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'Enlisted Military' Ranks As One Of The Worst Jobs In The World — Again
Online job database CareerCast released its annual job rankings list on Thursday, and to nobody’s surprise, “enlisted military” came in 197th out of 200 occupations, making it the fourth-worst job in the United States. The surprising thing, however, is that the profession is slipping: Last year, it was only the fifth worst.
After weighing a number of factors ranging from environment, salary, and growth outlook to several stress factors, CareerCast rated only logging, broadcast journalism, and newspaper reporting as worse than enlistment (although, ironically, logging has a better growth outlook than the latter two careers).
“Examples of this year’s worst jobs are professions that make the world a safer place,” the report reads. “Firefighters and enlisted military personnel face high stress and dangerous work conditions, without particularly high pay to compensate them.”
This isn’t totally surprising: a separate CareerCast analysis released in January found that enlistment ranked as the most stressful career headed into 2017 thanks to the physical demands and hazards faced on the job, like huffing it for miles weighed down by gear or, you know, dodging gunfire.
But as a veteran’s news and culture site, we have to take issue with the characterization of enlisting is the “worst” career path in the country. As with last year, many of the criteria CareerCast employs don’t account for career opportunities in a way that accurately measures success and advancement within the military. The growth standards that apply to other industries are not necessarily applicable to the armed forces.
But more importantly, the ranking doesn’t reflect the fact that joining the military isn’t just a job, but a higher calling. When you sign your name on the dotted line, you aren’t just signing a contract with someone for a wage and benefits: you’re agreeing to serve your country, and work yourself to the bone in the process.
Sure, the job may be tough as hell and pay like garbage, but there's more to it than that. As my colleague James Clark wrote in January: “We can at least take a perverse kind of pride in the fact that we all deal with more bullshit and stress than civilians (and officers) so there’s that.”
That said, it could be worse: You could have my job.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."
The Navy plans on naming its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after World War II hero Doris 'Dorie' Miller, an African-American sailor recognized for his heroism during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor — and not everybody is happy about it.
Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared in 2018
Three. That's how many times Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe entered the burning carcass of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle after it struck an improvised explosive device in the Iraqi province of Salahuddin on Oct. 17, 2005. Cashe, a 35-year-old Gulf War vet on his second combat deployment to Iraq since the 2003 invasion, had been in the gun turret when the IED went off below the vehicle, immediately killing the squad's translator and rupturing the fuel cell. By the time the Bradley rolled to a stop, it was fully engulfed in flames. The crackle of incoming gunfire followed. It was a complex ambush.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two Iraqi police officers were killed and dozens of protesters were wounded in Baghdad and other cities on Monday in clashes with security forces, medical and security sources said, as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.
How We Found Out explores recent reporting from Task & Purpose, answering questions about how we sourced our stories, what challenges we faced, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how we cover issues impacting the military and veterans community.
Following a string of news reports on private Facebook group called Marines United, where current and former Marines shared nude photos of their fellow service members, the Corps launched an internal investigation to determine if the incident was indicative of a larger problem facing the military's smallest branch.
In December 2019, Task & Purpose published a feature story written by our editor in chief, Paul Szoldra, which drew from the internal review. In the article, Szoldra detailed the findings of that investigation, which included first-hand accounts from male and female Marines.
Task & Purpose spoke with Szoldra to discuss how he got his hands on the investigation, how he made sense of the more than 100 pages of anecdotes and personal testimony, and asked what, if anything, the Marine Corps may do to correct the problem.
This is the fourth installment in the recurring column How We Found Out.