Would someone please remind me why the military isn’t a good option for me? Because I seem to have forgotten. Le sigh. Today was the Internship and Co-op Fair, and I talked to several companies, all of which have facinating opportunities that aren’t out of my depth, and would really help further my “career”, such as it is. And then there’s the military. Insert another sigh. Particularly the Navy. They’ve got a sweet deal for undergrads with technical/engineering majors… Bridget is no help in identifying potential problems, because she thinks there aren’t any. The physical requirements can be worked on (I’ve got three years, after all), and aren’t even that high; minimum requirements are a 15 minute 1.5 mile walk/run (a 10-min/mi pace, or 6.0 mi/h), seventeen push-ups in two minutes (that would be the hard one, but solvable with some weight training), and fifty curls in two minutes (easy). Of course, those are the minimums, so doing better is definitely desired, but that’s a starting point.
And then there’s discipline/respectfulness.
Am I so disrespectful that I could not be a member of the military? That’s kind of a loaded question. Can one learn discipline? I’m aware of my own un-disciplined-ness: I enjoy my personal freedom, usually don’t make up my bed, procrastinate, and have skipped a class or two (actually, just about two…). But I also like schedules, and rules, and knowing the limits of my confinement, so to speak, whether in projects/assignments or living space. And I’m not sure how disrespectful I am. I tend to get along with people’s parents and my professors fairly well, even those that keep strict “I’m your superior, call me Dr. Doodad” attitudes. Not a problem for me. But one of the things I like about Rose-Hulman is the fact that few of the profs are really like that. I mean, I would certainly never call Dr. McKnuckleberry “Rich” in conversation (nor do I refer to him as that in my mind), but things are not strictly yessir/no sir, either. But could I adapt to living in a situation that was different in that way from my current surroundings? I may be overly optimistic, but I kinda think so.
When I peeked at the Air Force and Navy post-graduation, Michael raised the question of my tendency to be, ah, critical of the president/administration. How much dissent is the military confortable with? I mean, it’s not like I’m plotting anything against the government, of course, or anything so… active. But how would that affect me doing my job, whatever that may be? That’s still kind of the open question, although I’m not sure how much of a moral dilemma it would be for me. I probably wouldn’t be directly causing anyone’s death or dismemberment, but any software/systems/whatever I work on or develop would be used for the purpose of killing people, or helping the people that will be killing people. But, then again, I don’t necessarily have an aversion to death/killing. Nor do I see any problem in supporting the troops in our current conflict/war. Our country’s citizens should be protected from harm. But that’s where I go into philosophical debates with myself over the extent of the protection needed, etc. And I’m not terribly inclined to just say, “Well, I’ll just leave that to Mr. President because he’s more qualified.” I don’t know.
I feel like I’m forgetting problems that are deterrents to me doing military stuff. Insert another sigh.
Benefits: a cool job, in pretty much any technical area I want to be in, guaranteed following graduation and passing the Officer Candidate School; $54,000 over three years while in college, just like a normal paycheck; a decently good pay with basics taken care of once I’m out of school; nice life insurance, should I kick the bucket; an interesting life style that mixes the mental and the physical.
Round in round in circles I go. I’m off to visit my friendly neighborhood treadmill.