Training for my Inevitable Demise

Selfish and unwilling
lazy and unfocused
the modern soldier
goes through the motions,
pretending toward combat readiness,
mission expertise,
and improved global awareness.

I am tired of being spoon-fed
the party line to make me
feel good
about my calling.

Freshly written ethos and creeds
merely echo
the unspoken codes of conduct
existing between fighting men
since the rise of nations
and the dawn of war.

I need no pamphlet or slogan
to tell me about honor
or duty.
My conscience does enough already.

An army of one,
by definition,
is no army,
but rather a collection
of individuals
lacking cohesion.

If the end result
of the army of one
is utter self-reliance,
then there is no place
for selfless service.

If we are as alone
as our title implies,
we act only out of
self-interest, and if
self-preservation is among
these interests,
the purpose of being an army
is utterly defeated,
since an army,
by nature
ss placed in harm’s way
during times of conflict.

And it all comes down
to a single
terminal
moment;
the best training imagined
is not enough to stop
the sniper’s bullet
or the zealot’s blade.

You die alone;
an army of one.

Training for my Inevitable Demise

MCCarruthers

Bucheon, Korea (Republic of)

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

Written while training to deploy to Iraq in 2005 – this is a meditation on diminishing standards, low morale, increased deployment schedules, frustration with the chain of command, and the absurdity of the Army of One campaign.

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