Do you consider joining the Navy to become a man? Or a patriot? This is the story of a dude who became a Submarine Warfare Officer at the U.S. Navy and grew disillusioned about the organization.
Like me, he is a dude without a father, if in a different way. I only know him from the internet, but I like his writing, thus I asked him to write down this story.
I can not vouch for the accuracy of the story and neither can he, as he wants to stay anonymous. Thus, take this with a grain of salt. I am inclined to trust him, as I can empathize with his perspective, the perspective of an unflinching refusal to sucker up to authority. This makes it an interesting read for me and maybe for you, as it allows one to see past the usual blindfold.
Having no personal experience with the military, I will just leave the rest of the story uncommented and open for your personal judgment.
Despite the compact writing style, it is quite lengthy, so you may want to set aside some special time for this read.
I did not need the military when I signed up. It was not a way to pay for college. It is not that I could not find another job. It is not that I needed or wanted the security. I did is simply because I wanted to do it, which is something not many can say.
I was a Submarine Warfare Officer. I occasionally drove the ship, did some operational stuff, made some executive decisions, and alleviated crises. But mostly I baby sat grown men and followed rules.
I would have never thought in a million years I would be in the military. Yet there were two run ins I had with the service.
The first is when I flunked out of college. I was a bit desperate and looking for an out. I went in to talk to an Army recruiter, got fed a bunch of bullshit, realized what it was, and did not go through with it. I opted instead to transfer to reapply to another university, and stop fucking around.
Fast forward 3 years, and I had a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I had a 3.44 GPA, jobs lined up, and all the plans laid out for me. However, I did not want to do it. I enjoyed studying engineering, and I liked the engineering interns I did during the summers between semesters, but I knew I could not do it as a career.
A friend of mine mentioned the Navy, and it appealed to me enough to call the recruiter. I told him my situation, and he was surprised. Usually people only join the service when they are shit out of luck. I was one of the few who wanted to on my own accord.
After a short discussion, I was sold on being a Nuclear Submarine Warfare Officer. Aside from what a different experience it would be, there would not be any women. I love women, but I do not want to work with them. I also liked the idea how small the crew was. It would be cool actually developing a ship wide comradery.
I had to interview with the Director of Naval Nuclear Operations, who is a 4-star Admiral, in order to get this job. At first I thought it was just for show, but 25% of the applicants did not make the final cut. There were also a lot of people who did not even get to this point in the first place.
This particular admiral is not just another high ranking officer. He is basically God of the Navy. If he wanted to, he could park each carrier and submarine, and not even the president can overrule his authority. When the Air Force fucked up and lost accountability of their nuclear weapons, he went over there for an investigation, and generals got fired left and right. I tried to find the source of that and failed, but I am pretty sure that is what happened. Anyways, I bring this up to show how much power he has, and what type of job in the military I was getting myself into.
A passed the interview and a few weeks later I was in Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, RI. All I remember is filling out a bunch of bullshit paperwork, being told to stand in a hall way, and BLAM! A drum starting beating, people started yelling, a dude told me to untie my shoes, and I did. Then he said stop, so I did. Then I ran around for a few minutes grabbed some shit, had to say some other shit a certain way, and this type of nonsense continued until the end of the day.
I am not going to bore you with the details. All I will say is this. OCS was 12 weeks of bullshit. I learned nothing about being an officer, or a leader. All I learned is how stupid Marines are, how weak most men are, how pathetic all women are, and how to manipulate bureaucracies.
