A Way of Living… A Way of Dying… A Way of Life.

That is really the only way one can put into words on what it means to be a soldier, sailor, or marine in the United States.  The people of America […]
September 26, 2010


That is really the only way one can put into words on what it means to be a soldier, sailor, or marine in the United States.  The people of America really take for granted what it means for a person to be a soldier.  The definition of a soldier is really defined by the individual, but according to the Princeton University WordNet online dictionary a soldier is someone who “serve[s] as a soldier in the military.”  This quite literally means that that someone is willing to put themselves in harms way to make a better life for the people of the United States of America.

A Way of Living

What is it that the people of the United States crave more than anything?  Justice?  Freedom?  Truth?  Money?  The role of the soldier is to answer without question to the will of the people – which is in turn given to them by the government – that soldier then receives the information from his chain of command and does as he is told.  The soldier, sailor, or marine goes about his business and doesn’t ask why, they don’t complain, they just do it.  The non-commissioned officer (NCO) tells his GI Joe to do something – the only correct response is “Yes Sergeant.”  Then only at that point is the complete mission carried out.

Freedom is a curious thing… Especially on a website titled: FreedomSystem.  The concept of freedom to an American G.I. is a curious thing.  When it comes right down to it – the soldiers, sailors, and marines sign a contract that basically sells them into indentured servitude – their freedoms are taken away.  The daily routine of an Army Infantry soldier on Active Duty orders is usually pretty mundane and gets to be to the point where it is almost boring.  However; (times are relative to duty location) 5 a.m. is wake-up.  6a.m. Physical Training (PT) is conducted either at Battalion, Company, Platoon, Squad, or the Individual level.  Chow, or as civilians call it breakfast, is served for a time at the dining facility (chow hall).  And then personal hygiene (shower, shave, teeth) is conducted in the individual soldier’s barracks.  Then around 9 a.m. the soldiers will then return to their designated place of work – an Infantryman goes to their command point (CP).  Where they start training for war for that day – doing drills such as: disassembling weapons, learning how to set ambushes, and target practice.  On occasion the soldiers will do hand to hand combat, along with other trainings in the martial arts.  On rare occasion it has been known that video games that are generally embraced by the general public such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is used as training simulators.  During the day if


a soldier is caught to be “in trouble,” the said soldier is then “smoked.”  Smoked means to do push-ups or flutter kicks until that person is “correctly trained” to not make the same mistake again.  At 11:30 a.m. the soldiers are then released for lunch, as long as it is okay with the platoon sergeant.  They generally have an hour and a half for lunch.  They return back for either another PT session or more training.  The soldier then will rely on his company commander or company first sergeant to release them for the day.  The soldier is always on call and can be called back into work at a moments notice.  Most soldiers when they are release will go change into “civies” or civilian clothes, and head to supper or its equivalent and then spend the rest of the evening relaxing in their individual ways; getting ready for the next day.

“Going to the field” is a term that you will hear a lot in the Infantry lingo – this means that they are going out to the field to conduct warlike training.  Simulating battle, target practice, etcetera…  Many units spend a lot of time in the field – especially if they are getting ready to deploy to a combat zone – or an area that can be considered dangerous.  Being in the field means they sleep on the rocks, snow, grass, mud, or a combination of them all.  They spend 24 hours a day out in the field for a predetermined time or sometimes an in-determinant time it is really up to the command level at that point.  The soldiers learn about the possibilities of combat fatigue and combat stress in a safe environment before they are deployed.

A Way of Dying

People that join combat arms to protect the United States of America, have a daunting task ahead of them that can ultimately lead to their untimely demise.  The men and women that have risen to the occasion and have been killed in service have made the ultimate sacrifice.  “They gave all so that all could have some.”  Cliché; yes, but effective.

The men and women that join the armed services take a risk of losing their lives in order for something better for their country.  As President Kennedy stated: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask

John F. Kennedy

Associated Press 1963

what you can do for your country.”  That is what these people do for their country.  And at times these individuals may not agree with what is going on in the government, but they still have to follow orders.  Soldiers are prepared to die before they go into combat.  They have wills made out to their chosen beneficiaries.  They have living wills made in case they are in a vegetative state.  Dying is an option – they do it for their country.

When a soldier dies it is always media frenzy.  “This is an unjust war.” Or, “If [the commander] would have done it this way this soldier would be still alive.”  And on and on it goes as such.  The truth of the matter is that the soldiers put themselves at that risk by signing on the dotted line to join the military.

A Way of Life

An American that decides to join the military has many things that they must take into consideration:

1.       Are they willing to have long days and be yelled at for small errors?

2.       Are they willing to go to combat?

3.       Are they able to kill with little remorse in order to complete their mission?

4.       Are they willing to die for their belief, and their country?

It takes a lot to be an American soldier.  An American soldier can be one of the most important roles that a citizen takes on – either as an Active Duty soldier or a Reservist or Guardsman.  Soldiers live lives and have families.  The families take risks that they may never see their loved ones breathing again.

It truly is a way of life that the soldier and their families that support them have.

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