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Military sterotypes?

While I was in high school, as a reservist, and there was quite a bit of a delay getting a CT to the regs.  My mom actually called up a Marine recruiting centre in the US to see if I could enlist down there.  This was back in about 1996.  Move ahead about 10 years, and she was concerned about me fighting in an American war, thinking I would be going to Iraq, and trying to convince me to go to school to get a trade instead, lol.  Now she looks at the job market and realizes maybe I did make the right decision, and is trying to persuade me to maybe stick with the military as a career, just in something outside of the infantry.
Journeyman said:
At last count there were 28 of us, so statistically you should be all right.

Well played, sir.  Well played!

I'm 39 years old. Woman. French from France and have lived in Canada for the past 23 years. Enough time to develop a strong feeling of "it's-my-country-don't-touch-it" type.

When I was just a bit older than you, 20 years old, I already was interested in joining. What is it that stopped me at the time? Prejudices against women in the army and the way people were thinking about the army! So I didn't have the courage to enroll.
Although it was in the back of my head since that time, I let too much time go by and meanwhile, my strong feeling of "it's-my-country-don't-touch-it" was just getting stronger.

Finally, more than a year ago, I decided to make the big step and now am in the process of joining. But when I announced my decision to people around me, I got to hear the most frightening/foolish things a woman wants to hear:
"What? Women get rapped in the army"
"You are going to be with people who can't even sign their names"
"You are to old for this and deserve better". 
Someone even told me this: "You are French. It's not your country!"
Lately I was told by an ignorant person: "To me the Canadian Army is absurd and senseless because in Kandahar they eat lobsters every Thursday and have nothing else to do than play cards".

I'm fortunate to have military friends ranging from private to a Captain in Infantry and a senior officer. They are all educated. They've all travelled the world wether on missions or for vacations and they are very far from being ignorants.

In taking the decision to join the CF, you will find out 2 things:
1) You know very little about the Canadian Army and will want to know more and more.
2) Unfortunately, civilians know very little about the reality of the CF, its role, its rules and ethics.

If you could print some of the threads on here and show them to your parents, they would see that the members of this forum are educated, intelligent and can old conversations about just anything from politics to religion.

You could also print Parkie's story and have people around you read it in the hope that they remember why, today, us and them may live in a free country and to what cost we may live in this free country.

And last but not least, in the end, it is your choice of life. As long as you feel at peace with it. So it be!

Take care  :nod:
Hmmm.  Not a normal life?  As I look around me at my house in a nice neighbourhood, with a two-car garage (with two cars even), a pool outback, a wife, children, a dog and a cat, I'm thinking if this isn't normal then perhaps "normal" isn't what I want!  I also reflect back on the last 28 years and think of all the really cool things I've been able to do.  I've been on the bottom of the ocean, seen a good chunk of the world and been allowed to blow stuff up.  I've even been able to share some of these experiences with my family (not the blowing stuff up part - much to the chagrin of my kids).  I have no regrets and my parents couldn't be prouder.  What would your parents prefer - that you go off and be a part of something that is bigger than yourself and make a difference, or move home periodically everytime your latest McJob fails?

There is no shortage of idiots in the military, but they generally don't last very long.  We truly do try to make sure that they DON'T hurt anyone (including themselves) before we weed them out.
When my train pulled out of Guelph all those years ago I'm sure I caught a glimpse of my Parent's tap dancing on the platform.....................and when I think of what life experience/ discipline/ maturity[ stop laughing Vern]/ leadership skills I received from being in the military I do believe they should have had a complete hoe-down.

Your parents are wrong. Full stop.
Mine were just happy that someone else was going to have to pay my grocery bill ... me! ;D
George Wallace said:
Ah!  Stereotypes.  Gotta love em.

Many of the older members of this site can remember the days when people thought that members of the Canadian Forces didn't have to pay Taxes, lived in their houses (PMQs) for free, and all that kind of stuff.  None of it was true, but the myths still existed.

People always say "Wow and they'll pay for everything too, you live for free" and I'm always "....What the hell are you talking about?". I don't know how they think that.
EpicBeardedMan said:
I don't know how they think that.

