Posted on Mar 26, 2015
CPL Food Service Specialist
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So I want to write a book about the Army or basically off of my whole military career and how I managed to survive. Do you all think its a good idea even though I'll be pointing out a great deal of flaws within the military also?????
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Responses: 17
LTC Brigade Executive Officer
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CPL (Join to see) So, how long have you been in the Army? I am guessing no more then 3-4 years, at most. How do you the Army has a "great deal of flaws?" Be careful not to write about something you don't fully understand.

If you to write about your experiences in Basic Training / AIT, your units, deployments, whatever, I would go ahead. But until you have served a long, broad career, as a CPL (and not meant derogatory), there is no way you can possibly know that the military has a great deal of flaw!
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PO1 John Meyer, CPC
PO1 John Meyer, CPC
>1 y
Always remember, CPL, that if you ask a question, expect some honest, hard hitting answers that you might not want to hear. Any JO or junior NCO will tell you that some of the best advise they have ever been given was the advise they didn't want to hear.

I wish you all the best as far as the book is concerned.
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SSG Stan Morrison Jr
SSG Stan Morrison Jr
>1 y
You asked for help, as far as I can see, you received that help, then you didn't like the response. If you set the tone of your story any way like your responses above, you may not get very far with it. Good luck with it.
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CPT Company Commander (Hhc, Cyber Protection Brigade)
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
You have to know everyone else experiences also. I was an Army Paralegal for 8 years. I have dealt with rape cases, helped assist victims and I helped Soldiers from being chapter out and risked my career in doing that... But the biggest thing I learned is that it's the people, not the Army. The Army does not say hey, go give people a hard time and do bad things. You need to read the UCMJ and Army Policies. Am I saying the Army is a perfect organization, no... but look at how much good it has done. If it is a problem, get promoted and push out your views on fair and balanced leadership. The Army has paid for my entire college upto an MBA using nothing but TA, my wife received $6000 mycaa money and achieved her 4 year degree with my GI Bill and my GI Bill paid for half of my doctorate. At the 53 school, the Army had paid for over $6000 worth of IT certifications. I received free eye laser surgery, paid for my child care, has allowed me to see the world, paid for my wife's weight loss surgery and you know what can never be replaced? All of the great Soldiers and Leaders that I have come across. I would have never met such a fantastic group of people anywhere ... Period. Have I overcome some hard situations, yes... But that is the only reason where I am today. Go work at a mall or fast food place and you can write endless books on dysfunctional leadership. Best of luck.
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MAJ Senior Observer   Controller/Trainer
MAJ (Join to see)
7 y
CPL (Join to see), it is my most sincere hope for you that you come back in a better frame of mind and take these many comments to heart. I have read this entire thread, from LTC (Join to see)'s opening comment all the way down to what I am now sharing, and by and large, I see nothing but the comments of fellow Soldiers, regardless of rank, who are sincere in answering the question you have posted.

As a Corporal, it is obvious that you have enjoyed a certain degree of professional success during the relatively brief time you have been in the Army. Excellent! This gives you credibility; it is obvious that you are not your Unit's S-bag Soldier, the one who can't seem to do anything right and now has an axe to grind after years of frustration. Yes, the experiences you speak of - racism, sexism, rape, being passed over, making tough choices based on family issues - those are all too real; a few of them unfortunately needlessly so, but real nevertheless. If these in fact are a part of your Army story, it is indeed your right too tell it.

But is now the right time? Your response to MAJ Oberg gives me the impression that perhaps these wounds are still too fresh, too painful, too personal for you to consider sharing with the outside world at this time. Remember, once it's out in the public realm, you're subject to book critics, and societal critics at large; people with an agenda who may not like what it is you have to say and target you for it. Are you up for that?
Bear in mind, there is no time limit saying you must do this ASAP. It's a great idea! But do it when it's right for you!

