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Differences in the Services


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When I was considering enlisting, some friends, and former soldiers, gave me some comparasons on the various branches.

  • Two friends who'd been in the Army, one in Europe during the Cold War, one in Viet Nam, made the observation that one advantage of the Army was, no matter how bad things get (if, for example, the Russians decide to come in to Germany), you can always walk (and hope there's a boat for you when you get to France). When you're on a ship, and the ship is under attack, you don't always have that option.
  • One co-worker, who'd left the Navy after 20, observed that in 20 years in the Navy, he never once slept on dirty sheets. (He may have had to share the bed with somebody who's on the other shift, so to speak, but he had a bed, with a mattress and everything). (My friend who'd been in Viet Nam recalled "camping" in a sleat storm in summer gear (the winter gear hadn't arrived, yet) using tarps as blankets, and feeling grateful, because, as the LT, he had the only tent in the company that wasn't in two inches of water.)
  • Didn't have any friends who'd been in the Air Force, but they pointed out that there's something to be said for a service where the enlisted folks send the officers to go fight.
  • And they all agreed that the Marines were just nuts.

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