Posted in Military/Politics

Term Limits

One topic that seems to be brought up a lot recently is that Congress should have term limits. This topic isn’t just on one side of the aisle either. I have heard both Democrats and Republicans argue for this issue – and not many argue against.

So then, why isn’t it a thing yet?

Well that’s because we assume that the government has our best interests in mind. Yes I know, that’s awfully conspiracy theorist for you. However, the evidence is obvious on this topic.

The main counter-point brought up to me when I say we need to push our representatives to vote for term limits is that they wouldn’t vote for something that will push them out of office. Well that’s the beauty of the system.

You see, if everybody in a district told their representative to push for term limits, and they didn’t, then they should be voted out and somebody who will push for term limits should be voted in. Repeat for all districts.

Except we can’t do that “because this Republican this or this Democrat that”. Maybe we should leave our parties alone and fix the bigger issues in America today, like the rising power of the government to be exempt from their rules, or for them to pass laws that don’t matter thus extending the reach of the federal government in a 1984 style rewrite of rights. Not to get ahead of myself or anything.

The government answers to the people, don’t forget that.

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Posted in Academic/Professional, Life/Other, Military/Politics

1984- George Orwell

Last night I just finished a classic novel that has been somewhat overlooked in my opinion. 1984 is an absolutely amazing book that includes a lot of interesting points about governments in power.

To start I’d like to point out that this post will contain spoilers. I am aware that the book has been out for quite awhile but to those who plan on reading it- be warned.

Continue reading “1984- George Orwell”

Posted in Military/Politics

End of Summer Update- Military/Politics

Throughout the Summer I kept everybody updated on my biggest military happenings; mostly just Field Artillery school. I still serve as a human resources specialist however, and unlike previously thought I will not be getting a promotion because I don’t have enough time left on my contract. I was able to do some public relations for the National Guard earlier this week at a county fair, these are the events that I enjoy because people want to hear my experiences and want to share theirs.

On the 21st of this month I will only have one year left on my contract and from there I’m not sure if I’ll stay in the military or not- and if I do where at or doing what are also up in the air. I’m just going to finish this contract month by month and see where it takes me.

Politics, other than basic social media politics I haven’t been very active. Today’s events in Virginia have me worried though, especially with more and more people calling for a second Civil War (without thinking about any of the repercussions of such a thing). I’ll be interested to see how it goes and I’ll be sure to have discussions on here about different events that happen.

Posted in Military/Politics

King of Battle (yes, it’s me)

Artillery is the king of battle and as of 1400 EST today I am officially a Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember. I never in a million years would have chosen this as my Army job but here I am and I’m slowly starting to adjust to it.

Now even though this opinion will likely change after a few drills and field exercises with my unit, it is only for a little bit over one year that I have left in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and then after that I’m not entirely sure. Later today I plan on reaching out to recruiters from reserves and Guard components from of 4 out of 5 branches (sorry Marines).

The school that switched me to an Artilleryman was very easy compared to any Army school I have been to before, but the live fire training at the end confirmed my hatred for the field, and as a result, a lot of what the Army does.

It’ll be an interesting 417 days, that’s for sure.

Posted in Life/Other, Military/Politics

The Life-Defining Question: Do I Want to Stay in the Military?

If you’ve served, I’m sure that you’ve asked yourself this question at least once. Well I’ve been asking myself this question about once a month, probably more (it drives my girlfriend nuts).

I have honestly enjoyed the great majority of my time in the military, it has improved my life substantially whether through physical fitness, motivation to better myself, financially, etc. But there’s obviously big downfalls. I’ve been waiting on a promotion for close to two years now, there’s never any money to send me to schools that I want to go to, I very rarely get to do my job, drill weekends always come at the most inconvenient time, and, lastly, somehow the Good Idea Fairy comes down and manages to ruin whatever happens to be going on- all the time.

I have already decided to not stay in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard after this because I don’t plan on staying in Pennsylvania for much longer. However now I really need to decide if I want to stay in or not; and if I do, what branch? Army Reserves? Air Guard? Air Force Reserves? And if I get into law school or not, I have a degree so do I want to be an officer?

After many different mind changes and adjustments I have finally settled on a plan of action for the next few years of my civilian life;  but I just can’t seem to make up my mind when it comes to the military.

Posted in Military/Politics

Paladin Review

During the second part of my military school, part of the training consists of learning about the basic functions of the three types of howitzers used by the U.S. Army. So far, I have spent two days on the Paladin, and tomorrow I will start to learn about the Triple 7.

Now the Triple 7 is the gun used by my unit and it’s a lot larger than the 119 that we used to use (and as I see the size of these new weapons I start to miss). I’ll be interested to see if I end up liking it or not.

The Paladin (see picture above) looks like a tank but it made strictly for artillery purposes and would not survive the heat of a direct battle like a tank would. On the first day I decided that I didn’t like the Paladin at all because it is very small inside and I always hit by head, everything weighs over 100lbs and there’s a million pinch points (and personally I like having all my fingers). However today we got to drive and dry fire the gun and I enjoyed being inside while firing and I always like driving, but it is made for a shorter person because when the hatches were shut I had to really crunch myself down to fit into the drivers section.

Overall I’m not entirely sure how I feel yet there are definitely some positives and negatives but once I compare it to the other guns and actually shoot real rounds out of it I think I’ll be able to decide if I like it or not.

Posted in Military/Politics

Phase 1 Complete

Today was the last day of phase 1 of my field artillery reclass school. As I’ve stated in the previous article, this school has certainly surprised me about how relaxed they are and how easy it is.

