Are Veterans Allowed To Wear Their Uniforms – With Here Arizona’s podcast series, Becoming a Veteran, in partnership with producer Scott Burke, an Afghanistan veteran, examines the root causes of key issues facing Arizona’s veteran community. The first part of this three-part series explores how the transition to military and veteran status fails to account for important cultural differences between the military and civilian worlds. Editor’s Note: This story contains language that may not be suitable for all audiences.
When Dan Banick graduated from high school in Phoenix in 2008, college wasn’t really what he needed.
Are Veterans Allowed To Wear Their Uniforms
“I hated [high] school. I thought it was out of this world,” Bunick said. “These are all popularity contests. So I didn’t try and my prospects for colleges were bleak or expensive.
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He looks like Scottsdale native Dustin Logan. A withdrawn child with little parental supervision, he graduated from high school in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in 2005.
“I would come home from school and no one would tell me to do my homework,” Logan said. “I graduated 64th in my class. Most people probably don’t think that’s too bad, but I had a 66 in the class.
Both came of age at the height of US involvement in two Middle East wars. Joining the army seemed like a good option to escape their circumstances or move forward in life. Logan joined the Army after graduation in 2005; Bannick left for the Marine Corps in early 2009.
Benick and Logan are two of the 500,000 military veterans living in Arizona. Veterans make up about 9% of the state’s population. Since the 9/11 attacks, more than 4 million Americans have served in the military and are veterans.
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Army Staff Ser. During Dustin Logan’s time in the military. Logan retired in 2014 and now works for a logistics company and lives in Scottsdale.
A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that while 91% of post-9/11 veterans felt the military had trained them well for their service, only half said the military had effectively prepared them for reintegration into the civilian world after their service ended.
After 9/11, half of veterans said they struggled to adjust to civilian life after service; Before 9/11, only 1 in 5 said the same.
Anyone who joins the military is required to attend conscription training or boot camp. This is the first step in the indoctrination process where people are trained to become professional members of an uncivilized and all-volunteer armed force.
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The term “indoctrination” is not meant as a criticism: the military uses it to describe its own process. In the Navy, drill instructors recite the Drill Instructor’s Creed, which includes the line “Intellectual discipline, physically fit, fundamentally trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated with love of corps and country.”
“It’s an important part of the process. They’re trying to dehumanize you and take away your individuality,” Banick said. He arrived at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in January 2009. “The first two days were shocking. . . it was shock and awe. They were just screaming. They were screaming, they were loud, shocking.
The whole experience is immersive. Every minute detail of everyday life is sorted, from how to stand to how to store your underwear in the closet, down to the quarter inch. New recruits are also not allowed to refer to themselves in the first person.
“You don’t say, ‘I have to go to the bathroom,'” Banick said. You say, ‘This rookie needs to use his head,’ or ‘This rookie wants to use his head.’ There is no “I”. Not “we”.
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“When I got to basic training and it was like, ‘Stand up, do this, do that,’ I thought, wow, it’s so easy, because taking care of yourself, especially at a young age, is actually really hard.” Logan said.
ᲩᲕᲜᲜ. Marine Corps Sgt. Julian R. Taylor, a drill instructor with Company L, 3d Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, drills a recruit March 18, 2016, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Maybe it’s all part of the process when someone sits on the couch, eats potato chips, and plays the video game “Call of Duty” for a month before becoming a member of the mostly trained professional armed forces. It’s a process that’s been proven to work, and a strong army depends on it.
This process fundamentally changes someone’s personality, says Shauna Springer, Ph.D. Tip, a psychologist who works exclusively with military and first responder populations.
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“When you go into the military, I call it radical resocialization,” he said. “You’re built as a human being to put your own needs aside, once you become a civilian and become a military member, there’s often a need to change norms and expectations.”
“You talk about going to the dentist and you’re like, ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘Confirmed, sir,’ ‘Negative, sir,'” Banick said.
When Bannik saw his mother for the first time after the camp, she addressed her as if she were a drill instructor.
“My mom was like, ‘Hey, oh, I love you,’ and I was standing at the parade rest while she was trying to wrap her arms around me,” Banick said. “I kept saying ‘yes ma’am’ to my mother. Eventually it went away, but I saw it for the first time at 13 weeks.
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After enlistment training is completed, a newly enlisted soldier, sailor, airman, or marine will be trained to pursue a military career. For Bannick, that meant training to work on the avionics on Harrier jets – “I fixed the gizmos on the planes,” he said. Logan served as an Army logistics manager.
Each branch of the armed forces has its own unique culture. In the navy and marines the baths are called heads, and the beds racks; In the army, bathrooms are called toilets, and beds are called sacks. In the army and navy, a private stands when addressing a sergeant; The Navy is a bit more relaxed.
In addition, there is a rigid social hierarchy, a common language, written and unwritten social customs, and a universal set of experiences that make the military a unique subculture within moderate American culture.
One such experience was working at a duty station away from home. While his friends, family and fiancée returned to Arizona, Bannick was stationed in North Carolina, then on a ship off the coast of Africa, and finally in Japan. Logan completed many assignments in the Middle East.
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The only people they see regularly are the people in their units. Living, eating, working, partying, and sometimes even showering with people in your department is good for camaraderie. In war, it’s not just your colleagues—they’re the people you expect to die.
Marine Corps veteran Dan Banick stands next to the AV-8B Harrier he was responsible for operating during a 2011 deployment. His squadron is credited with helping to topple Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
“I think we think of military personnel as colleagues and we don’t understand the depth of those bonds of love and trust,” Springer said. “These bonds protect people from despair.”
Logan, who eventually rose to the rank of staff sergeant, supervised dozens of junior soldiers. There was a lot of freedom in how he could lead them – but leadership in the military meant shouting.
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“If a soldier does not come out for physical training in the morning, you will slam the doors, pull him out of bed, shout in his face, drag him into the middle of the corridor. They’re doing [pushups] in their underwear and everyone’s walking around laughing at them,” Logan said.
“The Army way is effective in the Army and nowhere else because people can’t quit,” Logan said. “You can’t just say: ‘I’m done with the military, I’m out because you have a government.’
“The military way is effective in the army and nowhere else, because the people cannot leave… the government belongs to you.” – Dustin Logan
Bannick left the Navy in 2013 and moved in with non-veteran friends in Flagstaff. One day, about a month after Bannik quit his job, one of his new roommates fell off his bicycle.
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“He sprained his leg really badly. And the first thing that came out of my stupid mouth was, ‘Oh, you want to talk to my friend Colin, who lost his leg in Afghanistan?’ Tell him about your boo-boo?” he said. “You know, come back. In retrospect, that was telling. But I knew it then. “
Veterans often struggle to adjust to the relative freedom of civilian society and accept the perceived laziness and insensitivity of the civilian population around them.
“That’s a big thing that confuses a lot of people later, realizing that the military is not the real world,” Banick said.
“I still talked to him
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