There's something about new guys that I like. I don't call them FNGs or cherries or any of that shit. I think it's that they aren't yet corrupted or jaded. They're like toddlers, innocent and impressionable and all that Hallmark happy horseshit.
The only serious thing I said to our new guy was, "Don't model yourself after us. We're getting out. We did our thing and now we're counting down months. They tell you to be in the right place at the right time, in the right uniform. Believe it." I couldn't think of much to elaborate on after that, and we had enough busywork to do that it didn't matter anyway.
I don't want to be responsible for someone else coming to hate the Army. Already seen one new guy go from total motivation, wanted to do it all, get that Ranger tab, and slowly become a reflection of the rest of us til the day I heard him say, "Fuck the Army man, I'm getting out."
"Dude you have like four or five years left."
I really thought that I would love the Army for the most part, but every step of the way, something was there to stomp all the hope out of it for me. Crushed it to death and left it to the point where I've had to come to terms with the Army without outright hating it. And I don't.
Someone asked this new guy, "Why'd you join the Army?"
He said, "To be an Airborne Ranger."
Congrats, dude. You're in a Stryker Brigade. You won't go to a Ranger unit, not in this life cycle. All you can do is hang on to that New Private Smell for as long as you can. Stay hungry. Don't model yourself after us.
Maybe I just want to believe that there really are people that love being in the Army, that don't just get stuck and end up as lifers. Maybe that's what I need to see for myself.
"How long did you sign up for?"
"Smart man. Thinking about staying in?"
"Not sure yet. I might make it a career."
Rewind the clock a few years and that was us. And thus begins the battle for this kid's soul.
Don't be like us.