An 18-year-old high school student planning to join the Army wasn’t allowed to wear a sash representing the service last weekend at her graduation ceremony. So of course, the professional outrage machine of dysfunctional veterans and moms who spend every weekend baking American flag cakes decided the school was unpatriotic.
“I’m in the Army, this is what I’m doing, and I’m really proud of what I’m doing, and I feel like [the principal] just took that opportunity away from me,” Megan Pohlmeier told KHGI-TV.
It turns out that the school has a policy for all graduating students: Wear the cap and gown, and you get a diploma. Wear extra stuff like your Army sash, your favorite college sweatshirt, or a hat professing your love of the New York Yankees, and you don’t.
Although Ms. Pohlmeier believes the principal took away her opportunity to be proud of her future Army service, he actually did her a favor. The principal gave her a great lesson in what the Army owes her and what it expects of her during her time in uniform.
The Army doesn’t owe you shit. It doesn’t care about your feelings, or if you don’t feel like doing something. It doesn’t care about you as an individual, or whether you are proud. The Army cares about accomplishing whatever mission it’s tasked with, which soldiers carry out based on orders from their superiors and the regulations they fall under.
Congratulations! You came up against your first problem with the regulations — a dress code for graduates — and you failed. Instead of saying “Roger that, sir,” you complained about it, sky-lined your high school, and got all your higher-ups pissed off.
Trust me, this won’t work very well after you are wearing the uniform.
In fact, there’s an entire 69-page book of regulations on how you are supposed to look when you are serving in the U.S. Army. And if you veer off from what it says, your family members won’t be able to post anything about the mean generals above you and how they’re unpatriotic for not allowing you to wear your favorite piece of jewelry.
Welcome to the Army, kiddo. Get on the bus, sit down, and keep your mouth shut.
And thank you for your service.