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My relationship to military service:

Displaying poll results.
I've been in the U.S. military, no longer am.
  3043 votes / 11%
I am currently in the U.S. military.
  530 votes / 1%
I've been in the (non-U.S.) military, but no longer am.
  1991 votes / 7%
I am currently in the (non-U.S.) military
174 votes / 0%
I have never been in the military.
  16322 votes / 59%
I am an army of one.
  5585 votes / 20%
27645 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My relationship to military service:

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  • Missing option (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:35PM (#41981809)

    Where is the option: I have been bombed by the US military? How about twice?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:50PM (#41982023)

      And you lived?! Unpossibru!

      • Re:Missing option (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:37PM (#41982659) Homepage
        It is possible.This guy did [wikipedia.org] and for bonus points he managed to survive both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.
  • by vswee (2040690) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:37PM (#41981841) Journal
    I've got no interest in joining the military. There are so many more productive and useful things to do with my time... Like browse slashdot for example
  • Missing Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:50PM (#41982027)
    Yeah, I know we bitch about missing options all the time, but how about non-combatant service (civilian employment or government contractors)? I know they get shit for not being on the front lines but they're just as important in keeping those that are safe.
    • by rwa2 (4391) *

      Yeah, think of the contractors! Oh, so many, many contractors! Working hard with all that unlimited overtime on cost-plus contracts. Maintaining those job security clearances so they can stay eligible for those corporate welfare programs they're entitled to.

      Ah, fun times, and interesting people (particularly the servicemen who had the best stories of working with awesome technology). But in the end, I decided to finally leave the DC area because I didn't really want to be a beltway bandit my whole life.

      • There are some that take advantage but there are some that really do good work. Not all contractors (and I did mention government employed civilians, too) burn tax money. The bureaucratic overhead the government itself spends is excessive, too, but you still just pick on the contractors; awesome!

        My brother was in the Navy and now he works for a contracting company fixing weapons systems. I would say my brother is doing good work and is in no way taking advantage of anything; he doesn't make a ton of mone
      • by Quila (201335)

        Oh, so many, many contractors! Working hard with all that unlimited overtime on cost-plus contracts.

        I know some people who went to Iraq and Afghanistan on contracts. They got paid a rather high set salary for the year, and within that usually worked 16 hour days, six days a week. And while being subjected to danger, they weren't allowed to carry a weapon.

  • by girlinatrainingbra (2738457) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:52PM (#41982053)
    missing options:
    .
    ( ) -- Halliburton / KBR / Blackwater contractor
    ( ) -- Conscientious objector
    ( ) -- I'm still hiding out in Canada!
    ( ) -- Deferral for college, wink-wink
    ( ) -- I'm a holder of political office, and I got my son into the National Guard, he didn't have to show up, and then he became president.
    ( ) -- Sir, Cowboy Neil is my drill instructor, Sir!
  • by Antipater (2053064) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:52PM (#41982059)
    I guess "I control an army of lizard-man supersoldiers" counts as "non-US military"?
  • Waning Conscription (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iskender (1040286) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @01:55PM (#41982093)

    Some decades back the "past non-US military" option would have been a lot larger in a poll like this. But since then most European countries have phased out conscription, meaning it's no longer the norm for men.

    Interestingly some have said this reduced gun crime in the past: when someone teaches you at the start of adulthood that guns kill and then teaches you how to kill only when ordered to kill you're less likely to use guns for your own purposes. I don't really believe it but it's an interesting viewpoint.

    Another interesting thing is that a generation back you could probably have given an AK-47 to a random European male and there would have been a greater than 50% chance that he could use it. And by use I mean not just firing, but more like a rudimentary load-set to single fire-take aim-fire routine. Would it ever have repelled the Soviet Union? Probably not, but on the other hand tens of millions of riflemen can in principle do anything. It's good we never had to find out.

