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Military Service

B.C.P.

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Years ago I prowled this forum to understand myself and other INTP's better, and one of the topics I searched for was INTP's who had experience in the military. There wasn't much to find.

Now I have returned after five years and four months in the U.S. Marines. If there's anyone out there I can answer questions for or share my experience with feel free to message me or reply to this thread.
 

Cognisant

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What do you think of the state of your country culturally, economically and geopolitically and how much do you think your perspective differs from other marines and civilians?
 

Daddy

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What do you like about the Marines and what do you not like about the Marines?

Do you feel it suits your personality? Have you had or do you have any issues with that?

Are you overall happy in the Marines?
 

dair

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Locked your duplicate thread.
 

Cognisant

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I bet he's thinking "I wish these weirdos would just ask me something normal like what's it like to shoot someone?"
 

B.C.P.

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What do you think of the state of your country culturally, economically and geopolitically and how much do you think your perspective differs from other marines and civilians
The United States is a cultural wreck. A military organization comes with an identity, a team, and an objective (vague in peacetime, but still existent). Having those things washed away a lot of the tribalism that makes Americans so fractured. We were irreverently racist and prejudiced, and we found a way to make fun of anyone for any reason, but we were still a team. I'm not saying racism and prejudice didn't exist in the military, and don't get me started on sexism, but a person's identity as a Marine was more important than anything else. Americans don't have that anymore. They don't have a sense of what it is to be "American", nor can we define that average American man or woman. I think maybe Americans are realizing they aren't proud to be from their country anymore and need to find reasons for national pride again (without becoming national socialists).

Economically the past four years were the equivalent of the world's largest economy planting its foot in the sand and saying "we're going to keep doing what we've always been doing but better." But the progress of technology is marching on and I think American can continue to lead in developing alternative energy and transportation. Our infrastructure is horrible, however, and the solution is not printing more money. We may dilute our own money supply and collapse the US Dollar. Also our securities market is full of corruption and manipulation, the line between the rich and the government gets thinner every day, and a citizen is now even more easy to manipulate using the internet, instead of acting as a more transparent alternative to the media.

Geopolitically we are weak and growing even weaker. I was one of the Marines to continuously suggest that China could readily wipe our Pacific forces off the map in a fashion that would make Pearl Harbor look like a joke (I spent a couple years in Okinawa). Many Americans, especially in the military, continue to think that we are unassailable. It would be nice for the rest of the world to take a more proactive stance against countries like China and Russia but America made a habit of sticking up for other countries, self-interested or not, and now we're expected to keep doing that. By the way, I have no issue with Chinese or Russian people or anyone nationality. The people are great, power struggles and politics suck. Before a war starts a good government villainizes the enemy and makes you hate them but in the end we are all just people and war is terrible.

And that really sums up the answer to your last question, that as an INTP it's hard to put on the war paint and not analyze a situation from all angles. It's also hard to just "drink the kool-aid" and have the same measure of pride and devotion that your fellow Marines have. Despite those obstacles I did feel like part of a team and I was driven by love for the people around me to be good at my job and not a liability. I am concerned I'll never feel the same love and connection with so many people ever again. The camaraderie is an amazing experience.
What do you like about the Marines and what do you not like about the Marines?

Do you feel it suits your personality? Have you had or do you have any issues with that?

Are you overall happy in the Marines?
The Marines, whether they are the best or not, think they're the best. They go through more pain and suffering than the average soldier/airman/sailor and this gives them pride. They love to rub it in other people's faces. The feeling of being a Marine (at least at first) is amazing. It feels like you really accomplished something and I'll always feel that way and be proud of what I did. I liked belonging to that organization. It took care of me, taught me a lucrative skill I can make a career out of, paid all of my living expenses, fed me, gave me a free education after my service... the list goes on. Most importantly it introduces and bonds you to hundreds of similarly-aged and like-minded people. I liked the people and I will miss the people. Always.

I did not like the anxious fixation you acquire for minor and totally illogical and irrelevant details, i.e. the condition of your uniform, whether you shaved, if you can wear a certain article of clothing in a certain place. Every dumb rule in the Marine Corps can be refuted with logic or traced back to its source: some dumbass officer who thought it would be a good idea or represent his views. Example: Marine Corps tattoo policy has repeatedly been the result of the Commandant being against it (they're usually old white men, go figure). Dumb rules everywhere, getting yelled at then being told by another Marine of the same rank that you didn't do anything wrong actually, bad leadership, becoming a leader yourself and telling people to do something then being told to tell them to do something else.

I think INTP's can be good in the military, especially when they climb the ranks a bit. My aloofness and lack of attention to detail from being stuck in my own head, and my lack of assertiveness, made the lower ranks difficult. I struggled to make others realize how intelligent I was and how proficient I could be, but when my leaders realized I was mature and capable it really helped my career via high marks from leadership. I was able to make Sergeant my last year in which not everyone did in my MOS.

INTP's are going to be thoughtful leaders and they're going to care for each and every person on their team, even the shitbags, because an INTP can see the shitbag's perspective. I loved the Marines under me and only wanted to help them all out. That made it difficult to be a hardass. An INTP Marine is going to be less of a yeller and more of the disappointed dad who tells a Marine why what they did was stupid and how it makes them look.

