And none too soon, by the looks of things:
I leave the Army for good in September of this year. My chain of command has been shell shocked that I am going through with it. Two years ago when I first came to grips with what was happening and resolved to no longer be a part of it, there was derision and even an officer telling me that voicing my opinions about the state of the US economy and its moral failings could be considered a violation of the UCMJ for conduct “prejudicial to good order and discipline.”
When I gave my Operations NCO a copy of the book “A Distant Mirror” by Barbara Tuchman he came to me a month later stating that if there is a civil war, he and his fellow Hispanics will “have to choose sides.”
When I told my first sergeant why I would not be re-enlisting, she said “Don’t you want to re-enlist to get your 20?”
I said that I wanted to re-enlist, but I couldn’t, that my pension was nothing compared to being prepared to sacrifice my life. Then she and I went on to discuss my (your) ideas on why there was a possible collapse of the US government in the future, she went from denying the possibility to stating “Well, it all depends on what level of collapse you’re talking about,” needless to say I was stunned.
The re-enlistment NCO refuses to talk to me, and several other mid to senior level NCOs who previously thought I was kidding have left the Active reserves for the Individual Ready Reserves.
One stated that he too was disgusted with both candidates for president and then asked me if I thought things would be so bad, why wouldn’t I stay in and try to fix things “from the inside”? I cited the example of the Yugoslav army and how there were fire fights within units and stated that I would refuse to follow unconstitutional orders. I then asked, “Don’t you think if one of the two candidates gets in power that either might order the power of the state to be used against their political enemies? That’s what would be likely to START those kinds of firefights, right?”
If you’re not familiar with military culture, NCOs are the mortar that hold the whole thing together. Young officers are eminently replaceable, as new ones can be trained up in a matter of months, but the veteran NCOs that provide them guidance are not.
The fact that the NCOs are leaving is an even more damning indictment of the current US military than women being permitted to serve in combat units or homosexuals and transvestites being allowed to serve at all.
I don’t find this chilling, though. I find it a somewhat positive sign. Because I suspect the American people are at least as likely to be designated the enemy by the US government one day as the Russian or Chinese militaries. And the prospects for We the People’s will be considerably better if most of those veteran NCOs are on the side of the nation, rather than serving the government against them.