James W.D. Stewart

James W.D. Stewart

Embrace "The Suck"


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I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

/blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

https://forces.army/blog/2017/02/10/the-infantrymans-arrogance/

The Infantryman's Arrogance

Count Words — Reading Time
by James Stewart
Published: 
Updated:  N/A
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I don't recall who wrote this as somebody had sent it to me some time ago, but should you though, feel free to comment…

Infantrymen have a pride and arrogance that most Canadians don't understand and don't like.  Even soldiers who aren't infantrymen don't understand.  The pride doesn't exist because we have a job that's physically impressive.  It certainly doesn't exist because it takes a higher level of intelligence to perform our duties.  It's sad and I hate to admit it, but any college student or high school grad can physically do what we do.  It's not THAT demanding and doesn't take a physical anomaly.  Nobody will ever be able to compare us to professional athletes or fitness models.  And it doesn't take a very high IQ to read off serial numbers, pack bags according to a packing list, or know that incoming bullets have the right of way.
 
The pride of the infantryman comes not from knowing that he's doing a job that others can't, but that he's doing a job that others simply won't.  Many infantrymen haven't seen a lot of combat.  While that may sound ideal to the civilian or non-infantry soldier, it pains the grunt.  We signed up to spit in the face of danger.  To walk the line between life and death and live to do it again — or not.  To come to terms with our own mortality and let others try to take our life instead of yours.  We have raised our hands and said, "Take me, Canada.  I am willing to kill for you.  I am willing to sacrifice my limbs for you.  I will come back to Canada scarred and disfigured for you.  I will be the first to die for you."
 
That's why the infantryman carries himself with pride and arrogance.  He's aware that Canada has lost respect for him.  To many he's a blood-thirsty animal.  To others he's too uneducated and stupid to get a regular job or go to college.  Only he knows the truth.  While there are few in Canada who claim to have respect for him, the infantryman returns from war with less fanfare than a first down in a high school football game.  Yes, people hang up their "Support Our Troops" ribbons and on occasion thank us for our service.  But in their eyes the infantryman can detect pity and shame; not respect.  Consider this:  How excited would you be to meet the average infantryman?  Now compare that with how excited you'd be to meet a famous actor or professional sports player and you will find that you, too, are guilty of placing the wrong people on a pedestal.  You wouldn't be able to tell me how many soldiers died in the war last month, but you'd damn sure be able to tell me if one of the actors from Twilight died.
 
Yet the infantryman doesn't complain about that.  He continues to do his job; to volunteer his life for you, all while being paid less in four years than Tom Brady makes in one game.
 
It's a job most Canadians don't understand, don't envy, and don't respect.  That is why we have pride for the infantry.

 
Categories:  Career, Lifestyle  
Tags:  MyCAF, Opinionated, Self, The Suck, Writing

 
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Creative Commons Licence :: BY-NC-SA James W.D. Stewart by James Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at https://github.com/jwds1978/jwds1978.github.io.