    • by mikael_j (106439) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:28PM (#41982535)

      Yeah, I managed to avoid conscription when I was 18 by simply acting sufficiently disinterested. Apparently there is a point at which even the (Swedish) army just sort of gives up on any hopes of turning you into a soldier.

      Mostly I just didn't see the point in wasting a whole year running around in the woods when I could go straight to college.

    • by tirerim (1108567)
      Some decades back, the "past US military" option would have been larger, too -- we also used to have a draft.
    • Another interesting thing is that a generation back you could probably have given an AK-47 to a random European male and there would have been a greater than 50% chance that he could use it.

      Yet another interesting thing is that right now you can give an AK-47 to a random drug dealer in the US and there is a 100% that he can use it.

      Although, he couldn't strip in down, clean it, and reassemble it blindfolded like the Russian grunts can do.

      But, of course, nowadays kids can learn all they need to know about an AK-47 on YouTube.

    • by bkmoore (1910118)

      I'm writing this from the perspective of a former U.S. military person. The problem is too few of our political elite have served. When they get elected and are confronted with decisions of war and peace, or whom to kill or not to kill, they tend to defer to the military establishment. A little more front-line experience at the top would probably result in a more skeptical and more questioning civilian leadership.

      To get more buy-in, or so that everybody has some skin in the game, some form of reverse draft

    • by Ch_Omega (532549)
      Im actually happy that I got the chance to serve a year with the Norwegian Defense Forces (RNAF) fourteen years ago. To make the year more meaningfull and interesting, I made an effort to get into a conscripted officers course, which essentially let me serve my year as a UB-Corporal with responsibility for a few other conscripts. This also came with the option to continue on as a seargeant (and then second leutenant after another year) when my conscript year were over. However, I chose not to continue with
  • by darnkitten (1533263) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:01PM (#41982183)
    Military family - grew up on and around bases, Father retired enlisted, majority of siblings served in one way or another. Me, they didn't need.
    • by Xtifr (1323)

      How is that a missing option? It's not a poll about your parentage. You either are or were in the military, or you never have been. For once a slashdot poll actually seems to have covered all bases. This is such a rare occasion that we should be celebrating! :)

  • by Lucas123 (935744) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:32PM (#41982597) Homepage
    Until someone mentioned to me that less than 10% of all Americans have ever served in the military, and I looked it up, I'd always thought the number was a much larger. In fact, since 1776, only about 48 million Americans have served in the military during war and peace. And, only 2% to 3% of the US population has seen combat in the military. In fact, only 16.1 million Americans out of 138 million served during World War II, a war that saw 1.9 billion people serve in various militaries.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sparticus789 (2625955)

      Presently, the numbers are much worse. Only .45% of the U.S. population has served in the military since 2001.

      To make matters worse, the number of veterans in Congress is at an all-time low since WWII. [cnn.com] A Congress full of people like John McCain and Daniel Inouye could actually get things done, instead of this pointless bickering. Plus, Inouye is a complete badass. [badassoftheweek.com]

      • by KalAl (1391649) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @10:42PM (#41987873) Homepage
        Not sure I follow the logic of your argument that veterans make better legislators.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Darth_brooks (180756)

          The 10,000ft view of that particular POV is this;

          -Military service gives you a bullshit tolerance that's considerably higher than that of the average person.

          -You gain a much better understanding of how to be a cog in a machine. Right now, we have a legislative body full of "mavericks" and "rebels" who couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the bottom, mostly because working *with* someone else is perceived as a sign of weakness. You understand that whether you're a big cog or a little co

          • So one of (one guy of 19 killed?) the grunts killed in Grenada was the son of an MIT professor. My father had that professor when he was a student and he remembers the professor coming in and saying that his son had just been killed during the storming of that island by USA armed forces to "rescue the medical students there". Things like that give you a connection to people who serve in the armed forces and give a reality to the deaths that occur when someone at the top has a desire to rattle some sabers
  • by Hartree (191324) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @02:34PM (#41982629)

    I keep my army up my sleevey.

