Thoughts on Military Service, Part 4: The Ugly


The time is now 1700.  End of the day on Friday, and time for your safety brief.  You guys have to hear this from me, your senior NCO, so that you don’t get yourself into trouble.

Of course, I know this will happen with some knuckleheads, but those are just a few.  This is for the rest of you so that you’re on the straight and narrow.

Last time, I covered the bad.  This time, it’s gonna get interesting.  I’m covering the ugly

This, guys, is really the one you have to watch out for.  Seriously.  No recruiter is going to tell you this.  No senior officer is going to tell you this.  And, hell, your peers might not tell you this.  Why?  They don’t think about it.  Or, they don’t want to think about it.

That’s my job.  Let’s get to it.

  • In general, the types of people who join the military are sadly often bottom or near-bottom of the barrel in terms of self-regulation, mental stability, maturity, direction/purpose, smarts, and ethics/morals.  (However, keep in mind that the military won’t accept cretins because there are minimum intelligence standards.)  You’ll find at least one of these things in the people you work with and work under.  In your travels through the American retail jobs landscape, if you thought your shift supervisor at Home Depot, or McDonald’s, the Winn-Dixie, or the warehouse had his head in his ass, had a short fuse, and couldn’t wait to fire you or make your life hell because he was petty and got bent out of shape for something you said to him, wait until you meet his type in the military, where you have to deal with him all the time and can’t tell him to fuck off with little in the way of retribution.  Ditto for a female boss and/or Karen, which I’ll get to later.
  • As the saying goes, “it takes all sorts to make a world.”  Same with the military.  For both men and women, you’ll encounter white-bread suburbanites, big city New Yawk or Bah-ston, Joy-zee Shore, Chi-town, Born in East LA, ghetto (even with the gold teeth), ratchet, whiggers, white trash, corn-fed farmers, hillbillies, good ol’ boys, fresh off the boat (and maybe undocumented, hoping for that golden ticket of US citizenship), dirty Chicanos, Narco-cultura, Jesus freaks and dyed-in-the-wool Baptists and even Mormons, skater dudes, surfers, hippie kids, slackers, degreed smarty-pants, computer geeks, Second Lifers and LARPers, nerdy Asian and Indian . . . and the list goes on.  (Have I touched on every slightly offensive stereotype? . . . wink, wink.)  Your time in the military will be a prime opportunity for you to learn how to deal with such people, because, in civilian life, you normally wouldn’t have anything to do with them, most likely, except minimally.  But, as I said, they were certain people when they came into the military, and whatever attitudes, cultural grounding, or dysfunction they have won’t be magically erased once they don the uniform.  A shitbag or slut can still be a shitbag or slut.
  • You will find people in the military who think nothing of getting drunk regularly, going off half-cocked and getting into fights, shacking up with low-rent pussy or dick, spending money they don’t have and getting into debt, driving fancy and expensive sedans or sports cars or trucks (Dodge Chargers, Mustangs, Ford Explorers, or Cadillac Escalades, anyone?) with the shiny rims because it’s a status symbol (and for which they have a exploitative car loan), tattooing up their bodies, acting pettily, cheating their fellow military (they’re not called Blue Falcons for nothing), getting into domestic abuse situations, or just something more pedestrian (and sad) like staying in the barracks all weekend, drinking and playing video games – weekend after weekend.  This is more or less across the board with all service branches, though some are worse than others because their standards are lower.  As for me, I can speak only of my Army experience, and I’m speaking of lower enlisted who are usually in their younger 20s.  (At the time I write this, those I’m referring to would be younger Millennials and he oldest of Gen Z.)  Senior enlisted, who are usually older (and, at the time of writing would be older Millennials and mid-to younger Gen X), don’t exhibit the same pathologies or they might exhibit them in diminished form: e.g., the married 30-something Sergeant First Class (SFC) impregnating one of the lower enlisted in the same unit or one of the other units.  That’s kept on the down-low, though.
  • The least offensive of these asshats, in my view, are the bellyachers.  These are the guys who came from “high-speed” units prior to the one you’re in (or, who might have been prior combat arms and then reclassed into an easier MOS), and seem to find every reason to complain about how “ate up” or ass-backward this unit is.  At my Signal unit in Germany, for example, there were a couple of guys in the unit who came from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, which is home to the 82nd Airborne Division and, for sure, is more spit-polish and intense than many other units.  (FYI, you’ll find that at bases that are dominated by the infantry or cavalry, and Airborne.)  Despite these same guys complaining that they didn’t like how invasive their NCOs were at Bragg, they also complained that people in this unit were soft pussies who had their head in their asses (“four points of contact,” in military speak).  And, mind you, these were Signal people, not infantry, MPs, or some other kind of combat arms or combat-related MOS.  Naturally, I’d expect a former Ranger or Special Forces to complain about how soft Signal people are, but not from other Signal people.  Like I said, asshats.  Nothing will ever make them happy, and you get to listen to them complain as well as puff themselves up more than what they actually are (oh, shit . . . did someone say virtue signaling?), just because they spent some time on a combat arms base.
