Lessons civilians can learn from the military

Note: I served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2007. My AFSC was 3C0X1 (Communications computer systems operator). My highest rank was E-5 (Staff Sergeant), and I received an honorable discharge.

Do:

Streamline and centralize your personnel databases. In the military all your training records, pay records, promotion records, performance reviews, medical records, and disciplinary records, etc. are managed by one central data bank. If the civilian world would adopt this system we wouldn’t need to apply to colleges. They would simply know who they were willing to accept. We wouldn’t need to write resumes. Prospective employers would already have all the information they need. Any hospital you go to would already know your medical history. Your time towards retirement could easily roll over to your new job. Basically, half of the bullshit bureaucratic paperwork you have to do to stay alive would be eliminated. Granted, this is flirting with socialism, but that’s because the military is a socialist organization. But the military is socialist because it’s efficient.

Do:

Socialize healthcare. One of the things I liked best about being in the military was never having to worry about healthcare. Every day I carried with me the peace of mind that if anything happens to me I’m taken care of, and I didn’t have to pay a cent for it. Granted, that health care was crap, but crappy health care is better than no health care, and I didn’t need good medical attention anyway. Just enough to get by. Oh, and did I mention it was free? If I wanted cosmetic surgery, a second opinion, or a better doctor I could always go on the free market and pay for it, and officers and higher ranking enlisted people who could afford that often did. Another good thing about the military’s socialized medical system is I didn’t have to worry if my HMO covered this procedure or that procedure, and I didn’t have to worry about finding a doctor that was covered under my health plan. If I got injured far from a military hospital I just went to a civilian one and handed the bill to the military when I got back. I didn’t worry about shit really.

Do:

Socialize education. You don’t have to pay anything to go to military training. And guess what. Military personnel are trained to do their jobs. This means they can support the organization to the best of their abilities. Imagine if everyone in America were trained to the best of their abilities. Life would be good. But apparently it’s more important to put college deans in corvettes than to make life good for the rest of the people and industries in America.

Don’t:

Socialize the work force. When everybody gets paid the same amount regardless of how much they work they typically do as little work as possible. There’s a very popular phrase thrown around the Air Force: “The harder you work the harder you work.” You may be disappointed to know that for every hard charger your tax dollars are employing in the Air Force there are 5 sloth-asses surfing the internet not doing shit because they have no incentive to. I’m sure this is one of the reasons the Soviet Union fell apart. Nobody did any work.

Don’t:

Institute indentured servitude. In the military you can’t just quit. I think military members should be able to quit. Some people say, “You signed up knowing you couldn’t quit, and you took an oath. So you can’t complain.” Great. You win the argument. Now let’s talk about how that plays out in reality. A contract is a two way street. You can’t quit, but you can’t get fired either. If I came up to you at your job and said, “I don’t care how much you hate your job you can’t quit for the next 4 years. Your dignity means nothing to me. You’ll just have to be absolutely miserable until your contract is up. Oh, and by the way, you’ll basically have to face fuck a baby to death in order to get fired.” You know what you’re going to be doing at the job you hate but are guaranteed to get a paycheck from regardless of how little you work? The bare minimum.

Don’t:

Think a college degree is proof of job qualification. Forrest Gump had a college degree. Does that mean he’s so great he should be saluted or be made department head? No. Both the military and civilian sector need to make accurate intelligence tests and use personality tests to determine who is most qualified with certain jobs. That and job performance. But the only thing a college degree means anymore is that you can drink for 4 years and still be able to get out of bed and go somewhere…most of the time.

However you felt about this blog, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:


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