Army Desertion Rate Highest Since 1980

Hudson

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Army Desertion Rate Highest Since 1980
WASHINGTON (Nov. 16) - Soldiers strained by six years at war are deserting their posts at the highest rate since 1980, with the number of Army deserters this year showing an 80 percent increase since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

While the totals are still far lower than they were during the Vietnam War, when the draft was in effect, they show a steady increase over the past four years and a 42 percent jump since last year.
We're asking a lot of soldiers these days," said Roy Wallace, director of plans and resources for Army personnel. "They're humans. They have all sorts of issues back home and other places like that. So, I'm sure it has to do with the stress of being a soldier."

The Army defines a deserter as someone who has been absent without leave for longer than 30 days. The soldier is then discharged as a deserter.

According to the Army, about nine in every 1,000 soldiers deserted in fiscal year 2007, which ended Sept. 30, compared to nearly seven per 1,000 a year earlier. Overall, 4,698 soldiers deserted this year, compared to 3,301 last year.
http://news.aol.com/story/_a/army-desertion-rate-highest-since-1980/20071116154509990001
 

queeby

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Jun 12, 2004
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#3
Why would this shock anyone? When you treat them like shit and send them to war under false pretenses, this kind of thing happens. I can't wait for the people that never signed up to come on here and start calling our generation cowards.
 

livebackwards

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#4
You mean they're finally getting sick of dying for no reason?

Imagine.
 

Kris_LTRMa

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#5
This is long .... it's a portion of an email my cousin Steve, a 1st Lt in the Marines sent out to let everyone know he's okay. Basically, I think that where we as civilians have a different outlook on things than those in the military. Steve believes he's making a difference over there. Granted this is his first tour. I'm sure those who deserted felt the same way. I'm sure that after doing two or three tours they just got frustrated that the way they left the place is the way it was when they returned? I don't know...but in no way can anyone say that this generation - or any generation - was raised to be a bunch of cowards. Steve is 26 and proof of that.

....I know the enemy is down there and they can see us. I think most of the time, especially at night, they are hiding because they know what my helicopter is capable of doing. Our rotor blades make a very distinct sound when we come over the horizon....
....I've been into Baghdad several times escorting army medical helicopters. Those are always interesting flights. Baghdad is a bad place. Medical Escorting or Casevac (Casualty evacuation) as we call it is another one of our primary missions. It is never planned and if you are on the Casevac schedule for the day you stand by and wait for an alarm to sound. When that alarm echoes down the flight line, everyone from the pilots to the plane captains are rushing to the aircraft. All our gear is already staged in the cockpit and within a couple of minutes we have both engines started and the aircraft is armed up and ready to meet on the taxiway with the army Blackhawk that is used for the Medivac. The Blackhawk has a medical crew on board that has enough supplies with them to keep the Marine, Soldier or Iraqi civilian alive until we get them to a hospital on one of the bases in the operating area. Our mission as Cobras, is to escort the Blackhawk into the zone to pick up the casualty and then escort them to the combat surgical hospital. If the Blackhawk takes enemy fire it is our job to suppress and neutralize the threat so that they can get to their objective safely.
... Iraq is an interesting place. You wonder why these people want to live like this. There are a lot of destroyed buildings and houses from the wars over the last 15 years. There is trash every where and piled high on the streets. There is sand everywhere. Who would have thought. It's not like the sand we are used too. It's like real fine dirt and the wind blows it everywhere. I think I have enough sand in my room to make a sand castle. The air is real dry and nose bleeds are a common occurrence. The weather goes from one extreme to the other. Hot during the day and cold at night. We are going into the winter months and sand storms are common. It supposedly snows here as well....
The Iraqi people are finally starting to work with coalition forces and win back their country. At the beginning of the war they sided with the insurgents but learned that once the U.S. pulls out, the insurgents are going to kill them to take over. It’s a long story.... What you see now is the insurgents targeting Iraqi civilians because they are showing coalition forces where the insurgents are hiding, where the IEDs are and where the weapons Cache's are.
... The Marines are very motivated and working hard to support the mission. It is a joint effort by both ground and air from all the services and everyone is working well together.
 

abudabit

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Oct 10, 2004
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#6
You mean they're finally getting sick of dying for no reason?