  • Related to the bellyachers – the so-called “high-speed”ones – are the people who take it upon themselves to correct what they see as “bad” behavior, even when none exists.  In other words, neurotic and controlling (at least IMO) busybodies.  These could be NCOs, who justifiably should be looking out for the welfare of the junior enlisted, or one’s fellow enlisted who have nothing better to do and who fear that they’re going to get their asses chewed for a non-existent threat, etc.  In my case, during my first deployment, I squeaked by on my first downrange PT test.  As a consequence, the one NCO that I ended up working with in the office, but who wasn’t my direct-line NCO, took it upon himself to put me through remedial PT for a couple of weeks.  I don’t recall if he consulted with my direct NCO for this, but he might have since the two of them were buddy-buddy.  This NCO, I should highlight, had a short fuse and told me that he had been busted down at least twice in his career for mouthing off to an officer.  He also had been divorced with two kids, and married a fat, repulsive woman of a darker shade and had kids with her.  I put him the category of the busybody.  He was likeable enough on the surface, but a bit creepy, and not trustworthy enough where you could tell him your deepest secrets.  I couldn’t stand my direct NCO, and so didn’t trust this other guy.  Neither of these guys I’d ever had considered to be “model” NCOs, or soldiers.
  • Connected with this, if you are the NCO of one of these soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, or Coasties, you’ll be the one responsible for their behavior and their “well-being.”  If they fuck up, then you get your ass chewed, even if what they did was unintentional or accidental.  As a general rule, whenever a very senior enlisted or a flag officer sees something “ate up,” the first thing they do is make a beeline to the NCOIC and chew his ass out, ordering him to fix it right then and there – and sometimes, everyone else has to drop what they’re doing to fix the fuck-up. 
  • Because I was enlisted, I can only really speak about other enlisted.  Officers usually are separate from the enlisted and interact with them sparingly.  There are also far fewer of them compared to the enlisted, so you’re not going to see them that often.  My guess is that officers would be at a higher standard (relatively speaking) than the average enlisted, so the pathologies outlined here might be fewer in number.  However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t officers who don’t exhibit the same problems as enlisted do.  Really, the only difference between officers and enlisted, at bottom, is that the officer likely has a college degree, has had different training, interacts with different people and in a smaller pool, reports directly to the unit commander or XO and not to NCOs or junior officers, and has a different job, which might be more “professional” (e.g., doctor or attorney) or “managerial” (i.e., paper-pusher).
  • You will surely run into people who have hygiene problems, which the military tries to solve in part by using NCOs as counselors, but can’t correct if the problem runs deep.  In my case, I knew of guys who refused to take a shower with the other guys in basic training, because they were embarrassed, and who wound up with a skin disease.  I knew of guys who, at my first duty station, still didn’t take regular showers and who, consequently, made others nauseous with their BO.  (On the flip side, there also were guys who took regular showers, but used strong body wash and/or Axe Body Spray.)  And, I knew of a guy or two who never properly washed his feet, or cleaned his socks or boots, and who always had bad athlete’s foot.  And, I want to underscore, that all of this can apply to chicks, too, despite what you might think to the contrary.
  • You will surely run into people who have pre-existing physical and/or medical conditions that affect their performance, but which the military chose to ignore (at the time) because they wanted the numbers to be high.  I knew of a few people who were borderline overweight, and who never got promoted because they couldn’t meet weight standards.  I knew of one guy who had very bad sleep apnea, to the point where he, quite literally, sounded like he was sawing down a forest while asleep.  Not surprisingly, this was partially a result of his weight, which he never took proper care of because he couldn’t stop shoving all kinds of unhealthy food down his gullet.
