27 votes

Active duty military and vets: Need help talking my stepson out of enlisting in the Army.

Not having served myself, I can only give so much advice. He is heavily influenced by his neo-con father (who never served either). This kid has a great heart and has no interest in going to college. He feels that the military is his only option after high school. The recruiters are telling him everything he wants to hear. His mother is depressed all the time because of it. He first went to the Navy but they rejected him for previously being on adderall. The Army is saying that`s ok as long as he`s been off for a year. Any real life stories about what it`s like being in todays Army would be appreciated...

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Easiest way? Videos of vets' personal testimonies.

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)



Then get him asking the right questions as far as who the bad guys really are:


Hope that helps you some.

If he's old enough to make

If he's old enough to make his own decisions, he's also old enough to make his own bad decisions.

There's no convincing someone who isn't willing to listen.

Its a hard lesson to learn,

Its a hard lesson to learn, and an even harder one to accept

Well, my step son was

Well, my step son was accepted today into the US Army. They had him cancel his graduation trip to Mexico last minute to talk to some doctor and then ok`d him without seeing the doctor. Go figure... I want to thank everyone who contributed to help me educate this young man. All we can do now is hope he stays safe. His mother is very distressed and I`ll have my hands full trying to convince her everything will be fine. I`ve never seen her this freaked out before. Nothing like a little extra stress to test/strengthen a relationship I guess...

Keep Us Updated Liberty4EVERyone

Like to know his MOS, how he got through Basic Training, Drill SGT. stories, etc.

Today is the U.S. Army's Birthday.

The U.S. Army was founded on 14 June 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies, for one year.


Please tell him for me, thank you for serving and to stay safe.

Peace... JC444

"I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."


There is no duration defined in the Oath

Tell him how he's going to

Tell him how he's going to get 6 shots of anthrax vaccine pumped into his body as a mandatory policy.

That might wake him up.

Never be afraid to ask simple questions.

Update: OK, if this wasn`t my

Update: OK, if this wasn`t my step son it would be comical. This story is not made up. Army has made him jump through a bunch of hoops because of past adderall use. Psychological evaluation payed for by my step son ($800). Letters from past doctors, teachers, football coaches ect saying that they think he could perform well in a military situation. He does everything they ask and submits his packet. Recruiter says he`ll have a definate answer in three weeks. The time passes and no word. He calls the recruiter and asks whats up? Just taking time and don`t worry about he`s told. He`s a little bummed because he was getting ready to graduate from high school and wanted to know before the ceremony. Another week goes by and nothing. Oh well, no problem right? Wrong!

At the beginning of the school year, 8 guys on his football team and all their fathers (including him) book a trip to Mexico to celebrate graduation. This is relayed to the recruiter at the beginning. No problem he`s told because if he`s accepted, he wont ship out until fall. The trip was to start today. Two days ago, the recruiter calls and tells him he can`t go. 2 flippin days notice! They`ve known about the trip for 6 months! The reason is even more crazy. He`s told that they had to pull some strings. He (and his packet) need to be evaluated by an Army doctor. The cool/lenient doctor is going on leave at the end of the week and that`s who they want him to see. Best part is they can`t guarantee that he`ll see that doc but he needs to be home just in case! The vacation money spent is non refundable. The neo-con father ts pissed LOL! I felt bad for my step son and told him to probably expect more of the same kind of treatment if he gets in. To be continued...

Have him read "War is a Racket" by Smedley Butler

You can find the pdf for free on the internet. Just do a search. It's only 15 pages long.

ask him if he's honest, then if he's willing to go to prison

Upon joining, he will swear to uphold/defend the USC.
Hence, it will be his duty to refuse orders which violate it (that's what "defending it" means).
So if he takes part in UNdeclared (and hence UNconstitutional) wars, he will:
1) Directly violate his oath by undermining that which he swore to defend
2) Undermine the legal guarantor of our freedoms and the rule of law
3) Possibly murder/maim innocent human beings (and carry that guilt the rest of his life)

If he refuses, he'll be imprisoned.
But that's what an honorable/decent/honest person would do.
That's what a real man would do.


Ask him if he minds being a

Ask him if he minds being a tool for old politicians? Maybe he needs military experience to wake up. I know I did. In which case, tell him to join the infantry. And also tell him he is going see many of his closest friends die, perhaps in his hands. Tell him to be ready for the blood on his hands and the hole in his heart. The friends with PTSD, the suicide, the failed relationships, the loneliness and feeling of being misunderstood,the broken body. Choosing the life of a warrior will change him. If he chooses the life, support him, and remind him of the importance of the oath he takes. Remind him that he is needed to uphold the US Constitution. I dont regret the Army.It changed me forever, and experiences may vary, but I will say that combat breaks a man, or makes a man numb.. either way an innocent part of you dies.

