Posted on Oct 10, 2014
SFC Retired
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I am sure many of you have seen recent articles about a 1SG that was initially refused when he asked to have his ASU top hung up while flying. He was told no, that that was a first class perk. People offered up their seats, so on and so forth. I can't honestly say I have read anything that said the Soldier was outraged, more so the other passengers. I am not saying that the 1SG feels entitled and asking to hang up his jacket is an entitlement, more so some of the responses from service members on the forums of the websites.

However, reading some of the posts on the websites that have ran the article have led me to ask this question. It seems that many Soldiers, past and present, seem to think that if you are serving in the military you should automatically be upgraded to first class or something equivalent to the fact. Statements like, "All Soldiers should automatically be upgraded" were very common on the boards.

Here is my two cents for what they are worth. I never joined for the "perks". I wouldn't expect anyone to give up their seat for me because of the profession I chose. Do not get me wrong, I am certainly humbled and appreciate the gesture but in no way do I think that I am entitled to that level of gratitude. I wouldn't ask anyone to bend the rules for me just because I put the uniform on.

Selfless Service....think about it.

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/passengers-outraged-over-treatment-army-ranger/nhfzk/
Posted in these groups: Selfless-service Selfless ServiceLeadership-abstract-007 Leadership
Edited 6 y ago
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Responses: 45
1LT Infantry Officer
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Perks are nice when offered.

It is not your place to EXPECT things to be given to you.
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CPT Chris Loomis
CPT Chris Loomis
6 y
Most if not all of the Soldiers I serve amongst do not see themselves as entitled just because they serve or have been down range. However there are a few bad apples in every group....

I'm a firm believer that as a member of the profession of arms we are public servants. We serve a cause greater than ourselves. As such we should maintain our military bearing, sense of selfless service, and humility.

I do not expect nor solicit any preferential treatment because I am a Soldier.

I am fortunate that the community in which I live and serve is supportive of service members. Around town, when in uniform, I receive many, "Thank You's" to which my reply is always, "You're welcome and Thank You for your support."

Also, and not to sound self righteous, but as an American Soldier and Commissioned Officer, I'm always watchful of my manners and comportment.

I also believe that it is up to military leadership to set the example and tone for their troops on this subject.

Back on track...sorry.

To answer the question: No. I don't think that service members in general have developed a since of entitlement.

In regards to the Soldier asking to have his ASU coat hung up on the plane.... I don't think this is an entitlement issue. Reading what I have I deduce (we'll all really never know because we were not there) that he merely wanted to hang up his coat to keep it clean and unwrinkled. That being said, and considering his rank and tenure, he should've had a plan in place before he got on the plane to take care of his uniform.
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SGM Matthew Quick
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I'm not sure anyone joins the military for the 'perks' and I'm sure there are some that have a sense of entitlement, BUT, is it too much to ask to hang up a servicemembers jacket during a flight?

Again, some may have a sense of entitlement...and some have lost a sense of respect for our servicemembers.
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SFC Retired
SFC (Join to see)
6 y
I had to revise my opening statement a little bit. The focus was intended to be more about the responses from service members that posted on the boards. My apologies for the confusion.
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SGT Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
6 y
The sense of entitlement is something I feel has been bred into a lot of the younger generation we see today. People want things given to them and the fact that we keep having all of these government programs coming seem to play into the younger generation's sense of entitlement. It is not just with the privates, but with the officers and warrant officers. Everyone wants the military to conform around them and make them feel good about themselves.
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SPC(P) Nick Bondgien
SPC(P) Nick Bondgien
6 y
IDK MSG, however; I do personally feel it actually began creeping into our armed forces when it started in of all place's.... Basic Training. Once upon a time ago it didn't matter what branch You were really, Your Drill Sgt was Your New God. They could be in your face slobbering while they were screamin... or he'd kick Your scrawny ass six ways to Sunday. And You cringed when he spun back around after walkin past Ya in formation.
We've gona all huggy touchy feely.... even with regards to the Enemy.
With all due Respect to the position of CiC, I have none for the incumbant.

I think We need to go back to the three forms of Counselling that somehow came blurting outta my mouth at my E5 Board....Wall to Wall, behind the motorpool, and in the Woodline Sgt Major! Whoooa RECON.
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SSG 25 M Multimedia Nco
SSG (Join to see)
6 y
Yes. Especially jr. enlisted only joined for technical training, and to have as many medical "appointments" as possible....and curiously being 'unavailable' for military training due to these..and or going to appointments with spouses who are on baby number 3. Just sayin. Lots of servicemembers have verbalized its gone soft enough that enlisted military service has become a pseudo welfare system for the shammers, who capitalize on an empathetic system that may be scared to discipline due to fear of retribution and being accused of sexism, racism, etc.. Just sayin. And in the end, these servicemembers get out with the highly desired 30% disability (post benefits for life) and some kind of a security clearance which slingloads them right into government work, sometimes with a preference based on being hired due to a 'minority' status. Just sayin.
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SGT Suraj Dave
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I declined 1st class seating the couple times i was offered when flying in uniform (on orders). Mostly because since day 1 in the Army, I was told it is wrong to do that.

People (strangers) have paid for me before though.

All in all though, its pretty scummy to expect free things just because you are in uniform, and its really immature to argue about free things when you are in uniform.
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COL Director, J5/7 Cyber National Mission Force
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6 y
I think I accepted a change to first class once in my career. This was when it was done by the airline when I was flying to my folks home after I returned from Desert Shield/Storm (still in my chocolate chips as I had just gotten off the redeployment flight about 6 hours earlier and all my stuff was in storage). When swaps are offered, I've thanked those offering for their gesture or (in two cases) asked if they would instead offer their seat to a junior enlisted soldier I knew that was traveling on the same flight.

After one of the enlisted swaps, I was sitting next to the gentleman that offered his seat up and asked him his background and his personal reasons for offering the swap. He mentioned that he retired from the military in the 70s and now traveled very frequently on airlines. To him, the good feeling he got from making a soldier's trip a little bit better was well worth the swap.

All in all though, I view this offer very much the same as the comments regarding people thanking military personnel for their service. Some look at them as empty words because there are no actions behind them, some openly appreciate the gesture, and some embarrassingly mumble a quick thanks and move on. Regardless of their reasons for offering, I give a thanks for the comment/action and recalling the gentleman's words, let them know that it is appreciated.
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