  • I was an Army Sergeant in the Canadian Armed Forces, know quite a few people who fought in Afghanistan while the US went off mission, a few of who died, and I have US relatives who are in Afghanistan right now.

    Now bring the troops home and stop whining.

  • by landofcleve (1959610) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @03:27PM (#41983283)

    To the tune of The Old Gray Mare:

    I may never march in the infantry
    Ride in the cavalry
    Shoot the artillery
    I may never fly o'er the enemy
    But I'm in the Lord's army!
    Yes Sir!

    I'm in the Lord's army!
    Yes sir!
    I'm in the Lord's army!
    Yes sir!

    I may never march in the infantry
    Ride in the cavalry
    Shoot the artillery
    I may never fly o'er the enemy
    But I'm in the Lord's army!
    Yes sir!

  • by jaymzter (452402)

    Never Again Volunteer Yourself!

  • I am an army ant type. :P

  • I was actually born during the two-and-a-half year period where you didn't even have to register for the Selective Service. And since the most recent war at the time was the Vietnam War, I was not exactly motivated to volunteer.

  • I enlisted in the Marine Corps my senior year of high school. At boot camp, I had an accident on the confidence course and washed out due to the injury. My DD-214 is listed as an entry level separation.

    To be on the safe side, I said that I am not a veteran. This was in 1982, so I probably wouldn't have seen any action had I stayed for my initial tour of duty anyway.

    • At least you had the guts to give it a try. That makes you a veteran in my book, unlike 80% of the armchair Generals on here.

    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      I'm pretty sure that would count sufficiently to qualify as a veteran. You are a member of the military as soon as you sign the appropriate paper work. They make a big deal about being in for real once you graduate basic or whatever but they had to give you a DD-214 because you were already legally a service member.

  • by Turminder Xuss (2726733) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @05:00PM (#41984481)
    The Kiss Army counts right ?
  • by Onuma (947856) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @07:21PM (#41986097)
    I spent 8 years in the US Army. I love the service; I learned some really valuable skills to include survival, combat, navigation, telecom and lots more. Spent 2 years overseas -- one hostile environment, one not. Almost got blown up a couple of times, lost a few buddies in the process. One way to look at it is that the military is similar to the largest fraternity you can imagine; people of all types share a common bond of brotherhood that spans generations.
    I left the Army a couple of years ago and I'm doing well as a civilian. I'd do it all over again if I had to choose.

    Serving is something which can only be truly understood by those who have served. Judging from the polling results (and slashdot snark in general), a minority of people here have been in some form of service or another. The rest, whether they once desired to serve or not, just don't "get it". The people I've met are great, the memories we've had are unforgettable (for good or ill), and the places and cultures I've experienced are vastly different and unique. That's a whole lot of experience I gained which I never could have gotten as a college student or anything else. The choice is always an individual thing, at least in the USA, but there's nothing wrong with NOT donning a uniform and volunteering to fight.

    To my brothers- and sisters-in-arms: thank you for your service. You have my respect.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 15, 2012 @12:17PM (#41992293)
      Glad you enjoyed your service. Mine was a pathetic, political cluster-fark. I signed up because I was in a location where the 2 major employers in the area had just collapsed (Eastman Kodak and Xerox). I was broke and unemployed and refused to move back in with the parents.
      I scored nearly perfect on the "placement" tests; and was offered a special assignment in a "technically advanced information gathering unit". I was looking forward to cool toys, a chance to travel, and doing something useful. Instead I ended up stateside in a large city in a unit where people went in and never came out.The internal politics in the unit -- which was 10 years past its prime, was desperately looking for a relevant future, and which senior NCOs ruthlessly culled the incoming recruits for small minded policy nazis -- let's just say it was a very depressing situation. The unit was over-weight in senior NCOs and could not keep new recruits past the 4 year mark. I rebelled and barely lasted past 2 years. A decade later I heard most of the unit was RIFed and the tasking sold to a civilian contractor. (Don't ask; can't tell).

