so ambivalent wrote:Yea that was totally my thinking. But they do this with everything. Like only recently have they allowed people who wear head turbans/yarmulkes or have beards for religious reasons and are in non-combat roles (like JAG or army corps) to wear their religious garb and they only do it on a case by case basis. The notion that a navy dentist who is a Sikh could be prohibited from wearing a turban or beard (both of which are part of his religious beliefs) for "safety and discipline reasons" is completely insane. And that's honestly the reason that really smart people who great leadership and critical thinking skills never join because how--after studying constitutional law and "narrowly-tailored and all that jazz--can any of this make sense? I naively thought I could be a change I wanted to see in the military, but the shit I had to put up just to gt the chance to join it is probably gonna make me stay far away from it and encourage others to do the same.
I hope that as people my age (20s & 30s) move up in the military, these policies are changed to reflect the makeup of American society. I remember in 2010 when the Army officially started giving exemptions to Sikh soldiers. There's a few now. It was a good and needed start.
But part of the military is breaking you down, your civilian-side, and building you back up to be part of this team. You all have to be the same; uniform. That's part of military-culture in any part of the world. You don't get to be different, you have to be a soldier, sailor, airmen, marine etc. just like your buddies. Individuality causes you to think about yourself, not your buddies. You're there for your team, not for you. So all these exemptions eat away at that philosophy.
If you're talking about the level of scrutiny this falls under, since it's religious (eg. a turban) it'll be strict scrutiny (compelling gov't interest narrowly tailored).
Compelling interest --> national security, efficient military.
Narrowly tailored --> probably for most cases, but in 2010 the Army decided banning turbans probably wouldn't pass this test if brought to court (or thought they just were rejecting good applicants for a stupid reason)
For lawyers, though, the military, like any employer has its nuances & eccentricities. I hope you change your mind about encouraging people to stay away. The military, if anything, need more positive voices of change among the officer corps, not less.
It's a big machine that needs a big push.
Beyond all that, while the military does have many excellent leaders, it does a royal job at pushing them away. Leaders need to be taken seriously, incentivized, & rewarded. The military is too old fashioned to do this as well as civilians employers do.
For your interest, I've had these good reads in my Favorites folder on what's needs changing with military leadership (Highly suggest the first one):
Interview with General McChrystal ret.: "Stanley McChrystal on how to shake up the military"http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on- ... -military/
Written by an Air Force Intel. Officer: "How to lose great leaders? Ask the Army"http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/ ... story.html
Another in the Atlantic: "Why our Best Officers are Leaving"http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... ng/308346/
Keep your head up!
It was not meant to be. There are greater things for you [more money, more personal freedom, shorter contracts, wearing your own clothes to work (lol)].