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Hamilcar

INTJs In the Military

60 posts in this topic

Just signed up to the forum today and this is my first post...

Since I was five or so I wanted to be a fighter pilot, upon my teenage years I realised I couldn't achieve the fitness requirements (and at five foot nil, didn't have the height). Toyed with the idea of intelligence but again fitness wasn't up to scratch, regular migraines didn't help either. Blame overprotective parents on that, I was never allowed to play sport beyond physical education classes. And the parents really disagreed with me, a woman, being in the military so made it impossible to work my way towards a career in the defence force. Naturally I read this thread with a lot of interest.

(some of my F-18 pilot buddies are INTJ's).
I'm a helicopter pilot in the AF. Generally, I like my job a lot. God willing, I'll continue flying helicopters for a good long time.
I attended Special Forces Sniper Course (formerly SOTIC) several years later and all I can say is it's a INTJ heaven. Even smaller teams usually 2-6 guys, developing our own intel and almost complete freedom of movement to do good works across the battlefield with a laser focus in support of operational and strategic level mission. Never mind the plus of getting to completely nerd out on developing ballistic solutions (no two shots are ever the same).

I rarely ever suffer envy but you guys have earnt my envy! In years gone by and if I had seen this thread earlier I would have joined the AF but seeing things in a different light now, I don't like the idea of being "sacrificed" in the conflicts that don't defend my country (Australia).

I think with UAVs becoming more prominent, fighter pilots may end up just working remotely, losing any of the physical thrills involved. Career after the AF? Commercial airlines, well paid but my gosh, how boring.

I love the idea of being a sniper BUT killing people, even if they're the enemy, sorta mucks up my moral conscience despite my unspoken INTJ musings. If it was a decisive war and my own country needed protecting then I'd do it.

Funnily enough, the RAAF are looking for F-18 pilots because not enough of the right people are applying and getting through!

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Just signed up to the forum today and this is my first post...

Since I was five or so I wanted to be a fighter pilot, upon my teenage years I realised I couldn't achieve the fitness requirements (and at five foot nil, didn't have the height). Toyed with the idea of intelligence but again fitness wasn't up to scratch, regular migraines didn't help either. Blame overprotective parents on that, I was never allowed to play sport beyond physical education classes. And the parents really disagreed with me, a woman, being in the military so made it impossible to work my way towards a career in the defence force. Naturally I read this thread with a lot of interest.

I rarely ever suffer envy but you guys have earnt my envy! In years gone by and if I had seen this thread earlier I would have joined the AF but seeing things in a different light now, I don't like the idea of being "sacrificed" in the conflicts that don't defend my country (Australia).

I think with UAVs becoming more prominent, fighter pilots may end up just working remotely, losing any of the physical thrills involved. Career after the AF? Commercial airlines, well paid but my gosh, how boring.

I love the idea of being a sniper BUT killing people, even if they're the enemy, sorta mucks up my moral conscience despite my unspoken INTJ musings. If it was a decisive war and my own country needed protecting then I'd do it.

Funnily enough, the RAAF are looking for F-18 pilots because not enough of the right people are applying and getting through!

You aren't "sacrificed" like some sort of altar slave.

Physical fitness, parents and height are just excuses. Nothing prevents you yourself from doing it. I was completely out of shape, never exercised in my life and my parents didn't want me to go into the Army. Still did it.

UAV's are a joke and I highly doubt they'll take over the human element entirely in my lifetime.

Killing people is just something you gotta rationalize to yourself in order to keep your sanity. Some people have problems with it. Others don't.

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You aren't "sacrificed" like some sort of altar slave.

Physical fitness, parents and height are just excuses. Nothing prevents you yourself from doing it. I was completely out of shape, never exercised in my life and my parents didn't want me to go into the Army. Still did it.

UAV's are a joke and I highly doubt they'll take over the human element entirely in my lifetime.

Killing people is just something you gotta rationalize to yourself in order to keep your sanity. Some people have problems with it. Others don't.

Murazar has hit a few things on the head.

"Sacrificed" makes it sound like some sort of medieval lottery practice. Sure there is inherent risk in paying the iron price for things but that far different than from leading lambs to the saluter.

