Thursday, August 03, 2006

Civilian or soldier -- What's the difference?

I was drafted.

One moment I was a civilian, the next I was a soldier. Nothing changed except my classification as a citizen.

I served in the Medical Service Corps.
The Captain of my detachment was a physician. He was drafted just like me, except because of his professional status as a doctor he became an officer.
One moment he was a civilian, the next he was a soldier. Only his classification changed...and he wasn't even a US citizen! (He was from Colombia, South America and couldn't have a security clearance. Had an emergency presented that he needed secret plans locked in the company safe, we had a Spec. 5 pharmacy tech with a security clearance authorized to open the safe for the Captain. Go figure.)

I understand that all Israeli young people, both male and female, serve their country for some period of time. This is where IDF soldiers come from.
One moment they are civilians and the next moment they are soldiers.

So what is the difference?

I am not informed about whether today's proto-military types -- militias, resistance groups, vigilantes, cult cells with guns -- qualify as soldiers, but they are clearly not civilians. They seem to be amphibian, somewhere between civilian and soldier, civilian as they walk about the street, warriors when they take up weapons.

It doesn't matter.
It is disingenuous to speak of innocent civilians.

Everyone is a civilian.
At some level everyone is also a soldier.
That includes toddlers and newborns as well.
Is a baby rattle-snake any less a rattle-snake than a big one?

Are you willing to die for your country?
You bet.
You may not have thought about it before.
You have no choice.

No comments: