Advantages and Disadvantages of Joining the Armed Forces

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Joining the Armed Forces

The Modernization of the Military

The military of today is in no way like that of a century, or even three decades ago. The threats to the national environment have been greatly exacerbated by the heightening of the “war on terror” and international situation as a result thereof. The armed forces are seeking to adapt to the growing trends of globalization, challenges to national sovereignty, the relocation of political authority to transnational and sub-national agencies. The armed forces must also deal with an increased risk complexity, as the level of danger a soldier is exposed to the battlefield far surpasses the cannon and musket-balls of the past. The range of missions of the armed forces in this modern environment is being broadened, with significant changes being made in regards to the political and military relationship. While their size has been reduced as they grow smaller, a greater degree of flexibility is necessary within the organizational structures should they hope to be filled, while also heeding to social equality in all aspects, including sex and sexual orientation, former taboos of the military. (Dandeker 637) This adherence to social equality enables the military to increase overall enrollment while maintaining a positive image to an extent, enabling them to mask over the negative aspects of the job, which are growing increasingly larger.

The Expanding Difficulty of the Job

The armed forces in today’s modern world must broaden their role to include functions in addition to the one of war-fighting, such as peacekeeping, disaster, and humanitarian relief. (Dandeker 651) These alternate exercises of power have been further exacerbated by the war on terror, making the job of the soldier not only that of a fighter, but a global hunter, being sent around the globe to weed out these potential threats which our government delineates and orders the attack upon. While the participation in peacekeeping, disaster, and humanitarian aid is truly noble, such situations often turn to occupations, which at times are unjust and precipitate an environment in no way conducive to a quality life for the soldiers.

Thus, the modern role attributed to today’s soldier is growing increasingly more dangerous. The global war on terror has opened a war on a number of fronts with more pending. The armed forces already being stretched nearly to capacity, those who join have a high potential of being ushered off into armed combat in a foreign place, most likely with oil. Being away from the home on deployment in such a locale inadvertently places a strain upon the families of the soldiers. Contrary to expectation, the deployment of male soldiers, according to a study done on Gulf War veterans, enough time having already passed to consider this, the deployment of male soldiers had no effect upon marital dissolution; however it did lead to their wives working less, expectedly due to the increased level of stress. However, the deployment of female soldiers, while not affecting the labor levels of husbands left behind, the marital dissolution rate increases. (Angrist, Johnson 41) The increased strain upon the family of the soldier is further exacerbated on both fronts by the increased danger of the modern battlefield and existence and future odds of war considering the modern environment.

This likeliness of trigger-time in the modern military to some may be a deterrent, as for most an occupation and livelihood is desired in the military and not a flag for their family and posthumous medal. However to others the capacity and opportunity to serve their country, ostensibly in the advancement of freedom and the democratic capitalistic way, is an honor. Alongside this honor do come some perks, particularly in the financial aspect, as given the shortage of personnel, the armed forces find themselves having to make the offer attractive. The best way to draw someone’s...
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