Today one of our tasks was to get tested on the radio system set-up and requesting a MEDEVAC. I was told that I was in the top 3 for best examples (all those times I was forced to be radio/telephone operator (RTO) really came in handy). Many Soldiers really struggled with this task. Later, on Facebook, when I made the announcement that phase 1 was finished, my former Drill Sergeant pointed out something that I kinda knew all along but never said, I’m too smart for the artillery.

Now that might sound bad and I’m not trying to make fun of other gun bunnies (yes, I know, it’s a hilarious name for the King of Battle) but he does raise a good point. I enjoy learning things and doing tasks that challenge my mind, this is not standard for the artillery. I also hate staying out in the field, which is obviously a huge part of being in the artillery.

I take what I can get though, an easy school (which means easy money), a promotion, and 431 days of being in a combat MOS….. maybe that’s why I’m thinking of joining the Air Force.

Phase 2 will be almost entirely out in the field (not overnight though) and will consist of live firing all three howitzer systems the Army currently uses. I’m sure it’s going to be a very loud 13 days.

Posted in Military/Politics

Field Artillery School Update

Well this is my fifth day at military school and so far it is much better than expected. Classes are not difficult, pretty physically demanding, but not difficult.

In the classroom we normally have to cover types of ammunition and how to put it together, as well as different ways to make sure that the angles of the gun are correct and the use of different equipment we will be using in addition to the guns. Physically demanding comes from the obvious fact that it is field artillery and nothing is light. Today, one of our tests was to lift 15 100lb rounds into their carrying cases within 15 minutes (not as hard as it may sound, it was difficult but I completed this task in 4:46).

This is also a Gentleman’s Course which means that their are very few additional rules placed upon us (other than the standard Army ones) and the instructors are friendly.

The nicest thing about this course however is probably that we don’t start class until 0800 (which means there is no PT) and we are done anywhere between 1400-1600,  which gives us time off before dinner to do whatever we would like.

Regardless, it is still an Army school and I would obviously prefer to be in the comfort of my own home and follow whatever schedule I chose to follow. The work day may be short but the hours drag on.

17 DAYS AND A WAKE UP!

Posted in Military/Politics

Puerto Rico and Statehood

If you’ve paid attention to non-mainstream news over the past day or two you might have heard that the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico voted to become a state.

Now this is an interesting turn of events, but don’t take it at face value. Only 1/4 of the population actually voted, and a protest against this election taking place is one of the major reasons experts believe that the turnout was so low. Also, for them to officially become a state, they would need a 2/3 majority in Congress, which is extremely unlikely because of how polarized it currently is.

Puerto Rico represents itself in the Olympics and has a strong heritage, so why would they want to become a state you might ask? Well, currently the island is bankrupt so by becoming a state they would be able to receive help from the federal government. Additionally this would allow them to vote in federal elections and get representatives in Congress. Also, by them becoming a state, they would pay federal income tax which could bring in about $2 billion USD a year. But it’s not all good news, by them gaining representatives in Congress, they would take away the voices of some of the smaller states, and they would be able to cast 9 votes in the Electoral College, which experts say would be for the Democratic party. And, the federal government would need to bring their infrastructure up to speed with the rest of the country which could cost the tax payers a decent chunk of change to start out with.

As a territory, Puerto Rico still can serve in our nations military, and they are American citizens, they are also allowed to vote in the presidential primary elections (because the rules for those come from the parties themselves and not the federal government); but they cost the federal government $27 billion USD annually.

In my opinion, it’s been a good run but it’s time to cut them lose and allow them to become their own independent Caribbean island nation.

Posted in Military/Politics

Field Artillery, How’d I End Up Here?

Well I never thought that I would be attending a school where that was the title, but to understand that you probably need a little reference on my military career so far.

In 2012 I was finishing up my Junior year of high school and was starting to have those thoughts that cross everybody’s minds at that time- how am I going to pay for college? Now, it never once occurred to me that I could do it the classic way and just go to college and take out loans and pay them off for the rest of my life (until recently- but more on that later). So, I got more and more interested in the military.

Originally when it crossed my mind about joining, I told my parents “I could do the Coast Guard because I’ve been on the swim team since I was nine, or,  I could do the Army National Guard because after I do basic training and such I can still go to college.”

Now I’m sure that we talked about it much more than that, however before I knew it I got a text from my mom while at band camp the one day that she set-up for a recruiter to come by the house to talk to me about the Army National Guard.

After that and some practice ASVABs, I had to choose what job I was going to pick up. My recruiter suggested the usual- truck driver, infantrymen, MP, and a handful of some random ones. Keep in mind I was just joining for the college money.

While searching through the long list of possible Army jobs I found one that my recruiter said that I had qualified for- a Human Resources Specialist (42A). Now there’s more to that story (later) but how does this connect with me attending Field Artillery Cannon Crewmember Qualification Course?

Well,  in future posts I’ll be sure to expand on the fact that I have been trying to get promoted to Sergeant for close to two years now. I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it anytime soon if I stayed as a 42A so I began first by trying to get into other jobs that interested me, but if you weren’t aware, the military is highly dysfunctional and after so many ignored phone calls I decided that I had to turn to a combat job, more specifically field artillery (because that’s the type of unit that I’m assigned to), if I wanted to get promoted before my current contract ended.

So here I am, an admin specialist of close to five years is about to go through field artillery training……. this should be interesting.