  • You will surely meet people who are mentally disturbed, even if minor.  This can manifest in many ways.  Unhealthy preoccupation with video games, and the same people secretly thinking that they’re a character in one of those games.  Hyper-sexualized men and women, some of whom wouldn’t think twice about cheating on their wives or husbands, or who might try to seduce you because they want to get some nookie from you or because they want to trap you.  (My guess is that they were sexually abused as children.)  Overly aggressive people.  Alcoholics (fairly common).  Closet skinheads and neo-Nazis.  Ruby Ridge survivalist types.  I even knew one guy in Germany who was active in the Furry community online, and who once told me that he French-kissed his dog.  Mind you, all of these people could be functioning soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, or Coasties during the day, and could blow it out of the water with their PT tests, weapon qualifications, etc., thereby making rank quickly.  But, this is what the military tends to score one highly on.  Not so much on intelligence or character, or even proficiency at their job, despite saying the opposite.  Rather, how these people are able to keep going in the military, in my opinion, is a mixture of physical fitness, cunning, doggedness, and dumb luck.  Or, as the in the case with what I’ve liked to call “shitbag Masons” — higher-ups are protecting them from their worst abuses.
  • Because of their pre-existing pathologies, these people can be loose cannons, flipping out even when they’ve not been in combat.  They’ll also turn on you because of something you said or did.  In my case, and because I was older, I sometimes had younger NCOs who tried to lord rank over me because they didn’t like me for some reason.  Quite possibly, I intimidated them.  Age and life experience, and a professional demeanor, can sometimes trump rank.  (But, always remember that you have to respect the rank; you don’t have to respect the person.)
  • Because many people are scum, you always run the risk of falling prey to predation.  Psychological abuse (which is hard to prove in a military setting), harassment, false accusations, theft, and assault, to name a few.  Especially, if you’re junior enlisted, you must strive to keep a low profile, have a strong internal compass (as well as a moral compass), and know the military regulations to fight back if you find yourself in a pickle – and be prepared to take your lumps if you lose the battle.  You might have a case, but then lose because you’re outranked or because expediency trumps all.  Lose the battle, but live to fight another day.  That’s one definite upside.  Play the long game, always.  Keep your eyes on the prize.  Lastly, predation also applies to current active duty and veterans in the form of organizations asking for money or time to further some vet-related cause, and where they give you little in return except a T-shirt and aluminum water bottle.  Especially, those that are crouched to prey on you are colleges, because they want your GI Bill money.  Tread very carefully, and deliberately, when you deal with colleges.  Sad to say, there are far too many vets out there who were screwed, blued, and tattooed, left with a huge pile of college debt, despite the GI Bill paying for a good chunk of it, and no degree.  Sometimes, this was because the college was a fly-by-night outfit that went under.
  • Those who have or who can attain rank over you might be tempted to abuse it.  By the same token, if you outrank them, you might be ineffective if you have no authority and support from your chain of command if you try to motivate them to do something.  You can politely ask first, then cajole, then order.  When the order comes, that’s where you might get pushback.  I’ve seen this to be the case with junior NCOs who were newly promoted, and who found themselves outranking their homeboys, when they were the same rank as they were for so long.  It’s often a case of, “Oh, so you think you’re better than us?” or “So you forgot where you came from, huh?” on the one hand, and a blurring of the lines between homeboy-ship and professional distance.  Put simply, if, in your gaggle of buddies, you suddenly became their boss, think of all the problems that engenders.  If you have to bring the hammer down because one of your team fucks up, what do you do?  Your duty dictates that you have to discipline them, but then how effective will that be?
  • If you’re an NCO, in my view, you’re more effective if you’re an E-6 (e.g., Army Staff Sergeant) or above, and you’ve never met the lower enlisted before.  From day one, the rank structure is in effect and firmly in place, and you keep your distance from them.  Though the military, obviously, tries to promote those who are deserving because this is career progression, as I said, it royally sucks when you have all the responsibility, as an NCO, and none of the authority.  Such is the life of the junior NCOs. 
  • You have few, if any, means of escape if something goes wrong with someone or something.  That is, whereas in the civilian world, if you have a major and intractable disagreement with someone, which degenerates into name-calling, you can just tell them to fuck off and walk away.  If you don’t like your job, you can quit and get another job, or get laid off and collect unemployment.  In the military, you have to embrace the suck, eat that shit sandwich, etc.  If things get really bad, then the unit will probably take measures to separate you from that other person, but you still are in the same unit with him or her, unless he or she is transferred to another unit.
