US Military Comparisons
The following was a question emailed me from my 17 yr old daughter regarding
possible employment in the US military, and my response.
Being a retired military man of no small experience after 20 years of uniformed
service, I felt qualified to offer my child these quick assessments of the
various US Armed Forces. She is quite a precocious child.
Thought you might find it amusing... unless you're in the Air Force. ;) My
I'm interested in joining the Army, but I have a few setbacks.(gr?) The first
problem is that I don't know the difference between the Army, Army reserves,
Navy, Military, etc.
A quick snapshot:
First, the "military" means you become a member of an armed organization, and
generally get trained to do something that will hopefully result in the death
and maiming of The Bad Guys. This is considered a GOOD THING in the military
forces, as opposed to the police forces, who get arrested by other police
forces for hurting The Bad Guys who hurt The Good Guys. No one knows why.
The Navy sails in big steel ships and generally floats about the planet, drinks
vast quantities of beer and other alcohol in port and shoots stuff with
torpedoes, missiles, and really big guns that can hurl Volkswagens over 17
miles. It is generally considered unsafe company for any female over the age of
13. They can also do these remarkable things from supersonic jets, submarines,
aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, frigates, river patrol boats and
occasionally, in an unauthorized manner from small pleasure craft. The Navy can
usually kill The Bad Guys from several hundred miles away, and sometimes even
thousands. They have the silliest looking male dress uniform, although the
women, inexplicably, seem to enjoy them. On the men. No one knows why.
The Army slogs on foot or drives through mud in a stupifying variety of
off-road vehicles, almost always armed; it builds flimsy bridges because they
generally sink in water and drinks lots of beer in camp or in Germany and
shoots stuff with rifles, grenades, cannons, rockets, small missiles, tanks,
and howitzers that can hurl 351 cubic-inch Windsor engines over 20 miles. They
can also do some of this from helicopters. They Army usually has to get really
really close to The Bad Guys to kill them. They have uniforms intentionally
designed to resemble dead or dying shrubbery.
The Marines attack beaches, jump in front of bullets thereon, drink vast
quantities of unidentifiable and usually noxious potations (that sometimes are
engulfed in flames, which explains the absence of facial hair on almost all
Marines), make strange barking noises for no apparent reason and shoot at
anything -- usually with rifles and cannons and a very small collection of
missiles. They can also do almost all of it from helicopters, jump-jets, and
supersonic fighters. They usually have to get pretty close to The Bad Guys to
kill them. They have the coolest looking dress uniforms. Their other uniforms
resemble living shrubbery, or perhaps even desert scrub. No one knows why.
The Air Force flies around in silly airplanes, fixes 'em, hold hands, drinks
Pink Ladies in their sissy bars and shoots stuff with the umbrellas from their
pansy drinks. They have to get right on top of, or behind, The Bad Guys to even
see them. They have silly robin's-egg blue uniforms.
The Coast Guard sails in little steel ships and generally floats around US
waters and rescues people, drinks small quantities of alcohol in a disgustingly
responsible manner and shoots stuff with rifles, machine guns, and tiny naval
cannon that can perhaps hurl small undressed children about 5 miles (but only
if The Bad Guys look like drug runners). They also have silly robin's-egg blue
uniforms. The Coast Guard is not gay. Usually.
The Reserves do this stuff part time (after boot camp and initial training),
one weekend a month and two weeks a year.