Uncle Sam Wants All of You and Will Freeze the Rest

Ideas and Issues

mf-recruit-stationNew Orleans     As the United States attempts to adapt the military to a state of permanent war, the decision was obviously made by the top brass and the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter that the “new” armed forces needed everyone on board with this, no excuses accepted. The all-volunteer army in a state of permanent war obviously requires some concessions for recruitment, and that’s where it starts to get very interesting, and somewhat bizarre.

If the generals and admirals had to accommodate themselves to gay and lesbian recruits, that was one thing. And, now if the old school brass had to accept the fact that women, if and when willing and able, are to be deployed in combat roles, then who is surprised that one of the latest recommendations from the generals is that all women should register for the draft, just as 18-year old men are required to do. Take that, sisters! Uncle Sam wants you, too.

Secretary Carter bumped up all of the military family leave to twelve weeks recently to send the message to the troops that the new armed forces are oh so family friendly. Some branches of the service even go past twelve weeks to eighteen weeks and counting.

Now the Secretary has indicated they are going forward with a pilot program over the next two years before opening it up to everyone. In this program the US is willing to freeze your sperm and eggs and put them on the shelf for you in case you need them later. How about that? Overnight the US government will without a doubt fund the largest deep freeze operation in the world. What a deal?

I find myself stumbling over what a recruitment officer’s rap will be to new recruits though? Uncle Sam wants all of you, but will save some leftovers for later? How do they keep positive when they are explaining to a young man or woman thinking about signing up, that, oh yeah, we end up with a lot more folks surviving debilitating injuries and living with permanent disabilities because of the miracles of modern medicine, but, hey, here’s the good news, nothing may work again, but you’ll still be able to have children and soon as get your stuff unthawed. Sign up here!

Admittedly, it’s a more honest approach than telling a recruit that they’ll get career training for nonexistent jobs later or a chance to see the world, if they are interested in deserts and mountain ranges they never imagined. But, the way I always heard the rap it played on the fact that we were all young and thought we were bullet proof, despite all evidence from the body counts to the contrary. This freezing your junk option, pretty much forces everyone to come to grips with the odds that they could lose their reproduction and sex organs. Is the world so different now that an 18 or 21 year old is willing to take that deal and be satisfied with social media and a refrigerated future, rather than sex and the old do-it-yourself program?

Admittedly this is a pilot program, so we’ll see, but listening to the old men and women debate about this expenditure in the various Congressional defense and armed forces committees is going to make C-Span more popular than the Comedy channel for a while, despite the tragedy inherent in every part of the discussion.