As far as excuses go, well that's a real slippery slope but if you got one, then it's best just to keep it to yourself, less you let every one know how pathetic you are. People are curious animals, having studied folks for the last decade it never fails to impress me how predictable people are regardless of personality, nationality, creed, they almost always will chose the path of least resistance and Physical fitness, parents, height, personality type are all just that, an easy way out. In combat that will get you killed, in every day life, well you probably won't get killed but I'm willing to bet that life will be pretty lame if you always take the easy road. Once again when most people are confronted with their mediocre choices they are usually are quick to blame some circumstances or persons for their failure.

Now with all that said, people are like machines, I would not ask the same proformance of machine made of tin vs. a machine made of steel, same goes for people. If you are a tin machine that's maxed your proformance out, then good on you. But if you got more in the tank them you best keep driven on.

On killing, that is just business, if it's not something you think you can bring yourself to do then then it's probably the wrong line of work to get into in the first place. Honestly though my guess is 99% (probably even less) of the people serving in the military will ever meet and kill another enemy on the battlefield.

Edited by Robird

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Murazar has hit a few things on the head.

"Sacrificed" makes it sound like some sort of medieval lottery practice. Sure there is inherent risk in paying the iron price for things but that far different than from leading lambs to the saluter.

As far as excuses go, well that's a real slippery slope but if you got one, then it's best just to keep it to yourself, less you let every one know how pathetic you are. People are curious animals, having studied folks for the last decade it never fails to impress me how predictable people are regardless of personality, nationality, creed, they almost always will chose the path of least resistance and Physical fitness, parents, height, personality type are all just that, an easy way out. In combat that will get you killed, in every day life, well you probably won't get killed but I'm willing to bet that life will be pretty lame if you always take the easy road. Once again when most people are confronted with their mediocre choices they are usually are quick to blame some circumstances or persons for their failure.

Now with all that said, people are like machines, I would not ask the same proformance of machine made of tin vs. a machine made of steel, same goes for people. If you are a tin machine that's maxed your proformance out, then good on you. But if you got more in the tank them you best keep driven on.

On killing, that is just business, if it's not something you think you can bring yourself to do then then it's probably the wrong line of work to get into in the first place. Honestly though my guess is 99% (probably even less) of the people serving in the military will ever meet and kill another enemy on the battlefield.

Very much correct as well. Maybe like 1% of the entire Army will get shot at, shoot back AND actually shoot someone.

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Titi Monkey, the form versus function issue is a government-wide problem. The military is part of the government. In fact, I found that the military had more sympathy for function over form than any other part of government.

Mobi, I disregarded hierarchy daily after my first two years. Transferred into Human Intelligence where a disregard for hierarchy was discouraged, but recognized as necessary if the job was ever to be accomplished.

INeedToJudge, you’ll notice that the specialties listed are ones with vast autonomy and near-zero oversight of minutiae. I served the last eighteen of my twenty-plus years in that kind of work and was astoundingly successful. Just never destined for flag rank. And, Colin Powell is an INTJ.

LevBron, distilling complexity into simplicity is a rare and invaluable skill. You can go far.

PilusXIV, you should be court-martialed for following an illegal order. You not only had the right, you had the obligation to refuse to follow the order. Shame on you. Your anecdotes re stupidity and incompetence are entertaining. There are far longer lists about full Professors at Harvard. The SF medic in particular should be given a less-than-honorable discharge. He/she knew that the tabs were not protection and failed in the job.

VulcanLogic, while still a very (VERY) junior officer I was able to re-engineer Army-wide inefficient processes several times before the term Process Re-Engineering had ever been invented. In one case I cut one from nine months to three days with vastly improved output. The trick was developing an overwhelming case, identifying who had something to lose with change, and giving them something to replace it. That last one is not always possible. In which case one goes around, over or through the asshole.

SloopJohnB, commissioned officers (O-1 through O-10) are paid for leadership. They are “branch-qualified” officers. When I was in Army HUMINT I was a warrant officer (“MOS-qualified” officers), paid for both leadership and expertise. Never serving twice in the same MOS, I wound up qualifying in nearly every part of the branch. And, I was given pretty free rein. Probably one-third of Army WO (W-1 through W-5 now) are simply glorified enlisted members. In Army HUMINT I was used in part the way the Navy uses LDOs (Limited Duty Officers). As a W-1 I actually assumed command of an infantry company for three days. Relatively long story. I was a Brigade Principal Staff Officer (S-2) for several months at the request of the Brigade Commander. I was briefly the Acting Naval Attache to a Latin American country. I was pulled out for nearly four years as an Army Program Manager (my peers were mostly full Colonels) at direction of SecArmy and concurrence of SecDef. Almost ten years after retirement I was offered an O-6 position by a National Guard GO; turned it down. I liked my civilian job, and recognized I could not compete with the better-trained soldiers of 2000.