Imagine.
They're not cowards. I think it's more the getting sent over to hot ass Iraq for multiple tours when they expected only 1. You'd have to be crazy to join the military now - or you'd have to really love Iraq. No women in your life + 120 degree weather + limited benefits + nonsensical mission + multiple extensions on your tours != incentive.


www.ronpaul2008.com
 

Jerry1

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#7
They're not cowards. I think it's more the getting sent over to hot ass Iraq for multiple tours when they expected only 1. You'd have to be crazy to join the military now - or you'd have to really love Iraq. No women in your life + 120 degree weather + limited benefits + nonsensical mission + multiple extensions on your tours != incentive.


www.ronpaul2008.com
That is one of the major factors. Imagine being sent over for like 6 months to a year and then when your time is almost up they end up extending it.
God bless them though!
 

dodisman

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Feb 20, 2005
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#8
I didn't serve so I can't speak to it either way...It must be hell over there and to see these kids coming home horribly burned, missing limbs...i guess you have to understand why people desert...fucking trauma
 

Butter Nuggets

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May 29, 2006
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#9
While looking for whatever happened in 1980 that would make desertions so high I found that many articles provided a fun chart.

It provides some context and is not alarmist so I was surprised to find it. Anyone know why it so high in 1980?

Definitely not cowards. The war has been on so long that if they were cowards they would have bailed by now.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#10
When one side wants them to do everything at one time and the other side of the aisle is actively campaigning for them to lose, the poor soldiers don't know what to do.
 

Xyn

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#11
I didn't serve so I can't speak to it either way...It must be hell over there and to see these kids coming home horribly burned, missing limbs...i guess you have to understand why people desert...fucking trauma
I can understand deserting during a draft. You didn't want to fight but were force to, so you say fuck that. But an enlisted soldier deserting? You know shit has got to be bad when those numbers go up.

My dad served in Vietnam. He's never been very talkative about it. He didn't go AWOL, but I do know he tried to kill himself once, so I know he must have been through some pretty bad shit. Not having ever served, I can't get into the heads of anyone in uniform, but I can't help but feel supportive of all of them, no matter if they snap and do something stupid, or if they desert or whatever else.

I just wish we weren't weakening our military on this Iraq shit. Money is being taken from other areas and being poured into the war, people are deserting, recruitment numbers are down... The situation is nowhere near as grim as some people make it out to be, but it just isn't getting better. We need a strong military and well defended boarders. Even if we pulled out of Iraq tomarow, who knows how long it would take to build back up? It's not like we were at our nations prime when we went into Iraq in the first place.

Picking fights with douchebags like Saddam just doesn't seem worth all of this. It's not all doom and gloom, but where is the good? Where is the prize we have won with the lives of thousands of our soldiers and billions of our dollars?

Our soldiers just deserve better than this. We owe them better.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#14
Not all of them, just insignificant ones like the Senate majority leader.
Not to mention the supporters of those politicians. It disgusts me. We're in this thing now, for better or worse. Why should we just give up and lose? Us leaving Vietnam is indirectly related to why these fucking savages think they have such power over us as it is.
 

livebackwards

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#16
The way I see it, we, as a country, had a chance to say "no" to going into Iraq, and that was in 2003, when we were taking everyone who was pro-invasion at their word. Now we're paying the price for it. We've torn down their infrastructure, the civilian population is dependent on us, we really can't leave them holding the bag in good conscience. It's going to be a hard lesson, to have to see this through when we now know we were wrong to ever start it.

I feel awful for the troops, for the most part brave, well-meaning young kids railroaded into service by a sense of duty and the lies / opportunism of those in charge. If the politicians are losing this generation's trust to the point where they're deserting, good. They never earned it in the first place, and now they've pissed it away.
 

abudabit

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Oct 10, 2004
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#17
The best thing we can do is to never repeat this mistake again - vote wisely in 2008.