I was not the best officer candidate by a long shot. In fact, I was kind of a piece of shit. I would not buy off on the bullshit, and did the bare minimum to get by, and get by I did. The loophole in this particular system was how idiotic Marines are. All they care about is obedience, physical training, and rifle drill. All I had to do was do what I was told immediately, not open my mouth, be really bad ass at PT (which was not hard with the peer group I had), and learn how to make a rifle look pretty. Everything else I either did terribly, or did not do at all. I remember one time everyone was going insane because our drill instructor told us if our racks looked like shit, we were going to get beat. I liked getting beat, because that meant I was not sitting around being bored out of my mind. Instead of help out, I sat down and read a book. Of course everyone got on my case, but I did not pay them no mind. I knew how this shit was going to go down. He was going to come in, look at the first rack, and we were going to go outside and PT for about an hour. Can you guess what happened? Yeah, and guess who was nice and relaxed, ready for what was to come. If you guessed me, you are correct.
After that was over, I was officially an Ensign in the Navy. All that meant was enlisted personnel had to salute me. Technically they had to obey my lawful orders as well, but that did not happen as often as you would think. The next step was the job specific training I had to attend. But I did not class up for 3 months, so I went back home to Las Vegas to work for a recruiter out there.
During this short stint, I learned about the truth about minority helplessness. The only job I had while working was to interview potential ROTC candidates. ROTC is a program that kids can get into out of high school that will pay for their college, give them some military training, at the cost of an obligation of 4 or 5 years of military service, depending on what they do.
The purpose of the interview process is to see if they would make a good fit for the Navy. I would ask them various questions about why they want to join, why they think they would be good officers, and some other questions relating to their character and desires. Some of them seemed liked good candidates, some of them seemed not so good, some of them seemed good enough, and I wrote them all up as I saw them. Now, when I submitted this paperwork up, I was told I had to adjust the scores for the women, and the minorities. I refused, and the scores got adjusted anyways. Yay for America!
After that three months was over, I was on to nuclear power training. Since all submarines are nuclear powered, and people are super scared of nuclear power, all nuclear operators and supervisors must go through a year of nuclear training before reporting to their ships. As an officer I was considered a supervisor, so I had to go through that training as well.
It started off with 6 months of in class learning in Charleston, SC. It was usually 6-8 hours of in class lectures Monday through Friday covering a bunch of shit I did not really need to know, but I did was unaware of the uselessness of it all at the time.
There were a lot of tests, and they were lengthy. It was more a test of mental stamina, than it was of showing your knowledge or understanding of the material.
They expected 20+ hours of studying outside of the almost 40 hours a week of lectures. I thought this was ridiculous, so I did not do it. Luckily for me, I have a bad ass memory, so I did well anyways. I think I finished ranked 12 out of 70something.
The interesting part of this experience was the people I went through this training with. All of them were officers with some type of technical degree who had gone through the same interview process I went through. You would think that they would learn how to deal with stress and taking tests, but that could not be further from the truth. Some people would flip out, some would give up, some would argue for better grades even though they already passed, and others would study relentlessly just to get better grades than the next guy. What the fuck?! Is this how this shit is going to be? The answer is yes, and no. I learned later on that when it comes to performing, people only make an effort to do so when it does not matter, like with in class training.
I finished this shit with flying colors, though I made little effort to do so. The next part of this nuclear training was 6 months of hands on training in upstate NY. As a nuclear supervisor you sit in a box, and order everyone around via speaker systems to maintain plant operations. But really you are just reading out of a book, and making sure everyone else follows it as well.
This training portion required a lot more time out. It started off with 8 weeks of training that lasted from 7 A.M to 7 P.M., Monday through Friday. Some of it was lectures, some of it was small group discussions, and a lot of it was self-study combined with getting “check-outs.” Check-outs are where you go to some asshole and say “Hey there, can I get a check out from you?” If they say yes, you display adequate knowledge about the subject matter, and they sign off the specific check-out you were trying to get. Keep in mind that at this point I am an officer, and they are enlisted. They should be saying yes, assuming they have nothing else more pressing to do, which they rarely did. But the answer was often no. This is where shit got interesting.
I understood the predicament for them. They were just scummy enlisted sailors who hated their lives, and I was just another officer. But I was very much unlike the other officers, and I did what I know how to do, find a loophole.
