This week, we discuss a pair of articles about the people who make up the Army at large: Millennials
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First is an interesting article from Slate about the so called "Warrior Caste," the people and their families who regularly feed their bodies into the military. Eighty percent of new enlistees have an extended family member who has served. Which, lets be honest, makes sense. If you have family members who serve, it's always going to be a viable option in the table.
Does that make a caste? Maybe in the past it wouldn't, but with 16 years of fighting behind us and many more to go, the divide between civilians and military is getting wider. A caste suggests something put upon a group of people by society, but the military has become more and more insular as the civilian population has no real skin in our wars any longer. There's no rationing, no threat of an armed invasion on our shores. Civilians don't pay attention because we don't demand it of them. Beyond the occasional picture of bloodied children that gets shared on facebook, there's hardly any lasting outrage. War is the new normal.
Next up, we have the Modern War Institute with a story about how millennial troops are the greatest weakness of the military because we're too used to gadgets and facebook and Call of Duty.
I'm not even sure where to begin with this monstrosity. From complaining that kids these days don't get out as much as they used to (Because boomer parents aren't letting them) to being the least entrepreneurial generation (Bitch, I've got like 40K in debts) yet another old man mad at the kids doing things different got a hold of some column inches and decided to run with it.
Yeah, I don't know how to land nav of the top of my head because I have a GPS. If ever there's a situation where the DAGRs stop working, we're pretty fucked, but I can always pull out my smart book and brush up on shooting an azimuth.
My favorite part of the article is the "It deviates from historical norms" when talking about an abundance and dependence on technology. I'm sure no one was saying that when the first radar detection systems went it. Did all the Cavalry people complain when we stopped going to war with horses? Probably! And they were wrong to want to keep using them. I'll also let all the WWII bombadiers know they were dumb for using the Norden Bomb sights.
If there is a deficiency in this generation's training about "Fighting Naked" (with reduced electronic signatures) then that isn't on me. That's on my leadership. Maybe instead of penning shitty comments from West Point about how I'm not ready for the two wars I already went to, you contact TRADOC and get them to shift training.
Or you could keep shitting on the generation fighting the war just like everyone else.