A rat race is a derisive term utilized to explain the competitiveness of employees within the job market. People who participate often enjoy such benefits as repetitive/mindless work, and an exhausting lifestyle with little fun or enjoyment. However, while it’s often noted to be a byproduct of the average consumerist lifestyle in the business world, it nearly goes completely unmentioned in the military industry. Which is ironic considering the military is filled with the same type of people who actively engage in the “rat race” and furthermore can’t wait to rise above the ranks in order to find a position where they can work less for more money.

People in the military are no different to anyone else in the outside world or as they call it “the real world”. They can be family, wealth, glory, materialistically, artistically, and even ambition oriented. But, this also means that they’re just as susceptible to falling into the “rat race” trap ending up in an endless cycle of consumerism in which they seek to obtain promotions in order to afford more luxuries which feeds into itself. Countless stories of lower ranking personnel aspiring to reach the next rank simply to afford the payment of a brand new vehicle or a different unnecessary abound within the confines of this complex organization. Yet, it’s almost as if the military were purposely encouraging this type of behavior.

I utilize the term “almost” because overtly the military encourages proper spending habits, making good financial decisions, and actively thinking about what members spend their money on. Yet, on the other side of the coin, the promise of an increased salary and less overall work seem to be used as a proverbial carrot-on-a-stick for younger/lower ranked members of the military.

Certainly, the allure of ample riches and leisure time can be tempting for almost any man alive, however, that’s almost the opposite of what they should strive for as their ultimate goal.

Personally, I believe that instead of encouraging personal gain as the motivation for promotion, the military instead should focus on building up positive traits. Yet, how can they differentiate the members who simply are out for themselves and those who seek other types of rewards? How does the military become an effective war machine as “Mad Dog” Mattis desires it if it’s only filled with pseudo-mercenaries? Even if they could differentiate them, how many people would eventually be left? I guess if all that’s required is people who follow their orders blindly in order to obtain favor and better promotion chances. But, serving in the military should be about so much more than just the self.

Military members have the responsibility of protecting their country, if their only goal is personal gain, they’re forgetting the mission. Those sailors, soldiers, airmen, and marines who risk and sacrifice their lives on a daily basis hold the weight of the world on their shoulders. At times, it’s important to remember that when that oath is made there is no stanza, which promises to uphold the values of consumerism and financial gain. Admittedly, it is difficult to avoid falling into the pitfall that is a rat race, but the military should not be the place for it…

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.

Emmanuel "Dash the Bomber" Barbosa

Emmanuel Barbosa, AKA Dash The Bomber, is currently serving in the 7th fleet, and has over 8 years of experience in the military. A writer with a penchant for the humorous and informative, he loves to share his stories with those who would be willing to listen. Having served in deployments that have taken him around the world, Dash has seen and heard about many things that would be hard to believe. A loving father and a faithful husband, he is dedicated to protecting his family and country. For fun he enjoys cosplaying, videogames, and writing for online magazines.

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