Oh yeah, for all you whiney women and minorities, everyone gets discriminated against one way or another, including me despite my white male privilege. In fact, this type of environment favored women because there were so few of them and the guys were pathetic, and minorities because everyone was damn afraid of potentially being considered racist. So fuck you and your complaining.
Anyways, the loophole I found was standing up to them, and speaking to them not as an officer, but as a fucking man. Magically, they respected that shit. I gave it to them straight. I know they know way more about this shit than I do, but I was here to learn it, and they were there to help me learn it. I respected their knowledge and their abilities, and I earned their respect by actually giving a shit about learning the material. This allowed for me to get a lot more checkouts than my fellow officers, and generally get better treatment from all of them.
At this point I started to shift gears from not giving a shit, to being a master. I knew that what I was learning at this training command was relevant to my performance as an officer. This would both help and hurt me later on in my career.
While I was intent on being the best I could be, I still understood my own limitations, and what I was not willing to put up with. As I said earlier the first part of the training was Monday through Friday, 12 hour days. However, you could show up earlier than 7, and that is what I would do. Not many people were there at this time, and this gave me free reign to get a lot of checkouts done. I would then leave at 5, though I was not supposed to. I never got busted for it though, because I was progressing way ahead of what was expected. Even still, it is easier to ask for permission than it is forgiveness.
The next part of the training was worse schedule wise. Because they were nuclear plants, it was more efficient to run them 24 hours a day for training. This required putting us into rotating shift work so we could actually start standing watch. The shifts were as follows:
Swings: Starting at 12 P.M. and ending at 12 A.M. These shifts started on Tuesday and ended on the next Monday midnight.
Mids: Starting at 7 P.M. and ending at 7 A.M. These shifts started the night of Wednesday following the Monday ending of swings, and ended on the next Wednesday morning. That is only a day and half to shift your sleep schedule around, and do whatever else you needed to do.
Days: Starting at 7 A.M. and ending at 7 P.M. These shifts started on the Saturday following the Wednesday ending mids, and ended Friday evening. There were 2 and a half days to again change your sleep schedule, and take care of shit.
T-week: This was a training week shift. The staff would have to sit through a bunch of worthless, boring training. They also did drills and evolutions to show other people they still know what they are doing. You did not get much done as a student during this time. It was 7 A.M. until 5 P.M. These shifts started on the next Monday, and ended Thursday. After this was over, you would have 4 days to do whatever until swings started again the following Tuesday at Noon.
I never stayed the full 12 hours, though we were mandated too. Everyone knew what I doing, even the guy in charge of me. He did not care though because I was doing my job exceptionally well by actually learning the stuff I was supposed to learn. All he said was not to get in trouble while I was supposed to be at work. Again, the technicalities and rules only applied when someone with enough power decided they mattered.
After I was finished with this training, I was on my way to San Diego, CA to report to my submarine and start doing my actual job.
Day one was overwhelming. All these people running around like maniacs, pushing past me since there was no room to not brush shoulders, and being dismissive of my presence. I had no idea where to go, what to do, who to talk to about what, what was appropriate, what was not, and a slew of other things I would eventually learn.
I started off on a bad foot with my Commanding Officer. It was not that I was doing a bad job, or messing things, but I refused to be what he would consider a stellar “naval Officer.” My general demeanor would have probably fit right in with submariners of days old, but now we are so concerned with being professional and displaying proper formality because we have nothing else better to do.
My CO would call me a wild animal, and tell me I needed to be tamed. During one watch, I briefed in on some problems I saw with the operational plan, and gave him a viable alternative. He replied, “You see LT Post! You are great at this already. All we need to do is get you in the mold, I know you do not want to get in there, but I promise you it is nice.”
This lasted for a while, and I did not budge. Eventually he realized what a bad ass officer I was, and left me to do my thing as I chose. This is when the job got fun.
