Great article on the Army. I, too, was a product of the Army. I went thru Fort Dix NJ, "The home of the Ultimate Weapon" (the infantryman). I believe a great many aimless, self-indulgent spoiled young people, who will drift thru a non-productive existence, could be saved by a stint in the military.
And you're also right as it applies to the business world. Keep it coming.
--Bob Mellon, with Creative Response Marketing
I agree with about the army training good man in years past, but I strongly disagree with you on anybody's ability to train and retain good employees in today's environment. Especially when the government pays people to sit on their behind and play dumb. In my business I have seen many an employer get screwed for hiring people. Today's employees will lie, steal, and outright defy you to get your money's worth from their work. The work ethics have eroded on both sides of the equation: Employers and especially big business, and employees. For 25 years I saw work ethics erode and slip. What is even more distressing is the inability of entrepreneurs to take advantage of all that is at their disposal in libraries and from government agencies to avoid failing and making bad and costly decisions.
Even if you wanted to make a good employee out of a recruit, the odds are against you succeeding. Most trade magazines and self-help publications list many businesses who can barely get one good "apple" out of every 100 applicants. We can debate this subject for days and never resolve the situation, but hopefully enough people will join together to make a difference. Good luck to them they're going to need it.
No disagreement with your conclusions, but believe you have overstated the odds of being killed or wounded in Iraq. While the force level is indeed about 130,000, the force is on its third rotation, and includes National Guard and Reserve component forces as well as active Army, so I'd guess that upwards of 300,000 troops of all services have served in Iraq.