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Mimishu1995's avatar

Americans, how do/did they teach/taught you about military at school?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (14962points) December 21st, 2013

So I’ve been given a short break after my “military service”. Now I have access to the Net again!

My “military service” should be called “military training” to be exact. In my country every university student has to attend one. If anyone refuses to attend he/she will not be qualified to graduate from university. We are sent to a military camp and there we are taught politic and some basic skills of a soldier. At the end of the course there will be exams. I do enjoy the course in some way because my class gets to live in a dormitory and I can spend more time with my friends. My only complaints are that the political lessons are so boring and the living condition is not very good (dirty toilets, water shortage…)

I heard that American students have some course similar to this. So I’m curious of what they teach students about military in America.

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25 Answers

Seek's avatar

We have voluntary military service options. In high school it begins as JROTC – or Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. They learn basic drills, spend time after school working out, or working on gun showmanship (some of that stuff is really cool looking), and have extra classes on military history and such. It gives the kids going to college for ROTC – the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps – an idea as to what they’d like to specialise in, such as military law or whatever. These are kids who are planning on graduating college with a military officer position. They can receive a scholarship in return for sworn military service after graduation.

It is not by any means compulsory.

Seek's avatar

Actually, we kind of dropped the whole compulsory military thing shortly after leaving your country.

Boys still have to sign up for the draft, but I think there would be serious rioting in the streets if they even tried to enact it again.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Our military is a tiny proportion of our population under 50 or so. We have many older relatives who served, and we all know people who have been in the reserves for awhile, but it is really kind of invisible in daily life unless you live near a base.

dxs's avatar

You’re from China, right? That probably explains why it is mandatory since the country is based off of communism. I went to a Catholic high school so I still to this day have no idea how the military works or how to join or anything. I’ve tried looking it up because I thought about aiming to be in the President’s Own (which is the Marine Corps band), but I just thought that the conformity and bossing around would get to me. And realized I don’t like being judged on my music skills.

ETpro's avatar

I grew up in the suburbs of Norfolk, Virginia during the height of the cold war. The Norfolk Naval Base is the world’s largest Naval Base, so by grade 4, I was aware that we would be ground zero for a Soviet nuclear attack should war break out. We went through ridiculous drills about how to duck our heads under our desptops and cover our eyes and faces against the blast to avoid flash blindness and flying glass. In high school, we learned about the various wars of history. But there was no mandatory military training.

jerv's avatar

My stepfather and a few of my teachers were veterans, but as far as formal education about the military, that didn’t start until a year after I graduated High School and entered the US Navy… voluntarily, and of my own free will.

ETpro's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Just like @jerv, I signed up for the Navy and got my military training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

My youngest son signed up for ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) when he went to college, and is now a Captain in the US Army (Massachusetts National Guard).

Seek's avatar

@dxs@Mimishu1995 is Vietnamese.

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Mimishu1995's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Thanks for telling @dxs that. I was about to say that myself. And yes, like you said, both Vietnam and China are based off communism, so, yeah, I have to accept the fact that I can’t run away from military training.
@dxs I’ve updated my location here.

dxs's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Ahh got it. It’s okay. I’m young and I did the same exact thing as you before, too.

stanleybmanly's avatar

To begin with, it is important to understand that unlike your country, the standards and curriculum for education vary enormously in the United States. While the individual states may set minimum requirements, it is at district levels within the states where these requirements are interpreted and enforced with large variations in competence and success. In addition to the “public” or free schools, there are private schools available to parents willing to pay for their children’s education. Among the private schools here, there are at the secondary level military schools or academies where in addition to basic education, great emphasis is placed on military matters. These schools are concentrated in our Southern states where military traditions are regarded with reverence. Go to google. There’s a lot to discover.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