We just returned from deployment, I had been on board for 8 months, and already pulling more than my fair share of weight. I was also gaining the respect of people who generally do not give much respect. One of them was the electrical division Chief. He hated most officers, but he liked me and one other officer, who happened to be a good friend I made throughout all this.
To give you a bit of a back story on my friend, he was an English major from the Naval Academy who wanted to fly jets. Unfortunately, he got thrown into submarines instead. Which is basically the worst job you can get as an officer. Not only that, but he got on the CO’s bad side shortly after reporting as well.
Out of all the officers in the wardroom, I was drawn to him the most. He is a very smart, independent thinker. This does not mesh well with what we do though. He was having a rough time mainly due to the hate the CO had for him. I reassured him he was doing a great job because he was. I knew if he kept at it the CO would eventually take notice, and get off his back. After a few months, this is exactly what happened. It was around the same time the CO got off my back as well. Ironically, we both ended up the most decorated officers in the wardroom, despite the bad foot we both started off on.
My friend had mentioned many times later on that I had helped him get out of his rut, and that if I was not around, he may not have made it. I still do not know how to take what he said, but it was food for thought.
Here is a bit of an explanation as to why I did such a good job. According to the rules, enlisted personnel are supposed to obey the lawful officers of the officers appointed over them, but this rarely happened. They would listen to the CO and the Executive Officer, but that was about it. For the first few months I would tell them to do shit, and get blatantly ignored, which was fine. I had my ways. One of those ways was through what power I did have, and that was to make people report to control. I would let the disobedient sailors go to sleep, and then send the messenger to wake them up and have them report to control. Sleep is sacred on a submarine, but I did not care. Most of them eventually figured it out, and started listening.
There was another instance when a sailor broke one of two copy machines on the boat, because he was angry. I was shocked that no one did anything about it. Everyone just went along with their business. A Chief watched him do it, and did nothing. As an officer I do a lot of paperwork, and the copy machine saves me a lot of time. In a fit of rage, I brought him up to the top of the ship and asked for his phone. He gave it to me, and I threw it in the water. SPLASH! Obviously he was pissed, but I was bigger, stronger, and was still an officer. It would have been a bad move to hit me.
This caused a bit of a stir on the ship. I was over stepping my boundaries by a large margin, but I did not give a fuck. This little shit was a terrible sailor anyhow. Strangely enough, he was very well behaved after the incident. He ended up being one of my best watchstanders for the remainder of time I was on board. All it took was a bit of excessive discipline.
This story brings me to my next point. Our military is pathetically soft, at least the Navy is. The lack of actual discipline on board is a shame. If you suck in a regular job, you get fired. But in the Navy, you have to kill or rape someone for that to happen. These guys are not stupid either, so they do what little they can get away with. You would think that the alternative to this lack of termination would be made up for with some good old fashioned discipline. Nope. We rarely sent guys to Captain’s Mast. This is where the CO takes away a rank, some money, and some privileges. It takes a serious repeat offender to have this happen, at least with my CO. The lack of draconian law drove me nuts.
A lot of the sailor to sailor discipline that happens is no longer allowed either. They call it hazing, and everyone gets their panties in a twist whenever it happens. This in turn creates an even softer environment, a ton of passive aggressiveness, and very little motivation to be a better sailor. The few sailors that did care did a great job, but they would have done so regardless. It was the other turds that you could not squeeze any productiveness out of.
This is where I excelled, and many officers failed. I was not afraid to see where the line was, and cross it regularly. I remember when I came back from two months of training, and the boat was a mess. We just failed this big ass inspection, and there was a lot of turmoil on the boat. The summary from the officers was that the chiefs were not doing their jobs. I was shocked to see how bad things were, so I went to talk to my prior chief. I asked him why I got him to finally do what I said, he replied “Because you are an asshole.”
To summarize, I was running shit like a boss. I was taking charge, making decisions, and keeping sailors in line. This was very uncharacteristic of a junior officer. Most of them are snively little turds afraid to get in trouble, or piss someone off. I cared about neither. I wanted to get the job done, and that involved taking some risks every now and again.