Probably a combination of half truths they have heard about the US military, combined with half truths of Canadian cases where a married person does not pay rations and quarters while going through training (which IMO is BS and discriminatory to single people).
Bruce Monkhouse said:
...[ stop laughing Vern]/...

No worries Bruce; I think you're very mature ... in an actual years count sort of way.

Thief.  >:(
Quite a few people that I talk to are shocked that we have to pay for everything, including taxes, and even haircuts.  Some are even of the opinion that we shouldn't have to.
Thanks for all of you replies. From reading these posts it's odvious the sterotypes have been blown out of proportion.  I geuss it's human nature to hate/fear what they don't understand.

I'd much rather have a meaningful job than be dragged down by everyone else's expectations. Vancouverites piss me off sometimes.
medicineman said:
Speaking of stereotypes, the parents' comments could have alot to do with where the OP is from - East Vancouver - you know what us left coasters are like, morally/mentally superior and such because of the granola we eat and other substances we inhale, trees we hug and whales we save  ;D.


YES. Anytime I reveal my career ambitions to someone of 'poise and culture' I get this weird look as they sip their wine. "So you're gonna go to AfghaniSTAUN or something" Is the most common response. (teachers and such. I'm a seventeen y/o little punk from eastvan)
EastVan said:

YES. Anytime I reveal my career ambitions to someone of 'poise and culture' I get this weird look as they sip their wine. "So you're gonna go to AfghaniSTAUN or something" Is the most common response. (teachers and such. I'm a seventeen y/o little punk from eastvan)

You stand a greater chance of being invited to Rideau Hall or Buckingham Palace by wearing a uniform than by being a member of the "poise and culture" crowd.  Perhaps they're just jealous?
Der Panzerkommandant.... said:
Another thing is now Snr NCOs must start planning on taking university courses if they ever want to make it to the dizzy heights of being an RSM. I believe it either is, or will soon be, a prerequisite to attain that position.

There is a clear distinction being made in the NCM corps today between education and training.  Under the four pillars of Professional Development (Training, Education, Experience and Self-Development) formal  - post secondary - education has always tended to be under the "self development" pillar, while military education was seen to be NCM PD courses (i.e. ILQ, ALQ and CQ).

The CDA has very recently stood up a program to study the development of an NCM Diploma.  The intent is to analyse and determine what military training, and education can equate to the granting of educational credit (equivalencies) on civvy street. (i.e. how much post secondary credit should your Crew Commanders course get you under, say, a management of human resources programme?).

It's long been recognized that NCMs have a wealth of practical trade, leadrship and life experiences which should be captured and capitalized on in the form of cross-instiutional recognition and acceptance.  Hence this program.

Although it's not yet a requirement for NCMs to have a post-secondary diploma to progress beyond sub-unit level, it is definitely desireable.  Many more are doing it on their own under the expectation that it may, someday, be a prerequisite.

What this means, essentially, is that the NCM corps of today and tomorrow is and will continue to be better educated than in the past and, therefore, more capable partners in the command team.
EastVan said:

YES. Anytime I reveal my career ambitions to someone of 'poise and culture' I get this weird look as they sip their wine. "So you're gonna go to AfghaniSTAUN or something" Is the most common response. (teachers and such. I'm a seventeen y/o little punk from eastvan)

"AfghaniSTAUN"..... :rofl:  I know exactly what you're saying on that one...

Oh well, you just let those ever so enlightened, fair trade coffee drinking, scarf wearing in the summer, birkenstock sporting, soy eating, Radiohead listening, Prius driving pr1cks continue with their pointless lives, while you go out and weave the blanket of freedom under which they rest their little heads.  ;)

Some don't get it, and never will.
I was raised on the Left Coast, in a little slice of paradise.  I came to Alberta in '96 when the army insisted that Chilliwack was a horrible place to live and train.  I seriously cannot believe I ever lived there, I am the most non-British Columbian I know of.  Beer, pickups, guns, and no PST suits me just fine!  At my 30 year HS reunion, I found there was absolutely no common ground left with people I grew up with.
Alberta - yes, redneck heaven.  I saw a wedding party out for photos one day - the bride and bridesmaids showed up in a white pick-up truck and the groom and ushers showed up in a black pick-up truck.  Priceless!;D
Well, the limo versions might have them hidden as opposed to in the rear window to make them look less trailer trashy.