      I learned how to spot and avoid policy nazis. Was this useful to my country?
  • by waynemcdougall (631415) <slashdot@codeworks.gen.nz> on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @09:15PM (#41987179) Homepage

    Why do we pacifists always get ignored?

    I'm going to kill whoever chose these options for this poll.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @11:07PM (#41988067)
    ... For Operation Shock and Awe. I figure that means I did my part. (Took out pretty much 100% of their offensive capabilities in one day, with very little collateral damage.)

    But I did not -- and would not -- have anything to do with occupation. That is a different story altogether, and had nothing to do with their "offensive capabilities".

    Hell, if I'd been told the truth (i.e., that their actual "offensive capabilities" against the United States pretty much amounted to little more than peashooters), I would have had nothing to do with it from the start. We were all lied to. And we're still being lied to.
  • Really people? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dark_requiem (806308) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @11:13PM (#41988111)
    OK, mod this how you like, but having just read this entire thread, I am appalled that it seems to have deteriorated into a discussion of the supposed benefits to society to ENSLAVE people for a portion of their lives and force them to participate in organized butchery (or the support thereof). And yes, it is slavery. Just because your government passes a law and says it's for your own good doesn't change the fact that an unwilling participant in any such scheme is most definitely a slave.

    And apart from that, I find it appalling that a seeming majority of people think military service is some kind of noble endeavor. The biggest nations and military alliances aren't fending off invasions of their homes. They ARE the invaders. They go to foreign lands, meet exciting new people and MURDER them. Usually on the flimsiest pretexts. "I was following orders" is not an excuse for killing someone. "They shot at me first" isn't an excuse when YOU are the invader. That's akin to a burglar claiming self-defense in shooting a homeowner who tried to defend his property. "I joined to do good and defend my country but a bad president started a bad war" is NEVER an excuse. You chose to join knowing that could happen (and based on, oh, say all of US history, you should have known it was damn likely), and when it comes right down to it, you choose to fire a weapon and take a life. Military service is NOT noble, it's despicable. Whatever the intentions, the soldiers make possible the wholesale slaughter of foreign peoples. Until people stop glorifying the trained attack dogs of the state, and stop making excuses for their actions, governments will have a plentiful source of cannon fodder and bullet sponges to continue invading and slaughtering.
    • Re:Really people? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tom (822) on Thursday November 15, 2012 @05:51AM (#41989781) Homepage Journal

      And yes, it is slavery.

      No, it is not. Please stop abusing that word to describe things that are not slavery. Slavery is a well-defined concept that does not apply here. I'm not saying it isn't bad or evil, just that it is not slavery. You don't become someone's property, your children don't become someone's property. It has a limited term, there are ways to leave, there are limits to what they can do to you and a million other differences.

      Until people stop glorifying the trained attack dogs of the state, and stop making excuses for their actions, governments will have a plentiful source of cannon fodder and bullet sponges to continue invading and slaughtering.

      Which is exactly why it is glorified. Without the glory, nobody sane would do it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No, it is not. Please stop abusing that word to describe things that are not slavery. Slavery is a well-defined concept that does not apply here. I'm not saying it isn't bad or evil, just that it is not slavery. You don't become someone's property, your children don't become someone's property. It has a limited term, there are ways to leave, there are limits to what they can do to you and a million other differences.

        Your "well-defined" definition of slavery appears to be based specifically on the US system of African slave trade and exploitation, which is among the most extreme and horrific implementations of slavery in human history. However, slavery has appeared in many other forms, where there is no obvious racial "marker" to permanently deny humanhood to the enslaved population. When considering patterns of conquest and slavery in other societies, from Native American tribes to the Roman empire, the attributes that

    • by Slider451 (514881)

      "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ~Thucydides

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.

 



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