Online job databaseCareerCast 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.”
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.
"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.
"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.
A Ruger AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, center, the same model, though in gray rather than black, used by the shooter in a Texas church massacre two days earlier, sits on display with other rifles on a wall in a gun shop Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Lynnwood, Wash. (Associated Press/Elaine Thompson)
A new bill introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives would require a significant number of state residents own "at least one" AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with the help of a hefty tax break — except it won't ever get off the ground.