  • Related to my predation comment above, since around 2010, when I got out, there have been more and more “vet-friendly” organizations and employers out there.  In principle, I’ve always thought this was a good thing, because Vietnam vets certainly didn’t have this, nor did vets in the 1980s or 1990s.  If you were a vet in trouble back in those days, you probably had to rely solely on the VA and a handful of older organizations for assistance.  (Then again, also remember that the number of vets in the 80s and 90s was smaller because the military had been reduced in size since the end of the Cold War, and there was little that was attractive to being in the military, especially since the economy was booming in the 90s.)  Now, in 2020, there’s a surfeit of organizations out there, other than the VA, that provide assistance with housing, unemployment, health and mental health, job placement, training (e.g., code schools, if you want to get into IT), etc.  Today’s vet has a wealth of resources to call on.  This is certainly a good thing.
  • However, there are some important caveats here.  Based on my own experiences in trying to find a job from early 2010 and other vets’ experiences (which I’ve done over the years with being part of some online vets’ groups, including LinkedIn), the road can be a tough one if you’re not prepared for it.  Again, this is nowhere near as bad as the Vietnam vets had to face, but I’ll also wager that, in other respects, it was easier to get a job back then than it is today.  For one thing, one could get a factory job or other lower-level job with just a HS diploma, and even better if the guy hiring you was a vet himself.  You could go to college, when it actually meant something, get your degree, and then start in an entry-level trainee job, eventually working your way up.  I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  The upshot is that, in today’s world, because there are fewer jobs, because the economy (even before COVID) has been limping along, because of affirmative action (where if you’re a white man don’t even bother to apply), and because of what I like to call The Process (online application forms, automated hiring, automated rejection letters, and Karen/Titsy Magoo in HR).  Again, I could go on.  There are so many other obstacles that you, the vet, will have to face in getting that job post-military.  This is why, for many vets, expecting that it will take at least six months to a year for you to fully transition off of active duty and become a stable, productive citizen again is likely in the cards.  You likely will be unemployed for a while.  You likely will have to go on several interviews, and then not get a call back.  You likely will have to play fuck-fuck games with recruiters (internal and external) and then have it go nowhere.  You likely will not hear anything back from interviews, wondering if you got the job or not.  As I’ve been in the working world for many years, before and after my Army time, this hasn’t changed, and it’s gotten worse.
  • Oh, but it gets better, rest assured.  Not only do you, the vet, have to face the indignity and humiliation of a broken and dysfunctional hiring process, but you have to steel yourself against the indignity and humiliation of “vet-friendly.”  Sad to say, in many cases, I’ve noticed that “vet-friendly” is virtue signaling.  Especially in a large organization, though they might say that they honor and respect vets, you’ll have to get in line and go through the process like everyone else does, unless you can find someone on the inside who will run interference for you and help you to avoid The Process – as much as they can.  Along the same lines, the organization likely won’t bring you on board unless you have something they want, and if you check their diversity boxes.  FYI, a vet is a valued diversity classification (as evidenced in how many times, online, you have to check if you’re a veteran when you fill out the anti-discrimination sections.)  Want to work at Google or Facebook?  Make sure that you’re a black or Latina lesbian who came from a disadvantaged background, and who can code.  Senior white male enlisted or officers with coding experience and strong operations experience need not apply.  Want to work for a government contractor?  Make sure you have that Top Secret clearance already in hand because the contractor is rarely going to pay for it, even though you bring a lot to the table. 
  • Lastly, the “vet-friendly” sham stretches out to vets themselves who have hung out their own shingles and provide “counseling,” “assistance,” “training,” “coaching,” etc. to other vets.  It’s not dissimilar to the hordes of guys out there hawking informational products for “getting ripped,” “make money in your sleep”, “dropshitting,” “getting da gurlz,” etc.  Then there are the guys who are hawking T-shirts and other apparel, coffee, liquor, etc.  Some of the worst offenders, IMO, are those like Jocko Willink, the former Navy SEAL and podcaster who founded his own consulting firm, prattling on about “extreme leadership,” and who, this year, has started his own line of denim jeans.  Hey, you might think he’s the cat’s meow.  I don’t because guys like Jocko ain’t gonna help me get a job if I become unemployed.  That’s my problem – and that’s where the “brotherhood” of vets stops dead in its tracks. 