Murazar, been shot at a few times and shot back once. The victim was part of a local-country civilian mob trying to storm the Embassy (U.S. territory). I aimed for and hit his shoulder, confirmed by newspaper accounts. Yes, I was good with a weapon. No, I hate firearms.

Edited by byhisello99
error

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PilusXIV, you should be court-martialed for following an illegal order. You not only had the right, you had the obligation to refuse to follow the order. Shame on you. Your anecdotes re stupidity and incompetence are entertaining. There are far longer lists about full Professors at Harvard. The SF medic in particular should be given a less-than-honorable discharge. He/she knew that the tabs were not protection and failed in the job.

I didn't follow an illegal order. My refusal to do so led to my career being brought to the "screeching halt" I described. The two higher-level commanders who brought this whole scenario about? One retired as an LTC and the other as an LTG. So much for my integrity contributing to career success.

Full professors at Harvard can't/won't send me off to my death on a whim based on their hubris/incompetence/both. If they try to, I can tell them to "F off" and quit without facing a court-martial for such pleasantries as "insubordination" or "refusal to engage the enemy."

The SF medics both retired, one as an E-8 and the other as an E-9. So much for "failing in their jobs."

Again, glad to see that you had a much different experience than I did with Uncle Sam, but I'm finding it difficult to believe that, during the course of your 20+-year career, you did not encounter situations such as those I've described and/or shared with me by my peers/seniors/subordinates.

---------- Post added 06-01-2015 at 10:57 AM ----------

PS - my tax dollars don't go toward funding outlandishly over-generous and decidedly unmerited retirement benefits/entitlements for Harvard professors. They do, however, contribute to the "easy life" of the dumbasses who killed my Army career for refusing to obey an illegal order, who nearly caused the death of their fellow SF operator, etc., etc.

---------- Post added 06-01-2015 at 12:08 PM ----------

And, Colin Powell is an INTJ.

Wasn't he also the G-3 of the Americal Division in Vietnam? Whose inherent units conducted the My Lai massacre? It is my understanding that if he didn't aid-and-abet outright the coverup of same, he simply turned a "blind eye" to those who were attempting to report it?

It is also my understanding that Colin Powell's (false) testimony to Congress re: Saddam Hussein and WMDs more than contributed to our involvement in that debacle.

?????

Edited by Pilus XIV

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Pilus,

I encountered repeated examples of stupidity. Most were among political appointees in the Bush I, Reagan and Carter administrations. I had very little contact with most pars of the military at the Brigade or lower level after my first six or so years. Much of the stupidity was in fact a consequence of decisions made at Major Command level by civilian employees. Story is too long to tell and I'd likely get some details wrong.

If by false you mean intentionally misleading, I disagree. If by false you mean not true, that turned out to be the case.

Do you know what a G-3 is and what the scope of his/her responsibilities is? No matter who the G-3 was, the incumbent would have nothing to do with the cover-up.

Yeah, a lot of shit gets swept under the rug. It's a price that is paid in any large organization. You know the joke from when it was in theaters: What's the difference between Jurassic Park and IBM? One's an insular environment ruled by technological dinosaurs who scare away the customers and eat the employees. The other one's a movie.

I'm sorry if someone tried to send you off to your death based on hubris or a whim. Not sure I've ever encountered someone with that experience.

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Do you know what a G-3 is and what the scope of his/her responsibilities is? No matter who the G-3 was, the incumbent would have nothing to do with the cover-up.

I'm sorry if someone tried to send you off to your death based on hubris or a whim. Not sure I've ever encountered someone with that experience.

Yes and yes on both parts RE: G-3. Actually, first-hand experience.

When Powell was the Division G-3 he was assigned the project of "dealing" with a disgruntled GI's report of grievous abuse perpetrated by Americal soldiers against the Vietnamese. It is my understanding (and I might be mistaken here) that the gent who wrote the letter had been part of the Massacre. Powell conducted NO investigation, and did not even reach out to the soldier for an interview or even a field phone call. He contacted the soldier's commander, was told that, "this guy is out to lunch," and called it a day. Even wrote some letters / memos which stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the Americal people had ever done anything remotely wrong. Again, no research into some pretty hefty (and, it turns out, damning and ACCURATE) claims. Swept that baby under the rug.