I did mess up a few times, and corrected myself immediately. I always fessed up to my CO about what I did as well. I kept no secrets. This kept me in his good graces. He knew I never made the same mistake twice, and that I would never hide anything from him. He also knew that I made it a point to minimize error. Whereas he did not have that type of confidence with many of my peers.
I saved the boat a lot of time and money, improved whatever division or program I was involved with, and always stood an alert watch. I was the go to Officer of the Deck for difficult watches, and the designated trainer of the up and coming officers. All of this success was great and all, but it was empty when everything was peeled away.
I learned a sad truth throughout all this, and that is the military is not what everyone thinks it is. It is not a tool necessary for to ensure the free world remains free. It is not a defender of democracy. It is not a beacon of hope in a dark world. It is an industrial complex. It exists because of how much money is poured into it, but it is money not spent smartly. We did our missions which I can say absolutely nothing about, and on those missions all I could think is, “what is this doing for America again?” The answer is nothing.
I spent all this time serving the greater good, only to realize that I was not serving the machine. I was slaving away because a spot existed for a slave, and I was filling it. This brings me to the next chapter of my story in the Navy.
My initial contract required me to give 5 years, but I do not automatically get out at that point. Officers do not get hard dates to separate like enlisted. In order to get out I have to drop a resignation letter, have it approved, and then I get to set a date sometime in the month they allow me to get out.
Towards the end of my submarine assignment, I had two options. The first was to drop my resignation letter, the second was to stay in and do a shore tour for another 24 months. I was pretty unenthusiastic about staying in. I knew how worthless all this shit was, and wanted to do something a bit more meaningful. However, a shore tour is a break of some sort. During the 3 years I was assigned to a Submarine, I spent about 19 months out to sea. When I was in port, it was 10-12 hour work days and 24 hour duty shifts every 3-4 days. The thought of a nice easy 9-5 Monday through Friday gig for another 2 years before I got out sounded appealing to me. Especially with the money I was making as a Lieutenant. However, I still wanted to get out more than I wanted that cushy gig.
I discussed it with my CO, and few other of the higher ups. Aside from the fact that I wanted out, I did not want to get sent to be an instructor at Prototype. In case you forgot, it was that hands on nuclear training command with the crazy rotating shifts. The thought of me doing that for 2 years in upstate NY made me want to throw up. I did not want to take the chance, and my gut knew the correct answer but I ignored it. That is where I lost.
After some convicted assurances that I would not get sent to prototype, I agreed to do a shore tour. What happened then is I filled out a piece of paper stating my preferences. One of the things on that sheet of paper asks specifically what I do not want. I put prototype obviously, filled out the rest of the paper, and knew I would be okay with anything but prototype. I sent it off, and went back to work as a submariner.
To further clarify the bullshit associated with getting sent to prototype as an officer, you do not get paid any more, despite how much more work you have to do. Not only that, but they cannot just send any officer up there. You have to have a certain technical score. Basically if you are an idiot, you do not have to worry about getting shafted by going there. You have to meet certain performance standards, but you do not get paid any extra. There are benefits to going there if you plan on staying in, but I was not, so they did me no good.
Fast forward a few months, and I still have not heard about where I am going. I am getting anxious, and wondering if I am going to be one of the unlucky souls who gets sent to prototype.
I found out a couple of months before I was supposed to leave that I was actually going to prototype. I was pretty fucking pissed, but I thought there was nothing I could do about it, so I simmered in disappointment and anger. All the while I kept being the best officer I could be, right until the very end of time on board.
I reported to this new command mentally adjusted enough to put up with my predicament, at least that is what I thought. I did some orientation, listened to a bunch of bullshit, and already my will to persevere was dwindling.
I have already made my case about how terrible getting sent to prototype is, and how worthless the Navy is, but there was one more thorn in my side that I could not shake about all this. It was how pointless my position was. It is a civilian ran site, and a LT has almost no power. At least on my boat, despite how worthless my work was, I could make things easier for the guys I worked with and worked for me. Here I could do nothing. It made me wonder why I was even there.