As for cleaning up our current fuck up - well shit, what happens happens. Staying or leaving both have their consequences.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. We invested 3000 soldiers lives, 100x as many soldiers well being, and over $1 trillion during this time of massive deficit and debt - and we still haven't reached the cure! It's been almost 5 years - longer than WWII.
 

LiddyRules

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#18
Not all of them, just insignificant ones like the Senate majority leader.
That's not the same as saying "Hah! The troops are losing!" What do you want them to do? Just say "yep, yep, everything's fine, war's going good, everything's a-ok?" Being against the Iraq War is NOT the same as being against the troops and it shocks me how few people get that.

Not to mention the supporters of those politicians. It disgusts me. We're in this thing now, for better or worse. Why should we just give up and lose? Us leaving Vietnam is indirectly related to why these fucking savages think they have such power over us as it is.
So what's your suggestion, we fucked up so instead of eating our just desserts keep at it and hope that eventually something turns our way? Isn't this sort of hubris the type of thing that has destroyed every single other world power throughout time?
 
Jun 2, 2005
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#19
The best thing we can do is to never repeat this mistake again - vote wisely in 2008.

As for cleaning up our current fuck up - well shit, what happens happens. Staying or leaving both have their consequences.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. We invested 3000 soldiers lives, 100x as many soldiers well being, and over $1 trillion during this time of massive deficit and debt - and we still haven't reached the cure! It's been almost 5 years - longer than WWII.
It'll never happen.

I watched a documentary the other day talking about Evangelical Christians and their wacky movement during political times. They were bragging somewhere to the tune of 70-80 million voters who are motivated only by not killing babies and trusting any leader who says God talks to him.

Isn't this sort of hubris the type of thing that has destroyed every single other world power throughout time?
Yep.

I'm truly thinking very seriously about moving to another country. I'm just trying to research my best options.
 

LiddyRules

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#22
You're fucking kidding right?

All it would take is to stop letting JAG lawyers and politicians run the war and we'd be a lot better off.
This is not new. It's not like suddenly during the Iraq War it became a PC country run by PC lawyers and PC politicians. We knew the climate going into it. We thought we'd be given a lot more leeway, we thought we'd be treated as saviors and we weren't. We were cocky and it hurt us. We bought into it, we thought it would be a good deal, we'd get more markets, but we were never able to connect like we thought we would and once did in the 90s. So of course the bureaucrats and the lawyers would come in and try to fix things by hindering us in everyything we do with their antiquated rules and regulations. We thought we could work around those rules and regulations but our lack of movement is so apparent that that further hurts our cause.

But we can't act shocked by this since we knew the climate in the first place.
 

abudabit

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Oct 10, 2004
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#23
If the war ended tomorrow it would still be a loss. We lost so much (people, time, credibility, influence, money, money, people) and gained so little (a caged dictator got overthrown and replaced by violent militias / al qaeda). Congrats. There's your wonderful genius plan. We got rid of Saddam who only controlled 2/3 of the country and was cut off in all directions and got a cluster fuck instead.
 

LiddyRules

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#24
If the war ended tomorrow it would still be a loss. We lost so much (people, time, credibility, influence, money, money, people) and gained so little (a caged dictator got overthrown and replaced by violent militias / al qaeda). Congrats. There's your wonderful genius plan. We got rid of Saddam who only controlled 2/3 of the country and was cut off in all directions and got a cluster fuck instead.
But I think their point is that if we keep at it for years and years and years, eventually it'll be a gain.
 

Jerry1

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#25
Sad part is that if we up and leave Iraq tomorrow, we'll almost garauntee be back in another 5 or 10 years
Two factors or of the combination of the two will happen.
1.Iran rolls in to end the chaos under the reasoning that they can't let this chaos continue on their doorstep. Plus they will go around saying we'll do what the US and western powers could never do.
Then in five or so years from now, we'll end up going up against Iran over their WMDs.

2.A new Taliban-type government comes to power in Iraq and harbors Al queda or others like it. They build up and train in Iraq and pull off another major attack in the US making us go back to Iraq. Much like when the US stopped supporting Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out, leaving the door open for the Taliban.

We opened this can of worms. So we can either clean it up now or clean it up later.