From: Mosquito Bite, Texas
ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake
Sounds like you would have been happier taking a regiment into The Wheatfield or, more aptly, holding the line at the Sunken Lane.
Let me clarify. I didn't mean I wish I had entered the service for "fortune and glory." I think any student of military history knows the ugly truths of combat. However, a military career would have both directly and indirectly involved me in various occupations related to geopolitics, the military (duh) and diplomacy. For whatever odd reason, these topics are my passion (hence my willingness to devote untold hours to a certain wildly complicated war-game ).
I became a lawyer in the hopes of pursuing such a career in government (State Dept, Legislator, etc) as those fields are lousy with lawyers (even moreso than other lawyer-infested careers). However, making the jump from Law to Government was harder than I expected. I've had some success, but it turns out the way to get where I wanted to go, ironically, was to go into the military and either be fortunate enough to make the higher ranks or retire and use the experience elsewhere. I've always been a fish out of water - a lawyer who really wanted to be something else.
Actually, I think you have a very idealistic view of what a military career is like. I found it to be endless hours in the motor pool, dealing with incompetent superiors and law-breaking subordinates, and writing pointless plans, policies, and SOP's. Then for excitement you get to go to the field where you pull tanks out of the mud, break track, get no sleep, and take a shower in the rain because that's the only chance you'll get to see fresh water. Then, of course, you get to respond to absolutely silly requests to supply equipment that you don't have in your TO&E for parades and displays for the civilians, and on THEIR day off you get to march in 100 degree heat to give them a cheap thrill. Then the IG comes and reams you for having two 60 watt bulbs in the stairway instead of three 40's that he says use less energy, and he'll flush each urinal seven times to see if he can get a drop of water out of the valve. Don't want to waste water, he says.
Finally, though, you'll get a few days of actual combat or other "real" situations. They come and go quick. You change your underwear frequently, if you have any.
Then, one day, you get to sit in a job interview trying to explain to some sweet young lady in her 20's why being a trained, hired killer for the government qualifies you for a mid-managment position in her politically liberal company. You change your underwear again.
Yeah, I wouldn't have done anything else, and wouldn't trade my military career for anything, but it's not what the average person thinks it is.
Occasionally, and randomly, problems and solutions collide. The probability of these collisions is inversely related to the number of committees working on the solutions. -- Me.