There seems to be a new phenomena going around the armed services; people are becoming addicted to serving in the military. But, it’s not for the reasons you think. Sure, the benefits are good, the pay is average, but there is one thing military members receive that they can’t find on the outside. What is so addicting? Power and authority. It begins after the member earns the rank of Sergeant, or E-5, that they begin to experience the rush.
You know there is more to the world than the Army; there’s a whole civilian life just waiting to happen; one where you can let your hair down, relax, and maybe gain a social life. But, you also know that if you cash in your chips and try to make it in the civilian sector you may have to start closer to the bottom than you’d hope, and there’s not a lot of power and authority at the bottom.
With a rank above Sergeant comes a gaggle of troops; ones you’re inherently responsible for. Sure, they get on your nerves from time to time and there’s always that one getting out of line, but you take to them like your adopted children. Consoling them, making sure they’re exercising and eating right. In a sense it’s the best of both worlds. You get to act like a parent, which is rewarding to watch younglings grow and develop, but you also get to play the “bad cop” in the parenting scenario.
This new addiction can cause friction between a service member and his or her family. If these military members that thrive on power and authority don’t receive this recognition at home, they may find ways to work more. It won’t be longer hours during the week, that wouldn’t be good enough. They’ll find ways to tag onto training TDYs they wouldn’t normally be a part of or volunteer for deployments just to experience the rush.
Some even take it to the extremes and treat it like a sport, barking orders at anyone that they outrank. Get two or more of these types together and they reminisce about people they’ve put in their place and diminished down to nothing, and laugh about it. At some point, it becomes a badge of honor that Sergeants wear to prove their worth. It’s not their fault; it’s part of the military culture. But, if left untreated and pressured by others, it can stem into a full-blown problem.
Sergeants should be careful with their newfound power and authority and not let it take over their lives. There is a time and place to use it like in the field or during a training exercise. But, there is also a time and place to be a regular family man or woman. Appreciate the fact that you can live both lives in the same world; a respected soldier with a brood of troops and a doting family member that may have to take a back seat sometimes.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.