Or if he insist on joining

Or if he insist on joining the military...go to your closest VA hospital and ask him to sit in the lobby before joining.., particularly of the OEF/OIF clinic. That should wake him up.

Now that is a fantastic idea!

Now that is a fantastic idea!

I will say this, if he has no interest in college..

He has no interest in being treated, respected, advancing, and paid well in the military. He is going to be a janitor and personal go'fer and I think he is going in the hard way and just another dispensible asset. He may even possibly join and may not enjoy it.

It is one thing to hate public high school and its b.s., it's a whole 'nother thing to be lazy and not prepare for a military career and avoid college. I recommend joining the military if someone as young as him does this:

1. Worry less about High School graduation motions and the flow it has, he should (even if he is graduating this year) take time to study for the ASVAB and SAT before taking the tests and take them again if his scores suck. Go in just for those two tests gunning for high scores. The goal is to get into a four year college that has an ROTC program. (Preferably the "Chairforce")

2. Join Airforce afterwords as a butterbar. MOS? Dem drones. Get Nintendo metal (i know they scrapped it, get on my level.)

3. ????

4. Profit!

If you can't convince him, well blame the dad if something happens.

Suggest trade school, instead.

I spent four years in the Air Force in telecommunications operations; when I got out, I could not find a job in that field. I spent nearly seven years in the Navy in electronics. When I got out, integrated circuits had replaced tubes and transistors. Had I not been been one of the few trained in computers, I could not have found a job. Tell him to imagine how much worse his opportunities will be if he is not assigned a technical specialty; but, instead becomes "cannon-fodder".

Find out where his interests lie, then suggest he act on them. Mechanics, plumbers, barbers, law enforcement, firefighters, medical professionals and cooks can always find a job somewhere and pretty much live anywhere they want.

The only opportunities he will likely find in the US Army are to be killed, maimed or driven insane. However, retirement is pretty good, if you live to collect it.

He got a tutor when he was

He got a tutor when he was taking the asvab tests for the Navy. His score started out at 25 and got up to 43 or so by the time he was done. He thought he did real well on his last test and was quite disappointed with the low 40`s score.

This is nonsense.

For a career in the Army Infantry (as enlisted) college isn't necessary at all.

Maybe in other branches, but not the Army Infantry.

I knew many dumb as dirt (when it came to certain things) E7s that obviously were doing fine in the army.

Stop with misinformation. To be honest, college is a huge scam, and this is coming from a student.

North Dakota

Tons of jobs in North Dakota for oil and NG...no long-term contract on your life/soul...just good-paying jobs without people shooting at you.

Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

This is actually one of his

This is actually one of his backup plans if the Army turns him down.

You wont sway him

I joined in 03 to "fight the war on terror" (yes it is in quotes for a reason) and nothing anyone said would have stopped me. Life is about blazing your own path, let the boy decide for himself. If he realizes it is a mistake he will live with the consequences.

Wow read some of the comments posted here. I am going to clear up some misinformation being thrown around.

E1-E4 is generally irrelevant. (E4 not so much, but generally still is. E1-E3 definently irrelevant.) Taking community college courses just to boost your rank to E3 is dumb. E2 you get almost automatically out of basic (yes it is automatic), E3 is the same way. The army views privates as privates period. No difference between E1 and E3, they all do details.

Also to note, he makes the claim "He is going to be a Ranger". This is a common army scam. However, going back to my last point, you won't tell him different trust me. The army uses the "Ranger" and "SF" programs to recruit more infantry, because they know the chances of you failing out of the program are very high.

I had a "ranger" contract when I went in. Came out after jump school and went to Bragg to be a "Parachute Infantryman". (aka grunt who jumps out of planes).

Regardless, again let the boy be a man. I find it amusing that here on the Daily Paul, where we preach individual responsibility every day, that people want to micromanage other people. (In this case, his stepson). The problem is, the period of time where micromanaging (parenting) has passed. The boy is a man now. He is now about to be responsible for himself. If you want to be a supportive parent, just accept the fact that he is going to make mistakes in life (Most adults do, I know crazy concept). Maybe this will be one of those mistakes, maybe he will make a career out of it, who knows.

Regardless, stop doing exactly what you preach against! If a man is an adult, allow him to make mistakes.

Respectfully Disagree

When I was 18 I almost signed the dotted line. I was also arrogant and easily brainwashed -- thinking the military was some glamorous and noble career (e.g., kill terrorists! protect our "freedoms"!). Looking back, I wish I had a guiding light like stepdad to inspire me in a different direction. In an alternate reality, I died in Iraq protecting an oil pipeline. Fortunately I was lucky and deemed ineligible to serve due to a previous broken foot.

