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October 15, 2010 | Cadet Jonathan Klay

Recently, I entered my fourth year as an ROTC cadet.  I live in the neighborhood of Georgetown in Washington, DC and go on with my life as a regular student at Georgetown University.  Sometimes I do not think about it, but it has become more and more obvious to me that among the civilians I know I am identified strongly an ROTC cadet.  There are relatively few of us at Georgetown who are ROTC cadets when in comparison to the enormous campuses of state colleges.   The fact that I am an ROTC cadet sets me apart from the rest of the student body.  I have found myself having to explain to people what the Army is like EVEN though my experience in the Army has been limited to ROTC, which has not provided me with a great deal of involvement in the actual Army.  Nonetheless, it has occurred to me that by simply donning the uniform of a soldier and actually spending time training to become an officer I have been placed into a category that separates me from the rest of society.  This has led me to wonder how soldiers in the actual Army feel about the divide between the civilian and military world.  To what extent do soldiers actually feel alienated when they leave the Army?  How different do soldiers generally feel with regards to how well they relate to the rest of the civilian population?  My older brother is a former Marine Corps officer who told me that he saw a sociological finding (which for the life of me I do not, unfortunately, remember the source) that showed that soldiers of one nation will find more in common with the soldiers of another nation rather than the civilians of their nation that they have sworn to protect and defend.  Does the same ring true for American soldiers?

1 Comment

  • Perizat
    10/15/2010 5:34 PM
    Hey, Jonathan! i have the same questions. i think because Army is totally different world with own rules and laws. I'm just a future soldier, i can't say anything for sure. but i hope i will love Army life even if i will feel separated from civilian world.:))

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