Another factor to consider is that all books and publications dealing with the Army or any other military subject matter must be reviewed by the Department of Defense Office of Public Relations and Publications before any publisher will touch your book. This is done largely for OPSEC purposes, but also to prevent the services from being blind-sided by an embarrassing publication. Anything you put into your book as it relates to the Army, you had better be prepared to substantiate!

If indeed sexual harassment and/or sexual assault have been a part of your Army experience, I am truly sorry. As a VA/SHARP, if that is the case, I can only hope that you have reported your incident so that the perpetrator(s) may be held accountable, or at the minimum, you are provided with the medical and counseling services that you deserve. Remember, even if you file a Restricted Report, meaning it is kept extremely confidential, you will at least have the documentation you need for future care and VA claim purposes in the future.

Best of luck to you, CPL. I just hope you can open your eyes to see how much support you have here now that you have asked for it.
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
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CPL (Join to see) Setting aside the whole issue of how writing a book articulating your candid views of the military would affect your career, I know I would be very interested in reading the book you proposed. I do not understand why your perspective is less valuable or interesting than someone who has served longer. I would argue that your unique perspective and experiences as a corporal make such a book well-worth reading. I would find it very valuable as a future PL to understand the problems and perspectives of young NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers in order to better serve my Soldiers.
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CPL Food Service Specialist
CPL (Join to see)
>1 y
I agree with you. Thank you, my book is worth it and you will enjoy every word in it from the beginning til the end.
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CPT Barbara Smith
CPT Barbara Smith
>1 y
2LT Elifson, one of the most valuable lessons that I learned as a new Army nurse was to recognize who the experts were because I was not and am not an expert soldier. When I was in the Reserves, our unit changed from a General to a Field Hospital. I did not want to stay in because the field didn't interest me. I was educated and trained to work in ICU by the U.S. Army. However, my SGT was the one who kept me from leaving with that change.

I was in charge of the Dolly Team for DEPMEDS. I had no idea what I was doing so I turned to the SGT who was an experienced mechanic and asked him to teach me. Together, we trained many soldiers but I could not have done it without his knowledge.

I also am well aware that my Officer Basic Course was much different than it is today and it is not similar to how enlisted personnel are trained. I do not believe I would have made it through a basic enlisted course because I am highly independent and yes, somewhat stubborn. Good for you!
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CPT Multifunctional Logistician
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
CPT Michael Barden Sir, while I completely understand your viewpoint if her concept was to author a definitive academic treatise on the Army's internal systems and institutions, that did not sound like her intention. (This is not intended as a slight on her academic/intellectual acumen whatsoever, just my understanding of her proposed project.) I am completely tracking that hard-won, extensive experience is required for true expertise in any field.

However, when it comes to articulating a viewpoint on one's own personal experiences in the Army and what one personally thinks about the Army's systems and institutions, there is inherent worth in understanding a wide range of perspectives with various levels of experience and expertise. Furthermore, it is clearly possible (and worth-while) to understand and sympathize with a viewpoint without necessarily agreeing with it. Sir, to use an extreme example, I enjoy reading personal diary accounts of Basic Training and Marines boot camp. Despite the fact that those authors have no military expertise or experience, it is still valuable to absorb their viewpoints as they endure the culture shock of transitioning to military life. I believe reading such accounts promotes empathy and awareness in a leader (as well as just being flat out entertaining).

And just because the Army fails a particular Soldier in any given way, that clearly does not mean that the Army as a whole is necessarily dysfunctional. Nevertheless, it is still critical for a leader to be aware of what can go wrong for a Soldier and to ensure that one's own subordinates are treated justly (insofar as one has the prudence to make such a judgment and the moral courage to enforce it).
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SGT Ben Keen
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I'm actually working on getting my book together as well CPL (Join to see). If you need help finding a publisher, please let me know. I'm working with one that only works with military authors and is ran by Veteran. Pretty awesome organization. Feel free to send me DM.
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