Citizen Soldier to Segregated Warrior

The similarities in the historical curves between the Roman Empire and America are staggering, frightening really. But so much of our mode of government and military system was taken from Rome, that perhaps I should not be surprised by the ways Roman decay so matches America’s own.

One worrisome aspect that I hope future generations will take care to remedy is the current segregation of our civilian from our military. More and more, beginning with the Vietnam conflict, our nations warriors are being pushed aside from their country’s populace. Our best colleges have banned ROTC programs and it’s almost unheard of for a graduate from one of these schools to enter the military. This is a problem. We have so demonized our own military, that it is threatened by us, not our enemies. We treat our armies as plebeians, doing the dirty-work for unappreciative mall-shoppers. What a shame, for there has never been a great civilization without a great army. When you become great, many would plunder your treasures.

In ancient Rome, around 100 BC, Romans served in the army not for money, but because of a sense of duty to the state. Those that could afford armor and other equipment were called Class I Hoplites. So the richest did the toughest fighting. An interesting concept. The poorer farmers and such served to a lesser degree and with weaker armor and weapons. When a military conflict had come to an end, the members of the army went back to their civilian jobs.

Toward the second century AD, Rome was primarily a demilitarized society. This despite its reputation as a martial culture. Only the poorest served in the military, which was at that point a paid professional army. Very few of Rome’s soldiers were born in Italy, for Rome absorbed the armies of every nation that it conquered, granting citizenship to those who fought for the great city.

During the peak of the British Empire, the finest and highest ranking officers in the Royal Army were graduates from Oxford. This is in part why British colonies did so well, and in the end improved the world. We should learn from the British model of old.

The great universities of America need to change their pompous attitudes. They need to get rid of their elitist mentality. If they want the military to change, then they should accept ROTC programs and they should be recruiting officers who are currently serving in the military so that these men can attend their schools. That is the only way these schools can bridge the ever widening gap between our fighting men and America’s civilians.

For more on this, see my article–The American Republican Army.

1 Response to “Citizen Soldier to Segregated Warrior”

  1. 1 CresceNet
    September 26, 2007 at 3:48 pm

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