Uh oh. Guess what happened next?

How about his testimony (false) re: Saddam and WMD?

My "hubris/whim" experience is also shared by family and family friends from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama. Most recent is one of the surviving members of the 442nd RCT at the Huertgen Forest. Talk about an ego-driven (and highly-incompetent) CG. One could also argue "racist," being as he annihilated the American Nisei Regiment in preference over other units.

How about Pat Tillman and that debacle's subsequent cover-up?

You are 200% correct re: other institutions etc. The difference, again, is that my civilian bosses may not be the brightest and may, in fact, do stupid things to cover their errors re: the bottom line, but they cannot order me to my death, nor have I ever been part of a civilian organization which will massacre innocents (on either our side or theirs) based on incompetence and idiocy, or which will destroy my livelihood for failure to obey illegal orders or sign false official statements. Like the US Army. Which has been taking actions such as these, according to my research, since at least the mid-1800's. And appears to be doing the same very much today.

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My fiancé (INFP) was in the USMC. He did two tours totaling 7 years. He left the first time in 1991 post-Persian Gulf War when they were downsizing and wouldn't allow him to re-up. A few years later, they let him back in. He was infantry the first time, a tanker the second. He left after hurting his ankle so badly that he couldn't be a tanker or infantry; he would have had to do a job that he would have hated.

He didn't serve in combat per se (his unit somehow kept missing all the fighting during the war), but right after the war was technically over, he and his unit did kill some looters. Plus, for three days they had to search Iraqi prisoners, so they had to deal with the "OMG, they could be rigged to blow us to pieces" anxiety and such.

Anyway, he loved the USMC. In the work he does now, he hates how he can't give orders or yell at stupid people. He loved how he could depend on his comrades and those who were incompetent could be punished. He loved the orderliness, the predictability, the purpose. If something didn't make sense, you spoke up. Of course, one earned that privilege by proving that one was smart and competent. Plus, one does not question orders during times of chaos, like when in battle.

My fiancé functions very much like an INTJ at work (he's just a softie INFP at home, in his personal relationships). Based on everything I hear, I think INTJs can do well in the military if 1) they can make it through boot camp, 2) they are in the right position/job, 3) they learn early enough to play into the politics and culture of the military (Important for any job, but especially important in the military. The military is an immovable force. You're not going to change the military, so you better learn to work with it.).

As an aside, I work at the VA. One of my co-workers, a psychologist, was in the USMC. He says everyone asks him how being in the military helped him in working with veterans. His answer? "The only way being in the military helped me is understand the bureaucracy of the VA." Given that, I can say I function quite well in the VA system. Thus, I guess I'd function quite well in the military. I learned early on that we do many things solely because someone in Washington, D.C. said we have to do them (or do them this particular way). I'm pretty sure it's the same way in the military. Trying to figure out why just leads to madness.

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You aren't "sacrificed" like some sort of altar slave.

Physical fitness, parents and height are just excuses. Nothing prevents you yourself from doing it. I was completely out of shape, never exercised in my life and my parents didn't want me to go into the Army. Still did it.

UAV's are a joke and I highly doubt they'll take over the human element entirely in my lifetime.

Killing people is just something you gotta rationalize to yourself in order to keep your sanity. Some people have problems with it. Others don't.

Well being sent to conflicts I don't agree with which happen to be in particularly hostile regions would put me in the "sacrifice" category.

Regular "classic" migraines made it very difficult to train regularly or lead a relatively normal life and preventative medication made me dopey as ***. I've only been able to get rid of them in the last few years.

Perhaps you didn't have the same parents I did, who didn't allow me to leave the house apart from school? It was the uni years I got to break out and do my own thing...

---------- Post added 06-28-2015 at 11:28 AM ----------

As far as excuses go, well that's a real slippery slope but if you got one, then it's best just to keep it to yourself, less you let every one know how pathetic you are. People are curious animals, having studied folks for the last decade it never fails to impress me how predictable people are regardless of personality, nationality, creed, they almost always will chose the path of least resistance and Physical fitness, parents, height, personality type are all just that, an easy way out.

Meh. I used to denigrate other people for their lack of motivation / discipline but as the years go by and having personally experienced some of the things other people go through I have changed my view on what's "pathetic".

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