Volumes can be written about this, but these are the highlights:

  • I’m on the fence regarding women in the military.  On the one hand, I’m well aware of the history, stretching back a long time, of quality women who served – e.g., Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton – as nurses and medical personnel, and then closer to the present day when you have not only the medical personnel who are in military hospitals, but even women pilots.  At both of my duty stations, I worked with both women NCOs and officers (and the commander of my Signal battalion was a woman), and I found virtually all of them to be competent and professional, giving me a fair shake and treating me with respect.  (Of course, I always strove to be professional, which certainly helped, and I was older, which I’m sure they appreciated.) 
  • However, despite some women, both enlisted and officers, being competent, smart, and mature, they’re still women.  Apply all Red Pill wisdom regarding women judiciously and efficaciously.  Remember that they’re still women and, as such, can still bring out the bag of tricks that only women can deploy: e.g., sexuality/seduction, damseling, leading with the fi-fis, verbal jiujitsu, needling and sweet-talking, and the pussy pass.  This applies to both enlisted and officers.  I’d also like to add that, partially in defense of women personnel in general, that the most problems came from the lower enlisted.  We are, after all, dealing with late teens and early 20-somethings.  Young guys like to play fuck-fuck games, as do young women – just in their own way.  Be aware of this.
  • Military women can often be some of the nastiest, trashiest, cattiest, and most disgusting people you come across.  Particularly among themselves.  Avoid getting entangled in their drama and shenanigans.  For example, at AIT at Fort Gordon, a couple of months in, I heard that a dust-up happened among the womenfolk because one of them took a shit in the shower (there was only one since they were all on the same floor) and smeared it on the walls. 
  • Women know that they can take advantage of a bunch of young (and not so young), fit, and horny dudes around them – both single and married guys.  When around any military chick, always think with the big head and not the little head.  Rub a few out when you have to if you find some chicks in your unit quite comely, to quiet the little head.  Yes, Private (or even Sergeant or Lieutenant) Titsy Magoo with the slim and fit body, the huge perky rack, and the tight ass will distract you, so be mindful of this.  Fortunately, you won’t see this often when they’re wearing the uniform, because the uniform is unisex and not form-fitting.  You’ll see it when they’re in civilian clothes.
  • Many military women tend to be ugly, low rent, and not fuckable.  Rarely, you might get a 7 or 8 in your unit, and she might already be spoken for.  Just put it out of your head.  The juice ain’t worth the squeeze.
  • Gynocentrism still applies, and many military women will exploit it.  If the chick fucks up, she could get a slap on the wrist.  If you fuck up, you could get severely punished for it. 
  • Bang a military chick, and you might get a disease (e.g., crotch rot), get a false sexual assault charge (especially if alcohol is involved), or be slapped with a paternity charge if she claims she’s pregnant and you’ve been her last dick.  If the latter two happen to you, you can’t escape from them that easily.  If you get slapped with a sexual assault charge, which is all the more dangerous in the age of #MeToo, you could be punished and get kicked out of the military on a dishonorable discharge.  If you have a kid and you have to pay child support, the military will make sure that those authorities get their money.  It’s even worse if it crosses officer/enlisted lines.
  • Being married and/or having kids will come under severe strain while you’re deployed, unless you’re mature enough and your spouse/baby mama is mature enough.  (It’s a stretch, though.)  All too often, wives and girlfriends will be fucking some other dude while the guy is away on deployment.  This applies both to military and civilian chicks.  Not much you can do about it, and if you’re aware of it, it will affect your morale and the morale of your team.  While deployed, you don’t want to be dealing with worry, jealousy, rage, heartbreak, etc., so it’s better to be the single guy with no ties.  You can spend more time and energy doing what you need to do and planning your next moves.
  • To get out of deployment, women can get knocked up.  Men can’t do.  And, such women will use the military resources to have the birth in a military hospital and take advantage of all of the follow-up resources that the military has on offer.  You, as the father, can still have to deploy and risk getting your ass blown off, and it’s your money that she’ll take for the baby.  Also, the chick who uses the pregnancy get-out-of-deployment card isn’t helping unit morale.

Whew. All right, troops. I’ve said all I can on the subject, though I could still write volumes. I’ve kept you here long enough, so you’re dismissed and go enjoy your weekend.

Just do me a favor . . . stay out of trouble, and stay away from the ugly.

One thought on “Thoughts on Military Service, Part 4: The Ugly

  1. I’ve noticed that “vet-friendly” is virtue signaling.

    ——Thank you, it makes me sick. It is an advertising scam.
    You forgot inner city reformed drug dealing shit heads that never stopped “repping”.

    Many veterans organizations treat veterans like they are retarded and illiterate. Not a lot of help for a college graduate that doesnt want to drive a truck.
    SHARP or what ever your military branch calls it creates a condition that helps false rape accusations. Pre SHARP I had this experience. Yes, my unit had virtually no females for several years but my school did. We had a few lesbian types and one or two false rape accusing irresponsible types. This was before I ever heard of “dont shit where you eat”. (Unfortunately the blue pill churchians in my life thought that cheesy romcom movies came true, wonderful woman coworker meets loving/dashing type at a professional workplace…).
    Psychos made it through bootcamp for the numbers game. But on the ship, their true colors came through.
    Thank you for a damn fine article.

    Liked by 1 person

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