A Break from the Army

I’m back for about 30 hours. Tomorrow, I’ll be booking back in, taking a boat back to the island I have dreaded for the past two and a half weeks. The training I am currently undergoing is BMT, or Basic Military Training, which lasts a total of 10 weeks.

It hasn’t exactly been that bad, but still, it is far from “good”. Of course, whether the experience has been good or bad, would really depend on what your goals and expectations were before you went in.

Take for example a recruit who decides that he wants to shape up, lose some weight, basically improve his general physical fitness. That recruit would almost certainly be able to achieve that goal through BMT, thus generating a positive response.

If, however, a recruit simply wishes to get through this trying period as quickly as possible, like me, then he would almost certainly be disappointed. “All pain is temporary”, but pain that one wishes gone as soon as possible lasts for an eternity, thus generating a negative response.

My goals have changed somewhat during the course of the last two weeks — I would go mad just wishing for these 10 weeks (of BMT) to pass by, since after these 10 weeks, comes another two more years of National Service (doing other types of training/duties, depending on how well one performs during BMT). Wishing two years to pass by quickly every day would be akin to wishing the sky would drop to end our rather needless existence.

Always Been Done this Way

I wonder if philosophers have ever thought much about the way the military trains its solidiers.

Much of what I have been through is utterly ridiculous. If you complain about the reason why something ridiculous is done, you will often get an answer along the lines of “it has always been done this way”, or “it instills discipline”.

I am, by and large, unhappy while in camp. I long for changes, and often wonder why things are being done the way they are currently being done. But if I ran a military school, I wonder if I would run it differently, if the objective was the same. The military trains us for something called war.

When one thinks about war in a moral sense, not in a biological “we were programmed this way” or “survival of the fittest” sense, war is absurd and stupid. The things military training puts you through are, similarly (and rightfully so), absurd and stupid.

Take a gun, be a marksman, and kill that f*cking solider, who by some chance, was born on the other side of the border. Do not care that he has a son whom he is so proud of, or a wife he loves dearly, or parents who visit him during Christmas. Forget too that you frequent his website that you once praised, or that he is truly a living, breathing human being.

He is the enemy. He must die. Forget that he is just listening to orders. Only know that he was asked to kill you. Shoot that f*cker down. Make him pay with his life for that piece of land your government so coverts.

And as you lie dying, shot through the heart by your enemy’s gun, know that you should be proud to die for your country, for you were born there, behind a border stipulated by a piece of paper — an imaginary line your forefathers drew, to separate us from them.

Kill proud. Die proud.


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