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View Point

By Raphael Eredita

Saturday, January 20, 2001

Army’s new slogan
sends the wrong message

SINCE President Clinton began to close U.S. military bases worldwide and retire the most experienced of all service members so early, the military has progressively gotten weaker in both numbers and quality.

Too many noncommissioned officers and company commanders are faced with rapidly decreasing numbers of new replacements who blatantly join just to get quick cash bonuses for signing up.

Most dodge physical training and go on bogus profiles (sick status) for as long as they can. AWOL is rampant and service to one's country has become a joke.

The new replacements come from appalling Basic Combat Training programs that resemble rehab programs more than serious military preparation. They resent taking orders, talk back and frequently get into trouble.

Far too many of these new soldiers take little or no pride in themselves or in the important service they are supposed to be rendering to their country.

The only benefit they should really take advantage of -- namely, college tuition assistance -- is so far away from their minds.

All they do is kill time until their term is up, thereby bogging down the few good soldiers from moving ahead in the process.

This is the sad state of our military today. It is no longer a secret, nor are other issues such as the low pay, lack of training sites, spreading ourselves too thin and faulty missile defense equipment.

But now Department of Defense recruiters may have just shot themselves in the foot once again by changing the Army's slogan from "Be All You Can Be" to "An Army of One."

Its newest TV ad features a soldier running all by himself with a monologue that is so pathetically egotistical, it's scary.

We do not need to attract more rebels, loners and Rambos. How can we teach new recruits elementary concepts of teamwork, unit cohesion and discipline with this new slogan?

Those bold and courageous veterans from World War II and the Vietnam War are a disappearing breed. They are the product of a different America when everyone served, distinguished himself with honor in combat and even gave up a life when necessary.

TODAY'S average new soldier looks, talks, walks, thinks, lives and acts like Eminem or Puff Daddy. They drive good soldiers into complete apathy.

Americans should give credit to NCOs and company commanders just for not leaving the Army for better paying civilian jobs. At great personal cost, they struggle daily to motivate the unmotivatable, train the untrainable and even retain the unretainable.

Without these true modern-day heroes, we would have no choice but to surrender this country.

Can the new president and his team fix our military or at least bring us back to pre-1992 standards? Liberals should lay off from partisanship attacks and let this new administration do its work freely.

George W. Bush is this country's only hope.

Raphael Eredita is a substitute school teacher
who resides in Mililani. He served in the Air Force Reserve
for five years and his wife is active duty military personnel.

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