The real downhill tumble started with me taking leave at the beginning to go to a friend’s wedding. The very first part of this assignment requires me to qualify just like I did as a student. Except I only had 2 months to do so, instead of 6 months. I took two weeks of leave, and they did not extend the length of time which I had to qualify. Oh well, I was not going to work any harder to catch up, and I fell behind.
While I was behind, they sent me to what is called Basic Instructor Training (BIT). It is two weeks of learning all the ins and outs of properly signing qualification paperwork for students. Due to the whole nuclear power thing, signing paperwork properly it is not something they mess around with. It was mind numbing. Not only that, but because I was behind they expected me to put in extra extra hours. So I played along. I went in at 3 in the morning, worked on qualifications until about 7:30, and attended this training from 8 to 5. I did this for two weeks.
Now, the other part of this wonderful prototype experience is working with civilian women, which again is something I never wanted to do in the first place. While I was in BIT, I was not exactly in the best mood, and I said some “inappropriate” things. I was tattled on by a female, and had to go have a chit chat with some higher ups, and this is how that conversation went.
Them: “You really cannot act the way you acted while you were on your boat. This is a civilian place with women, and it can cause problems.”
Me: “I don’t give a fuck. I did not want to come here, but the Navy decided it would be a good idea to send me anyways. I am going to keep being exactly the way I want to be, and you are going to have to figure it out.”
Remember when I said the guys I worked with were turds? Well they do not stop being turds as they advance through the ranks. It was easy to stand my ground. They just shook their heads, and kind of looked at the ground. It was entertaining, and I went right back to my business.
At this point, I am fed up. Not only do I hate this job, I hate the area, I have no one to hang out with because the few officers that are there are married with kids, and I cannot even fuck any of my girls half the month because my hours are all fucked up. So I went through the motions, but I more or less stopped giving a shit.
There is a lot of test taking when you are in the nuclear power program. In order to pass BIT, I had to pass an exam. I failed the first one. It is not that I flunked on purpose, I just did little to nothing to prepare for it. In between that test, and the make-up exam, I was forced to take another test. I failed that one as well. I eventually took and failed the make-up BIT exam, and this is where shit got interesting.
Because of my insanely poor performance, I had to schedule a meeting with the Commanding Officer of this particular command. Decision time.
I knew simply going in there and saying I did not want to do this job anymore would not work, but now I had some ammunition. I had a week to think about it, but when the time came, my decision was made.
My meeting was for 8 A.M. following a 10 hour midnight shift, and he was 45 minutes late. I secretly thanked him for making this easier for me.
I sat down in his office. It was him, the Executive Officer, and the plant Executive Officer. Basically the highest ranking military guys in charge of me. The CO starting talking:
CO: “So I have an engineer qualified LT…”
Me: “I am going to stop you right there, sir. No need to drag this out. I do not care anymore. I cannot make me care. You cannot make me care. I did not want to stay in the Navy, I specifically did not want to get sent here, but I got duped into it anyways. Which is fine. I will take responsibility for this, but now I am going to take responsibility and get out. I put a lot of effort and energy into being a great officer, and this is the payment I get for it? Fuck that. I am taking my life back. I know what the repercussions will be, and I am prepared to deal with them.”
There was a long pause, followed by a bunch of bullshit about honor and duty. I reemphasized how I felt, we talked a bit more, and that was the end of it.
The CO said he would give me the weekend to think my decision over. The Executive Officer told me I should go talk to a counselor, and this saved me. I went in to see a counselor, talked for a bit, and he sent me to the psychologist. The psychologist branded me with some disorder that made me unfit for nuclear duties, and this changed the game dramatically.
