Thebastidge: Questioning
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    Sunday, October 31, 2004

    Questioning

    Earlier I wrote:
    We (most veterans) find Kerry not credible on matters of defense and the military. Most of us have doubts about his official record, and his self-aggrandizing public statements. We have doubts about his courage, character, and commitment.

    I just wanted to add: We're not brain-washed or subject to a sheep-like follower's mentality either. The significant minority who will vote for Kerry demonstrate that there is diversity among us. But they are just that; a minority.

    I just finished reading an analysis of the Iraq (2003) war's media embedding by the McCormick Tribune Foundation. Good stuff, but close to the end, there's a statement that the conflicting world views of two very different professions increased tensions. To whit, that military people do what they're told, are taught to do what they're told, while journalists question everything.

    Well, don't write our soldiers, sailors, and airmen off on that point either. The modern US military does not want or need unthinking cannon fodder. In fact, many of us are quite well educated (click "read more").
    US Air Force Academic Education
    -- 49.4 percent of the officers have advanced or professional degrees
    -- 39.7 percent have master's degrees, 8.3 percent have professional degrees and 1.4 percent have doctorate degrees
    -- 22.5 percent of company grade officers have advanced degrees; 16.2 percent have master's degrees, 6 percent have professional degrees and 0.3 percent have doctorate degrees
    -- 86.4 percent of field grade officers have advanced degrees; 72 percent have master's degrees, 11.6 percent have professional degrees and 2.9 percent have doctorate degrees

    (All officers have at least a Bachelor's degree.)
    And:

    -- 99.9 percent of the enlisted force have at least a high school education
    -- 73.3 percent have some semester hours towards a college degree
    -- 14.1 percent have an associate's degree or equivalent semester hours
    -- 4.2 percent have a bachelor's degree
    -- 0.6 percent have a master's degree
    -- .01 percent have a professional or doctorate degree

    I don't even know offhand how to find out how many finish or begin to pursue college degrees after discharge, but I do know that it is quite a few.

    We are encouraged and taught to attempt to understand everything. Not to reflexively challenge, but to understand.

    I'm not sure the media stand up to that standard so well.

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