Thus, I respectfully disagree with the end of your analysis. I think there is a difference between micromanagement and persuasion. Should stepdad forcefully try to prohibit stepson from joining the military? No. Like you said, he is a man now responsible for his own decisions. But I see no problem with stepdad persuading his stepson to try a different route. Surely if stepson was going to jump off a bridge we would encourage stepdad to persuade him otherwise (rather than sit back and let him "be a man").

Good luck with your persuasion efforts stepdad.

I appreciate your comments.

I appreciate your comments. Thank you. Just wondering, are you a parent? I have 4 kids and believe that being honest with them works wonders(I know crazy concept). This kid is being fed a ration of chit from the recruiter and his father. The Navy recruiter already drug him through 4 months of promises that were flat out dishonest. I started this thread to get advice from people that have actually served and let him read them. ALL of them. He deserves to hear both sides of the story regardless if I sway him or not...

Man are you in a tough spot

You are between father and son. You are between the kid and what he thinks he wants. If he doesn't enlist and his life doesn't work out who's he gonna blame?

And OK test scores in low 40s and he was on adderall and the army already passed him up? Based on a psych eval? Let's make this clear, he's not gonna be a ranger or a seal or a delta or an anything. That's just not gonna happen.

If he doesn't pick up a trade in the service tell him he might as well go to surfing in Maui for a few years. By then he'll be happy enough not to care what his father thinks.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.

If I would have known in 2007, what I know now...

I would have never enlisted in the first place. I am in the Army and I am currently in the final 2 years of my contract. Fortunately, when I took the ASVAB I got a 96 and was able to pick any job the military had to offer. I chose a medical job as an X-ray Technician. Of course I am grateful for the education in Radiological services the military (tax payers) has given me, but I'm not so sure it was worth it to sell my soul to a Government, who could really give two shits about me.

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy" - Henry Kissinger (56th United States Secretary of State)

Most politicians in Washington have this mentality and are completely willing to send other peoples children to die for their manufactured wars and not their own.

Not only that, they don't give a shit about veterans when they return home. If a soldier claims PTSD now, their 2nd Amendment rights are stripped. Then they are put on SSRIs for their mental problems which make them worse off, when medicinal marijuana has been proven to be effective for PTSD. If a soldier commits suicide because of the things he has seen in combat and actions he has taken, they tell us to "look out for each other" and other bullshit like that, WITHOUT EVER ADDRESSING THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE... OUR FOREIGN POLICY.

I have to sit through Suicide prevention classes multiple times a year, and every time I want to hang myself... and every single time I have to keep my mouth shut because I no longer have the right to free speech when in uniform.

The military doesn't want "a few good men". They want brainwashed androids who will follow any order given to them without question.

That being said. My Oath of Enlistment was to the United States Constitution, and nothing else. Not my platoon sergeant, not my first sergeant, not my hospital commander, not the general of ARMEDCOM, and not the President of the United States.

Counting down the days til when I am out...

My Political Awakening: I Wanted to Change the World...
I am NOT Anti-America. America is Anti-Me - Lowkey
How to Handle POLICE STATE Encounters

Update: Last psychological

Update: Last psychological evaluation was done yesterday. Recruiter now wants a letter from his medical doctor saying that he could function in the military without the adderall. Also wants a letter from his his varsity football coach saying he was able to concentrate at all times during games/practice. Those letters along with the evaluation will be sent off to some higher ups for approval.Supposed answer within 3 weeks...

All I have to see

Is how our gov't treats disabled vets. What a disgrace

Ron Paul Was Right

My Nephew just joined the Marines Reserve

Makes me sad.

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"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

If he's going to do it....

Tell him he'll make a lot more money if he does 1-2 years at a Community College (automatic E-3 after boot camp instead of wasting time at the bottom of the barrel for 1-2 years). When he negotiates for a "job" (MOS) really try to get him into Inteligence, les chance of seeing combat, getting PTSD, and he'll be able to see first hand the information and intel.

Once he's in, he'll find out that the "God Bless Our Troops" mantra that everyone is so quick to say is really nonsense... Troops are not some Angelic Warriors that should be idolized, they are just regular kids, they get drunk, they get stoned, they lie, they cheat, they steal... just like everyone else.

Your boy wants to do something bigger than himself, I get that... but before he joins the military, have him take a hard look at what it means to be a pawn in the foreign policy of this Administration. We can do better for our country by keeping "America's Best" here at home.

Thanks for the info. I`m

Thanks for the info. I`m gonna look into how much community college is needed (actual classes) to enter as an E-3 and run it by him. His heart is set on Ranger though asap.