Sunday, February 18, 2007

Military Culture & The Jefferson: You Can Already Tell This Won�t Turn Out Good

Everyone knows that the military isn't for everyone. If it was, then everyone would be in it. What do you do, though, when you're in the military, not of free choice, and you're not allowed to get out? Thus my predicament.

If I could get out right now, I would. But due to bureaucracy, and the massive size of the military, I am told to sit tight for about five more months until about July 28th. There's a back story to that, but that's too long to go into here.

So thus an interesting predicament occurs which I will hopefully never face again for the rest of my life: I dislike the military culture and the military culture dislikes me. But neither one of us can get rid of each other immediately! I will separate this part into two main components of recent reflections on military culture both the officer corps and within the chapel system.

The Officer Corps

I don't need to go into specifics, but the basic jist is this. I am a bad officer and I don't care that I'm a bad officer. That bothers some people who have had to work so hard to become an officer. That creates some dissonance.

The Air Force Officer corps uphold ideals of perfection that are displayed on the outside. Because I do not have inner conviction of being and officer, the only way I can fully fulfill the arbitrary duties of an officer is to "fake it." "Faking it" is possibly the hardest thing for me to do because it goes against my philosophy of being a brutally honest and authentic person in every facet of life.

For example, I don't show up to work at 0730 every morning, but instead show up some minutes later. I still get all my work done and done effectively, but because I don't "check off" that box, it's looked down upon. Am I going to show up on time because of that? Probably not because I still get the work done.

Another example is that I refuse to go to pointless meetings and events. I refuse to waste my time "kissing butt." That's my main officer duty is to "kiss butt" and because I don't care about kissing butt, I don't do it. That causes friction with those who feel I am not fulfilling my duties of an officer.

Okay, that's enough about that. But the basic essence is that I am a square peg in a round hole corporate environment. I just have to endure through it until my day of separation arrives and accept within my heart that, "Yes, I am a bad officer." Any alternatives without dying to my personal convictions?

The Chapel System

After being participatory and recently excommunicated by the Chapel system, I have become a very large proponent of separation between church and state. If you ever wonder why Socialism would never work, I recommend you check out the military as a case study.

In any case, in the previous blog entry you can see my castigating email of the leadership of both the chapels and most churches in the area and United States.

Of course, the chaplains didn't appreciate me undercutting their religious authority and especially didn't appreciate the fact that I was teaching this to high school students.

I guess truth is okay to teach as long as it doesn't affect the established religious authority.

I'm being sarcastic, but I've come to some realization lately that under normal circumstances, I would never had volunteered to the Chapel in the first place for numerous reasons. However, due to the fact that I was new overseas and that basically every other Church around here was just as bad, I chose the service to volunteer in that was most strategically placed geographically to reach the lost.

What I failed to realize though, was that the deadness of the Chapel wasn't primarily due to a lack of adequate volunteers of the Chapel, but was a direct result of purposeful intention by the Chapel leadership to not be "missionally" minded.

I would call the leadership heretics and horrible teachers and considering that the primary reason for Christians' existence is to be the "light unto the world" and to go into the world as Christ entered our world, Christ would agree.

Thus, the whole ordeal was mainly due to my foolishness. No one would ever think that seriously dating an immature Christian would somehow end in a good way, in the same way, I "dated" the immature (and intentionally heretical) church and ended up being broken hearted. FOOL! Yes, I am a fool. And the lesson to be learned is to be smarter about who I spend my time with.

Like Christ, I should had spent my time aimed at the marginalized and outcast, rather than to the self-righteous, Pharisiee-like church attenders.

Lesson learned. And now I have to figure out how to communicate the Gospel most effectively through my life for the short time I'm here without being a part of a local congregation of believers.