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Advice for people in training programs

Posted 10-26-2010 at 01:07 AM by BIRDSTRIKE
In case any of you have missed the latest AO drama. There has been some serious business about misrepresenting oneself as a member of the military or public safety communities by trainees. I have decided to weigh in on the whole occupation thing. People in initial training are not police, or firemen nor are they truly "in" the military. A cadet is a cadet. A recruit is a recruit, and so on. As a former cadet (like 4 months ago former) I have some advice.

If you are in fact a Cadet, Midshipmen, Candidate, Recruit (delayed entry or otherwise), Explorer, Student or what have you don't list your occupation as military or police or what have you. Don't tell people you are a police officer if you have not completed training. Don't tell people you are in the Army before you raise your right hand and take that oath and finish training. Quibbling over the meaning of being "in" an organization is lying plain and simple. Congress even kinda said so ( I don't know any training program that does not have some kind of "honor code" pertaining to lying. Integrity is a trait expected of all uniformed public servants, be it Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Paramedics, Cops, Firefighters, or whatever the official name for a coastie is.

If you happen to be in a training program or something similar for just do what I did until I finished AFROTC.


I was classified (on paper) as an E-1 during my entire contracted stint with AFROTC and got paid a stipend. But I would never have tried to tell a chief that made me "enlisted" or "in" the Air Force. People will understand you are still in training. Chances are they might even respect that.

Every Vet, Cop, Firefighter, or EMT has been a recruit or cadet or whatever you want to call them at one point. They have all been there, and they should all "get it." Sure you might get crap for being a cad-idiot or something but that comes with being a new guy. Embrace it, you might learn something when you are honest with people about what you are. Personaly I can remember telling a couple old crusty vets at events I was a cadet and then getting all kinds of insight from them. Pretending to be something you are not or elevating your status will only make people mad. This kind of thing is rightfully so considered serious business. Do us all a favor and be honest. The supreme court may have ruled stolen valor a free speech issue, but that does not change the fact its lying and a bad move.
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  1. Old
    Saber_0341's Avatar
    Hear, Hear!!
    Integrity is everything and itís usually the only thing left of you after you pass. Remember, youíre not the one who gets to choose what your tombstone reads.
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 10:50 AM by Saber_0341 Saber_0341 is offline
  2. Old
    Loki's Avatar
    I missed the recent drama, but having been (at one point) one of the most aggressive people on the forums about going after posers, I'll give an explanation of why I did it:

    Airsoft is a sport of emulation and imitation. We dress like soldiers and (in rare cases) emulate their actions. Some of the people in the firearms and military communities have an issue with this. Not because we dress in cammies and light each other up, but because there are a few of us that wear military insignia and patches. Many are angry because wearing jump wings that you didn't earn diminishes the notoriety of the award, especially if the guy wearing them is acting like a childish tool while doing so. What does this mean for the average airsofter? We need to proactively go after people like that, lest we all get labeled as posers, or grouped in with them. The sport has always teetered on the edge of social acceptability, for multiple reasons. We don't need to add to this by giving people the opportunity to claim we're all "military wannabes" by wearing patches and insignia we didn't earn.

    In my tenure as a moderator, I went after a couple of people who were probably vets, but didn't feel the need to prove it. Do I feel bad about attacking a potential patriot in order to protect all of us? Yes, every day. But I did it for them, and for all of us.

    As far as I'm concerned (and the law says I believe), you're military once you go to MEPs and take the oath. Even if you go to basic and fail out of it, you are FORMER military. Would I use the term "veteran" to describe someone like that? No, I wouldn't, but the fact is that they signed their papers and tried, and simply found out that lifestyle wasn't for them. Do I think less of them because of it? No. Not everyone can do it.

    You give honor where honor is earned. Cadets, Cops, Trainees, Firefighters, EMTs all deserve the honor that they receive, but people claiming to be something they aren't besmirches both the honor of the people that they are pretending to be, and their own honor.

    If people really, really want to emulate the military, they should probably start by trying to live up to military values (Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage). When I last was at a game, these are values that were sorely lacking.
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 11:57 AM by Loki Loki is offline
  3. Old
    Son of Liberty's Avatar
    Good blog. I approve.
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 12:51 PM by Son of Liberty Son of Liberty is offline
  4. Old
    Texx's Avatar
    I remember a particular "vet" who claimed he was posting from Baghdad. A simple IP check revealed his Internet Provider he was using to post daily updates was located in Indiana, I believe he was using Road Runner.

    Now maybe with the War on Terror being a Global fight, it would be necessary for the military to route Iraqi internet traffic through a civilian proxy. And maybe it was hasty banning him.

    But I'm pretty sure the military have their own secure links to the internet. And that even if he was using an Internet Cafe what is the point of routing it through a proxy connection to your home town (also posted in his Account information).

