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Generation Z and the Military

This is a discussion on Generation Z and the Military within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; This is my first time getting back on the forum since Summer and I wanted to get something out of ...


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Old November 27th, 2012   #1
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Generation Z and the Military

This is my first time getting back on the forum since Summer and I wanted to get something out of my head and into the Forum where someone could make heads or tails of it.

What I'm wondering is what all is the implication of Generation Z, which is coming of military age, joining the military? What traits does the military think it can use? What traits has the military scratching its head in frustration? And what has the military done in preparation for their coming of age? But my biggest concern being a 'Zer' myself and in training to become an SSO (Strategic Sealift Officer) at Texas A&M at Galveston in the Texas Maritime Academy is will my fellow 'Zers' be able to step up and become the soldiers, sailor, and airmen the nation needs?
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Old December 16th, 2012   #2
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Is there really all that much difference between generations when it comes down to it? I'm doubtful. People have been around for an awfully long time, a significant portion of our traits (both good and bad) are built into our DNA.

For sure there'd be a difference in experience if you threw a bunch of randoms into uniform, but if the trianing is right then it should all be addressed.

If you are concerned about the mindset of "Generation Z", go have a good look at some of the older folk getting around - there is no lack of oldies that I'd want nowhere near the military.
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Old December 16th, 2012   #3
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A good recruit training course should make short work of any generational traits, and break the recruit down, before rebuilding what todays military wants/needs.
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Old December 16th, 2012   #4
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What I'm wondering is what all is the implication of Generation Z, which is coming of military age, joining the military? What traits does the military think it can use? What traits has the military scratching its head in frustration? And what has the military done in preparation for their coming of age? But my biggest concern being a 'Zer' myself and in training to become an SSO (Strategic Sealift Officer) at Texas A&M at Galveston in the Texas Maritime Academy is will my fellow 'Zers' be able to step up and become the soldiers, sailor, and airmen the nation needs?
The biggest problem is the poorer physical condition as compared to previous generations – too much fat and not enough exercise. I understand that they are adding some extra weeks to basic training mainly to get them in shape.

The 2nd problem is lower average self discipline, but that is an area that the military already knows how to deal with.
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Old December 18th, 2012   #5
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I feel what makes for a more compelling question is not what kind of servicepeople the Millenials will make but what kind of service they'll be serving in

i enlisted out of high school (secondary school) into the US Navy from 2004-2009 and in just the short time that I was in, the Navy entered a realm of PTS, ERB, and "military resumés", undermanning, overdeployment, less higher end training as the military continues the transition to outsourcing a variety of tasks and responsibilities to civilians and so on

heck, that's even assuming they can enter the service at all as the number of roadblocks and locked doors to enlistment grow
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Old December 18th, 2012   #6
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I feel what makes for a more compelling question is not what kind of servicepeople the Millenials will make but what kind of service they'll be serving in

i enlisted out of high school (secondary school) into the US Navy from 2004-2009 and in just the short time that I was in, the Navy entered a realm of PTS, ERB, and "military resumés", undermanning, overdeployment, less higher end training as the military continues the transition to outsourcing a variety of tasks and responsibilities to civilians and so on

heck, that's even assuming they can enter the service at all as the number of roadblocks and locked doors to enlistment grow
Most of that is the result of Congress and the Administration cutting their budget and numbers for allowable personnel, so they are have to do more with less.

That means that the available personnel are overdeployed because they have to spend more time at sea, and have less time for training. Fewer trained personnel means that you have to outsource more. As for “the number of roadblocks and locked doors to enlistment grow”, as long as they can recruit all that are permitted, wouldn’t you want them to take the best?
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Old December 18th, 2012   #7
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Most of that is the result of Congress and the Administration cutting their budget and numbers for allowable personnel, so they are have to do more with less.

That means that the available personnel are overdeployed because they have to spend more time at sea, and have less time for training. Fewer trained personnel means that you have to outsource more. As for “the number of roadblocks and locked doors to enlistment grow”, as long as they can recruit all that are permitted, wouldn’t you want them to take the best?
That particular problem existed long before this administration.
Rumsfield and his lackeys started the first major rounds of enlisted cutbacks for "overmanned rates". His term also started replacing shore duty squids with civvies and other things to "save money". They also started changing the "A" and "C" school system from traditional classroom types to all CBT, so now if you go to a ship your average FC doesn't know crap about his system.
He was also the one who got rid of the Spru-can's and then imediatly scrapped or sink-ex'ed them so Congress would have no choice but LCS and DDG-1000. His lackies also came up with the idiotic "sea swap" program.
I was in during that time and every year our parts budget shrank and near the end of my career the quality of sailors was getting lower and lower.
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Old December 19th, 2012   #8
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That particular problem existed long before this administration.
Agreed. Went back over my post and saw where it looked like I was implying just this administration, but it starts much farther back.

But the problem also reoccurs if you look even farther back. It may just be part of the normal post war politics where the military tries to keep too much and the politicians try to make them do the same work with even less, until circumstances prove one side right.
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Old December 19th, 2012   #9
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Back to the suitability of Zers.

I think there are very real differences, not in the quality (although modern education trends seems to discourage failing people and pass them ill equipped) but mainly in expectation.

Our western society has reached a point where anything can be instantly obtained and if gratification is not immediate the Zers move to where it can be obtained.
Long term commitment to job/career no longer is common. As an employer I cannot tell you how many CV's I read that state " this job will further MY experience and qualify ME for better jobs" or words to that effect.

Everywhere they are bombarded with words enforcing their rights, entitlements and priveledges.
The concepts of loyalty and obligation to service or employer is seen as secondary.

Luckily, those that do enlist can be nurtured to follow a different ethos but societal pressures are such that, despite their training, most don't remain past their first engagement

I'm sure that those who stay in the service are no different from their predecessors.
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Old December 30th, 2012
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