When I was a child, girls weren’t supposed to learn about military, or even really think about it. We were taught, and encouraged, to marry as well as we could. We were mostly discouraged from pursuing careers. Women are strong people though, not easily discouraged. With the environment of striving to achieve one’s dreams we have in our country, women can be downright unstoppable.
I didn’t learn anything at all about the military when I was in school, except certain events in history, and to appreciate and revere men who risked themselves in the military.
As a child I felt it was wrong to choose persons for the military by gender. I was a tough little menace; daring, athletic. I had a brother who was very emotional, and a bleeder. I felt that sending him into a battle would have no good results.
We both ended up joining the military, me first. He took a technical life which was non combatent, and did extremely well.
When I was in, women were restricted from taking combat positions. Many believed as I did, that when women were better suited they should have the chance to prove that, and the choice to train for the job they pick..
What I know about the military I learned from being in the military. I learned quite a lot. The military had a great deal to teach me. Not wanting things to be entirely one sided, I taught the military just a bit in return.
The military has many things to be learned which really has nothing at all to do with war. It is easy to resent being required to do or endure things without choosing them for ourselves. I think, however, your requirements can offer to your life knowledge and skills to benefit you throughout the peaceful years of your life. Even the boring stuff is likely to be helpful.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the world could learn a way to accept all our differences and similarities well enough that one day military training and history courses would all be the same? All in the past..

KNOWITALL's avatar

The main thing I was raised believing is that everyone in our country had an opportunity to ‘be all that they could be’ by joining the service. You’d be in peak physical condition, schooling was paid for, and you’d be trained for a specific duty/ trade. And upon leaving after 4 years, you’d have a nice savings to start your life if you chose to leave.

Seek's avatar

^ Or dead, or maimed, disfigured, and mentally frakked and left with nothing after being forced to stay in for 12 years instead of 4.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yes, but here, it’s an honor to serve or die for your country.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I think we already discussed this once or twice and you always belittle military service and our patriotism here, and other people here say it’s for low-income idiots, so I’ll pass in open forum. #nothanks

jerv's avatar

I never deified those in the military the way many do. That goes a thousandfold after I actually joined. It’s a job. The GI Bill isn’t enough to pay even half of tuition, the training is usually in fields that have little use in civilian life (even my electrical engineering knowledge would only knock about ⅓ the time for me to become a licensed Journeyman Electrician), and the only way to save is to develop a taste for food they wouldn’t serve to prisoners. Half my pay went towards food; eating out in-port, and from the ship’s store underway.

That said, I can get killed/maimed at my current job too, and have seen more disturbing stuff as a civilian than I ever did in the military. So, @Seek_Kolinahr, if that’s how you feel about the military, then that’s how you feel about life, so you just made a strong argument for suicide.

Seek's avatar

You can leave your current job if you so desire. If you try to leave the military before they allow you to, you are jailed.

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Jail feeds you better than homelessness. Or do you live in a fantasy world where jobs grow on trees?

Seek's avatar

Most of the vets I know are homeless, so the promises laid out by @KNOWITALL re: the army taking care of you are complete bullshit.

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Yep. The military is just another job.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

No one can be forced to do twelve years instead of four. The one person I knew personally who died at work was a civilian who fell into a machine and was mangled to death. I have known homeless vets, and I have known homeless college grads. The differences I saw was the vets were getting by without selling BJs. I know LOTS of vets who retired proud, and well off financially, and so young they could spend their years of retirement investing, volunteering, etc.
I have been a civilian, and active duty military. Either way, I am proud to be an American.
I will never be sorry for the time I spent in the Navy. I had some rough days, but I never had to worry about having a place to sleep, or enough to eat.
Combat is another situation, and there are things to iron out, but no branch of the service has suddenly closed its doors, leaving thousands out of work and unpaid.
i knew a man who lived through two wars and a police action, retired. He raised a family, owned a comfortable house. Enron did it’s dance of death. He lost his savings, had to sell his house, and his kids had to pay for his care.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek No disrespect but it’s done well by my family. My uncle at the VA tries to help, too. It wasn’t JUST a job.

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