Carl Forsling is a senior columnist for Task & Purpose. He is a Marine MV-22B pilot and former CH-46E pilot who is retired from the military after 20 years of service. He is the father of two children and a graduate of Boston University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
The ten day timeframe would itself be laughable if it weren't for the fact that children born on September 11, 2001 are now eligible to enlist and possibly go to Afghanistan. So, if Wohl actually did follow through on his promise, he would conceivably still get to fight after spending a few months in poolee status, boot camp, MOS training, etc.
That said, Wohl will never enlist, war with Iran or no war with Iran. Is the hypothetical war with Iran somehow more worthy than the ones we've been fighting against the Taliban, Iraq, ISIS, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Al Qaeda in Iraq, or Al Qaeda original flavor for nearly two decades, i.e. nearly the whole time Wohl has been alive?
There are undoubtedly many who will dismiss this as a stunt. The U.S. military is consistently one of the most trusted institutions in America. As a career politico, Priebus could certainly use the halo effect of military service going forward. Based on his history, there's little doubt he'll pursue another high office, whether elected or appointed.
There's certainly some level of self-interest involved. For all the bluster vets have about selfless service, almost everyone who's joined had at least some amount of selfishness involved. Whether it's college money, bonus money, learning a skill, or learning self-discipline, everyone joins looking to get something out of it.
Very few, if any, service members are solely doing it out of love of country and expecting nothing in return. Priebus, to the extent he may be doing this for selfish reasons, is not much different than anyone else joining the military — it's just that instead of looking to learn diesel engine repair to get a job at a truck stop, he's building a service history to help his future run for governor or senator.
Just because he's playing at a higher level is no reason to hate on him.
Photo by Patrick Buffett, USAG Fort Lee Public Affairs Office
As I've continued my transition from the military to the civilian world, I feel as if I make a little more progress every day. I no longer twitch upon seeing a hat worn indoors. I now go up to two-and-a-half weeks without a haircut. I've also stopped dipping into Monster cans and using "motherfuckin'" instead of "um…" as fillers during public speaking.
That said, the civilian world does have its own annoying tics I'm not a huge fan of. The next person I hear saying "laying flat" when referring to something that's wrapped up is getting an overdose of Marine Corps Martial Arts right in the grape.
That's why as much as I'm adapting to corporate life, I wish the civilian world would take at least a few military terms onboard.
Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers board an aircraft to begin the first leg of their deployment in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. (Georgia National Guard/Maj. William Carraway)
As veterans, it's easy to believe all the popular hype that the military is filled with heroes. From football games to the movies, military members are lionized, not on an individual basis, but on a collective one. The average citizen would be hard pressed to name one Medal of Honor recipient, but would probably say without hesitation that all the troops are heroes.
Whether a day out of boot camp or a 30-year combat vet, everyone who's worn a uniform is a modern-day Captain America. That's great, and perhaps a welcome change from how people viewed the military after Vietnam.
Unfortunately, too many vets believe their own PR, and subscribe to what I'd call the “veteran superiority complex."
The New Year makes it three-and-a-half years since I retired from the Marine Corps. I've had a few challenges, but I was still better off than a lot of folks. I had a couple of degrees to my name and a transferable skill from the military. But as in anything, somebody always has it easier than you and somebody always has it tougher.
Some people seem to live charmed lives and are Instagram-worthy at all times. It's alright to hate those people, by the way. Others stumble so badly as civilians you wonder how they managed to successfully navigate the frozen food section at the commissary without starving to death.
I don't claim to have any special insight other than a combination of stumbling and success, which might be the right combination of experiences to give others some tips.