What’s Missing in Today’s Military: Honor
When you look around at our military today—especially for me or anybody that has been in the military for over ten years—you just shake your head and think, “What happened?”
Today’s military has the highest crime rate ever, and I’m not just talking about violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). I’m talking about crimes such as sexual assault and rape.
Why is the military like this today, and how did we get to this point? Let’s start by looking at the first question.
No More Honor in the Military
The one big thing that I see missing in today’s military is honor. Meaning high respect or esteem, this value has always been a major part of the backbone of the military, and it has been lost.
The main reason for this (which I’ll discuss in more detail later) is that the military has relaxed its standards and its regulations so much that honor is now gone. Too many people are in the military that shouldn’t be, and they don’t have respect for themselves or those around them.
Without this respect—without honor—how can we expect them to defend or stand and fight beside their brothers and sisters in the military?
Can we even trust somebody that has no honor?
I know I can’t. And I wouldn’t want them in any part of my command.
When and Where It All Went Wrong
So, how did we get here? When I started in the military, way back in 1988 (yes, I’m old), you couldn’t have a drug-related offense on your record. And when you were asked if you ever used drugs, the answer better have been “No” or you weren’t allowed in.
There was even this thing called the “zero tolerance policy,” which meant that if you were caught using drugs or if you failed a drug test, you were dishonorably discharged from the military. Now, depending on your rank, you might only be given a hefty punishment and allowed to stay in.
What changed? The answer is simple: we allowed people in the military that we should have really taken a better look at.
In my honest opinion, it’s really been over just the last 10 years that things changed.
During this time, we were in the middle of a war with terrorism, which started way back in 2001. When the war started, the military had a low capacity of personnel, especially with combat personnel.
In order to increase these numbers, the Department of Defense relaxed the recruiting standards for who they let into the military, allowing people with criminal backgrounds and no honor to join.
How These Changes Affect Our Military Today
The military today is full of so-called gangs. In addition, theft is also at an all-time high, and I am not just talking about the stealing of PT uniforms out of the washer or dryer. I am talking about servicemembers stealing items worth thousands of dollars.
In recent news, there is a servicemember who is currently sitting in Houston’s Harris County Jail. He has been accused of striking a 16-year-old girl in the head with a hatchet, raping her, and then striking her again with the hatchet.
He was turned over to the Harris County police after the military found out through DNA match that he could be the person who committed this crime.
How did the military find this out?
He was being investigated for sexual assault of a military person.
For many of us serving, we signed up to be on the same team, protecting our country. But because of the relaxed standards, we now have to worry about our own so-called “brothers” and “sisters” harming us in such disgusting and demeaning ways.
To me, that’s worse than being shot or wounded by the enemy.
We Must Find a Solution to Fix These Problems
As servicemembers, we have to be able to trust and rely on each other, and the current problems in the military are preventing that.
In order to succeed, we must find a way to improve the situation. Without it, we will be lost.