    Wouldn't posting your unit's daily exploits on an unsecured connection be somewhat of a security risk?

    I also remember Loki's fury was swift in this case. He IP Banned him, then we made off-color jokes about the incident.
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 06:38 PM by Texx Texx is offline
    Updated 10-27-2010 at 11:20 PM by Texx
  5. Old
    An interesting read. I am in Army ROTC. This is my third year, I signed my contract in 2008. I used to find it difficult to answer the question "are you in the army?" because I wasn't sure if I was considered, being just a cadet, as really being in the military.

    I can say with uttermost confidence now that I AM in the Army. I swore an oath to protect and defend this country, as do millions of other enlisted soldiers/marines/sailors/airmen.

    I go through the same exact training as any other enlisted soldier, it is just spread out over 4 years instead of the 9 week basic combat training. They refer to soldiers currently going through basic training as privates, and that is considered being in the military, so why not cadets?

    I can understand the iffiness towards the students who are non-contracted and just going through a semester of ROTC to see if they like it, but I believe contracted cadets are part of the military.

    And Loki: I agree with you. if you didnt earn it, dont wear it.
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 07:48 PM by smith2 smith2 is offline
  6. Old
    Spetsnaz's Avatar
    Well said.
    Posted 10-28-2010 at 12:34 AM by Spetsnaz Spetsnaz is offline
  7. Old
    D-Boy's Avatar
    I must have missed this drama too, but I agree with you.
    Posted 10-29-2010 at 12:42 PM by D-Boy D-Boy is offline
  8. Old
    Rhyno's Avatar
    Here Here...

    One thing i would like to add just on a personal level.

    Airsoft is an honor sport. i.e. calling hits and taking your time out. If you are going to be a dishonorable person online in a community that values honor, then i think i can safely speak for everyone that we don't want to be on the field with you either where honor is put to the test. If you can't even be honest to your community, we aren't going to expect you to be honorable on the field, and we can't be having that.
    Posted 10-29-2010 at 02:07 PM by Rhyno Rhyno is offline
  9. Old
    gertrude's Avatar
    If you are going to be a dishonorable person online in a community that values honor, then i think i can safely speak for everyone that we don't want to be on the field with you either where honor is put to the test. If you can't even be honest to your community, we aren't going to expect you to be honorable on the field, and we can't be having that.
    I think this is maybe the most applicable reason for the community to be harsh with this kind of behavior. You wouldn't have a community if you couldn't trust each other.
    As far as social acceptance goes within the greater military community, it's important to keep that, too. However, I think the personal code of honor is just so important.
    Posted 11-04-2010 at 12:23 AM by gertrude gertrude is offline
  10. Old
    Darkside Six's Avatar
    Im guilty of doing this myself. After I enlisted in the Army Delayed Entry Program, I put my occupation as 11x. I was excited about going into the Army and was proud that I was going to serve my country. During the times I was in the AO chat, I had people ask me if I was currently serving in the Army and my response was, "No, but Im a Depper". Im greatful that I never received any personal attacks and that people like Miyagi knew where I was coming from but I was wrong in posting it as my occupation. I never did get to serve as I was medically released before my ship out date but even now with being Nationally Registered and licensed as an EMT in MI, I find it hard to post what I really am.

    During the day I work as a security guard, but over the course of the last two months, Ive helped the local Fire Department's (application has been processed and brought to the board, but the board is at a stale mate with the Fire Department Command staff because Im technically out of township and they want local boys to work, but Im licensed which would save the FD alot of money in terms of sending me to school; plus the Command Staff likes me.) with a Search and Rescue and some community events. To add to that, Ive also got a job with one of the local ambulance companies, but my orientation with said company doesnt start until next week. Technically, Ive got the training, certs/license and "patch" (NREMT sends you a patch to make you feel special) but then again Im technically not working as an EMT yet.

    In a nut shell, Im not sure *exactly* where I stand in the occupation aspect. If I am unknowingly one of those person(s) in the misrepresenting drama case, I appologize and hope that I didnt offend any one. Im just proud of the fact that all of the hard work I put forth paid off in end for me.
    Posted 11-04-2010 at 04:02 AM by Darkside Six Darkside Six is offline
  11. Old
    BIRDSTRIKE's Avatar
    Blackside, my advice to you would be to put either security or EMS limbo. It may be a pain telling people your whole story each and every time but it is worth it to make sure you are not inadvertently misrepresenting yourself.

    For instance my current situation is similar to yours. I have my commission, I have my bars, but I do not start active duty until next month. Technically I am in the inactive reserves until I extend active duty hence the USAFR on my profile.

    <historical note: If you read this after my EAD date the profile used to say USAFR>
    Posted 11-04-2010 at 09:53 AM by BIRDSTRIKE BIRDSTRIKE is offline

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