View Post
I am former Air Force.

It's human nature to categorize people based on our existing knowledge base. It is shorthand thinking. If we didn't do this, we would be overwhelmed with information overload. Not good, not bad, it just is.


As a service member, you will be expected and held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen. We don't give guns to those who guard the gates unless we trust them not to use them against us. "Higher standards" is a societal subjective concept. It means that behavior that lies outside societal norms are discouraged. (Although, I would like to note that the US military integrated before the rest of US society did.) As such, when people say that BMT will beat freethinking out of you, this is what they mean.

There is a misconception that service members are not allowed to question authority. There is nothing further from the truth. We are called to follow lawful orders without hesitation. That means we always evaluate the orders we are given, knowing that we rarely have all the information available, in an extremely small window of time. If we carry out an unlawful order, we are held just as accountable as we are if we fail to carry out a lawful one.

Individuality is permitted in as much as it 1) doesn't interfere with the mission, and 2) doesn't detract from the professional image needed for societal trust.
Thank you SO MUCH!~ FINALLY some one understands what I am talking about!~ XD

When it is just me saying these things, 1 or 2 people or no one will believe me let alone take me seriously when I try to explain it to them, I am SO glad some one who is in the military besides myself has finally spoken up on this issue!~

Thank you!~ ^_^

Let me elaborate for Emm and every one else who didn't get my point with my last post:

I do not like it when people make assumptions about the kind of person that I am and the kind of things I would do: military or not, it is not fair to me nor to any one it is done to, and it is very presumptuous of those who do so.~

I have my own thoughts, feelings, view points, and perspectives of every thing and I am and I am trying to be the kind of person that I want to be.~

I agreed to all of the laws, rules, and regulations of the organization that I signed up for.~

This is what other people on online forums almost always do to me: they assume I will question some one of authority the first chance that I get and that some how having an individual thought of my own without even acting upon it will immediately alert every one and have me singled-put for "being a free-thinker".~

To make such HUGE assumptions that I am:

1) Unlawful, unruly

2) Have no self-control

3) Have no sense of timing or how to read a situation

and 4) Have absolutely NO respect for those in command

to make ANY of these assumptions when some one leaps to their imagined situation of me "always questioning authority and being disrespectful" is mind-boggling, it's unfair, judgmental, stereotyping, generalizing, highly presumptuous, and just plain ridiculous.~

It's even more sad when these assuming people don't even want to be open to understanding what kind of person I really am like, what the organization I work for is really like, and what they think they know is often just a fantasy.~
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Last edited by ColorsWolf; 12-01-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:52 AM
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We are called to follow lawful orders without hesitation. That means we always evaluate the orders we are given, knowing that we rarely have all the information available, in an extremely small window of time.

My emphasis.
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