I was happy in the Marines and could have stayed in for a full career but I think I was curious what the outside would be like, plus my wife hated me being away.

I understand that's a lot but I would have loved to read something like this before I joined and that's why I wanted to make this thread.
 

Daddy

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Interesting perspective. Thanks for taking the time to share.
 

sushi

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once again its a comparison and analogy between the roman empire and us america.
roman empire military also become more multiethnic before it collapsed. I support some form of segregation in military and I am not white.

you dont get trans and striaghts, and everyone work as an effective team. People work more closely to those they share commonality with.

I am really interested in the arms trading business. Like what happened in the War dogs movie. The movie is terrible but is it real?

ESTJ seemed to work best in being sargent, but in actual combat and adaptability , its a different matter.
 

Cognisant

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you dont get trans and striaghts, and everyone work as an effective team. People work more closely to those they share commonality with.
On long deployments to forward positions a femboy or two could maintain moral for a mostly straight squad, what happens in the desert stays in the desert and with no actual women involved the men aren't going to get broody and jealous.

That being said I think far left identity-political weirdos are a cancer to any organisation.
 

BurnedOut

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This is just my opinion.

I feel that military is a blockade towards the ideals of humanism. It essentially literally and symbolically 'landlocks' us into our identities and does not foster the idea that a person from country A is more or less the same as the person in country B. I feel that the military is an unnatural construct made to guard an unnatural construct: 'land boundaries'. This idea is best expressed in the turmoil of the middle-east.

The reason I am asking this is because patriotism cannot be justified and I feel that going around carrying the flag of your country sweeping the messes that politics create is something that cannot be simply swept under the mental rug. I believe that every soldier out there knows how crappy the whole idea of patriotism in reality is, on the battleground is. It is a false thrill whose superficiality quickly emerges when there is a significant lack of financing or adequate civilian control.

My question is, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance of being essentially expendable and an object of manipulation by corporations and governments?

Do you simply view it as a job? I have interacted with a few soldiers and am studying history and it suggests that soldiers have more to do with living than for 'living for yer country'.

I mean no offence to you and the job you do is commendable but since you have expressed open-mindedness is answering our queries, I request you to consider this one too.
 

B.C.P.

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My question is, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance of being essentially expendable and an object of manipulation by corporations and governments?

Do you simply view it as a job? I have interacted with a few soldiers and am studying history and it suggests that soldiers have more to do with living than for 'living for yer country'.
I agree that the military is part of an obstacle to a global society. National, and racial identity, are what's holding us back. I think we need militaries now to protect some sets of human values from others. You can't let ISIS, Stalin, or Hitler win. If we did have a global society there could be something like a planet-wide police force but in any case of human contrast between societies developed the military would come back. The TV show The Expanse is really good at showing how globalism and leaving Earth isn't the end to human conflict. Aliens are obviously a reason to have a military.

As to your question about cognitive dissonance, I don't find much difference between the military and being a citizen of a governed country. The military merely opened my eyes to the ways in which I am indirectly coerced into making certain economic and behavioral decisions every day. The military was at least polite enough to tell me or scream it to my face. I was never manipulated, I was told clearly what the standards were and what was expected of me and I saw many people who were separated because they did not uphold those standards.

Some jobs in the military really do feel like a job because you live among civilians and simply work on base in uniform. Other jobs where you get to travel and deploy you identify more with the organization and the people in it because they are what's familiar in an unfamiliar environment.

In the end though, the military is a job, and you shouldn't be surprised if, say, the government stopped paying its soldiers that many of them disbanded. Some may fight for patriotic or moral reasons, but rarely do we see a war that's fought in clear terms of good vs. evil. A government has to convince its people of the "evilness" of its enemy in that war. I think that's why Vietnam went so poorly is the government failed to propagandize and wage a cultural campaign to make Americans want to fight. Some joined to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, abandoning six and seven-figure careers like Pat Tillman, to go fight and die as heroes. Later on that same war was more attractive to people who simply wanted to go to war or have no other prospects in life.
 

BurnedOut

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Other jobs where you get to travel and deploy you identify more with the organization and the people in it because they are what's familiar in an unfamiliar environment.

In the end though, the military is a job, and you shouldn't be surprised if, say, the government stopped paying its soldiers that many of them disbanded.
That sounds...more human. Typically, soldiers are characterised as epitomes of patriotism and I was wondering if propaganda runs in the army too. Like you said, life normalizes there and it becomes your own society with usual requirements: shared identity, validation, friends, etc. But the military and civilian society turns into us kickasses v. them lords of mediocrity.
 

B.C.P.

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It was more identification with branch/unit than country. I think what you're saying is it can lead to an us vs. them mentality between military and civilians. I think it's possible and it depends on how military leaders dehumanize or contrast certain groups of people. The Soviets used class warfare that enabled their military and police to murder kulaks who were just Russian peasants. People in the military are just people and they can be manipulated like any social group. And yes that should scare you as a citizen of any country. I may identify with people in the military, but if they try to come and imprison or kill me I'm going to try and kill them right back. Maybe that's an American attitude.
 
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