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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/16/11

Is Our Leftist/Socialist Military Setting an Example That Many of Us Don't Want to Admit?

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"I absolutely think it's a model," (to be followed) said Linda K. Smith, executive director of the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, which advocates for better child care in America.   Ms. Smith, who used to oversee the military day care system before she retired from the Defense Department, said that our military understands that good child care is a strategic necessity to maintain military readiness and to retain highly trained officers.  

 

One of the most admirable things about the military is the way it invests in educating and training its people.   Its tuition-free universities -- the military academies -- are excellent, and it has ROTC programs at other campuses around the country that are superb.   Many soldiers get medical training, law degrees, or Ph.D.s while in service, sometimes at the country's finest universities.   It's common to hear bromides about investing in human capital, but the military actually shows that it believes in this kind of investment.  

 

Partly as a result, it manages to retain first-rate officers who could earn far higher salaries in the private sector.   And while the ethic of business is often "Gimme," our socialist military inculcates an ideal of public service that runs deep.   In Afghanistan, for example, soldiers sometimes dig into their own pockets to help provide supplies for local schools.  

 

As America gropes for new directions in a difficult economic environment, the tendency has been to move toward a corporatist model that sees investments in people as woolly-minded sentimentalism or as unaffordable luxuries.   But our US military shows us otherwise.

 

So, as the United States armed forces try to pull Iraqi and Afghan societies into the 21st century, maybe they could do the same for America.  

 

Hoo-ah!

 

 

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Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've (more...)
 

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