I am not sure if there was actually something wrong with me. I did not feel depressed or anxious. I was just done with it, and I wanted out. The more I think about it, the more I realize how unique this situation was. I did a great job when I was assigned to my submarine, and then I stopped. To me this is perfectly normal behavior. But to the outside world that is steeped in conditioning, this behavior is completely unheard of. There had to be something wrong with me, and that is how I got branded.
I do not know what would have happened to me if I did not get medically disqualified, but I am sure it would have been a bit more painful. This also made it easier for the command. Instead of the CO having to answer to his higher ups about why he could not get a superstar LT to do his job, he could write it off as medical issues.
At this point I was no longer allowed on site, so I was stashed at the local support activity awaiting the process to finish up. This takes some time. They have to submit my paperwork to Navy Medicine, they have to approve it, the CO has to endorse it, then send it back, and then it is official. I do not know why it takes this long, but it does.
During this time, I got to see the true colors of all the higher ranking fucks in the Navy. I will relay one specific story, but this kind of shit happened a lot more than I realized.
One of the common clucking statement I heard while in the Navy was “take care of our sailors.” A lot of these guys are basically children. They leave home, and then join the Navy. They never learn how to be autonomous, and they can get caught up in some stupid shit. So it is on the shoulders of the higher ups to do make sure they do not fuck their lives up too much.
The place I was stashed at had a few other sailors who were also experiencing problems that would prevent them from doing their jobs properly. One of them was a 20-year-old guy who had a bad drinking problem. If you have an incident while drinking, the command will automatically refer you to a rehab/AA type program. If it happens again, it is considered a treatment failure, and the sailor will get administratively separated from the Navy. At 20, not old enough to legally drink yet, he totaled his truck and got a DUI. This was his second drinking offense, so out he went. This process takes some time, so he was partially my responsibility in the meantime.
There is a guy who makes sure the sailors who are naughty while drinking attend their classes, and are making progress towards rehabilitation. You would think that a guy in this position would be sympathetic, especially towards a guy so young. Nope. This kid had made some comments to him about his mental well-being, and the response was this, “I don’t care. I am just here to make sure you don’t drink until we separate you.”
At this point, I had no leg to stand on, so saying something would not have done shit. I kept an eye on him though, and I am glad I did.
On the day he separated, he was foaming at the mouth about something. I have seen some angry dudes before, but this was something else. I asked him to come into my office and talk it out with me. That is when the confessions started pouring out. The kid hated himself. He was cutting himself routinely, and drinking a 24 back every night. All his family was telling him what a piece of shit he was, and his friends in the Navy had all but abandoned him. He was scared shitless as well since he no longer had an income, or a plan, or really anything to make him feel the least bit secure. I am not entirely sure, but I think I may have helped this kid enough to keep him from killing himself. I followed up with him once, and he said he was doing great. He thanked me, and I told him if he ever needed anything to give me a ring.
Before I continue, I am not inherently a sympathizer. I barely pay any notice to bums on the street. I am not the type do not donate to charity, and I rarely make sacrifices to my own well-being for others. But I acknowledge that I am selfish mother fucker. On the other hand, when I see that I can make a difference, I do my best. Sometimes all that requires is listening. However, the fact that an organization and the people in it preach one message, and do the exact opposite is an abomination.
These types of scenarios happened all the time. The military preaches comradery, but when push comes to shove, people still only give a shit about themselves. This is fine as an action, but the hypocrisy is disgusting.
I eventually got to a point where I could drop my resignation letter. I drafted it up, sent if off, and eventually got my separation orders.
I did not bother looking back. I kept very little of my memorabilia, and unless someone specifically asks, they will not know I served.
I do not regret joining. It was interesting, and I learned a lot about who I am. I also learned a lot about other people. It also opened my eyes to realities that few are aware of, but I will talk about that later. All in all, I am happy with where I am at, and part of that was in part due to my time spent in the service. But do not think for a second that the military is this wonderful thing, and that those who serve are so fucking fantastic, because beneath all the lies is just another pile of shit.