THE ARMY -- THEN AND NOW

Sisyphus Understands.




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Then- Rifles were made of wood and steel, shot a 7.62 caliber bullet that killed the enemy.
Now- Rifles are made of plastic and aluminum, shoot a .223 caliber bullet that wounds the enemy.

Then- If you smoked, you had an ashtray on your desk.
Now- If you smoke, you are sent outside and are treated like a leper.

Then- If you said "damn," people knew you were annoyed and avoided you.
Now- If you say "damn" you better be talking about a hydroelectric plant.

Then- NCO's had a typewriter on their desks for doing daily reports.
Now- Everyone has an Internet computer, and they wonder why no work is getting done.

Then- We painted pictures of pretty girls on airplanes to remind us of home.
Now- We put the real thing in the cockpit.

Then- If you got drunk off duty, your buddies would take you back to the barracks to sleep it off.
Now- If you get drunk any time they slap you in rehab and ruin your whole career.

Then- Canteens were made out of steel. You could heat coffee or hot chocolate in them.
Now- Canteens are made of plastic. You can't heat anything in them and they always taste like plastic.

Then- Officers were professional soldiers first. They commanded respect.
Now- Officers are politicians first. They beg not to be given a wedgie.

Then- If you don't act right, the commander might put you in a cell till you straighten up.
Now- If you don't act right, they start a paper trail that follows you forever.

Then- Medals were awarded to heroes who saved lives at the risk of their own.
Now- Medals are awarded to people who show up for work most of the time.

Then- You slept in a barracks... like a soldier.
Now- You sleep in a dormitory... like a college kid.

Then- You ate in a Mess Hall. It was free and you could have all the food you wanted.
Now- You eat in a dining facility. Every slice of bread or pat of butter costs, and you can only have one.

Then- We defeated powerful countries like Germany and Japan.
Now- We can't even beat Iraq or Yugoslavia.

Then- If you wanted to relax, you went to the Recreation Center, played pool, smoked and drank beer.
Now- You go to the Community Center and can still play pool.

Then- If you wanted a beer and conversation you could go to the NCO or Officers Club.
Now- The beer will cost you $1.75, membership is forced, and someone is watching how much you drink.

Then- The Post Echange had bargains for GI's who didn't make much money.
Now- You can get better merchandise cheaper at Wal-Mart.

Then- If a general wanted to make a presentation he scribbled some notes down and a corporal prepared a bunch of charts.
Now- Now a Major prepares the charts spending hours using Power Point.

Then- Victory was declared when the enemy was dead and all his things were broken.
Now- Victory is declared when the enemy says he is sorry.

Then- If you killed an enemy soldier, you could bring home his rifle as a trophy.
Now- If you bring home anything at all as a trophy you get a court martial.

Then- A commander would put his butt on the line to protect his people.
Now- A commander will put his people on the line to protect his butt.

Then- All you could think of was getting out and becoming a civilian again.
Now- All you can think of is getting out and becoming a civilian again.

Courtesy of SSGT J. Grizzle

Then- Kids lined up at the door to join the most powerful army just to serve their country.
Now- Kids run at the sight of a recruiter, and rather move to Canada then protect the motherland.

Added 20 September 2006
Courtesy of Matthew A. Koss

Then- We called them Japs and Krauts because we didn't like them.
Now- We call them the aggressive Force because we don't want to hurt their feelings.

Then- They taught you to aim your rifle and kill your enemy.
Now- You spray thirty rounds and run away cause you ran out of ammo.

Courtesy of S.M. Campbell, SSgt, USAF

Then- If you needed a ribbon, you went to clothing issue, fished one out of a tub full of them and paid 15 cents.
Now- You spend 20 minutes searching through the 4 dollar individually blister-packed ribbons to find out they’re on back-order.

Courtesy of CPT J.E. Price

Then- When you called cadence it was about women and drinking to take your mind off the fact that you’re running 8 miles.
Now- The only cadence that anyone knows is about the C-130 rolling down the strip.

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