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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So. Here's the gist of my story. I'm and INFP male who feels like he's going nowhere in life, has no sense of who he is, is about to graduate high school with NO idea what to do for a career, and kinda....wants to sort of like....be a Hero? Like...I want to be recognized and remembered for doing something honorable and I think being a soldier is my one way of finding out who I really am and to do something that I can look back on and be proud of. The only problem is I have finally found some girl who accepts me for everything I am, and even appreciates my flaws and we both feel like we are made for each other. But I feel as if I join the Marines, that she will become lonely and lose interest in me and for some reason I think she'd even cheat on me. :/ Even though she claims she will never ever do that to me, I just have a hard time trusting people and think that it would be very unrealistic for her to stay loyal to me if I was gone for 6 months. And the fact that she's somewhat of a jock and is around all these athletes makes me even more worried about it. So pretty much the purpose of this thread is just to vent, and see what you guys think of an INFP joining the military...


EDIT: I've also been playing around with the idea of being a soldier my entire life. Even when I was in kindergarten. Except I wrote, "I want to be an Army." So I'm not sure if I literally wanted to be a huge garrison of soldiers or what.... lol.
 

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for starters, I'm against the idea in principle, but let's not get there <_<

If we generalize the question to be more like: joining a military(-like) organization.

It's a bad idea for an INFP. The military wants you to be xSTJ. don't think, don't feel, be diligent, and above all obedient.

To have a small taste of what that feels like, try to work in construction for a month.
 

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have you considered teaching? you still get to change people's lives without having a boot up your ass 24/7
although from what i heard about the teaching profession, it's getting progressively worse
 

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I always wanted to fight a no win battle against desperate odds!!:tongue:

I was a soldier, and can tell you it's a hell of a lot different than civilian life. But I'm glad I did it, I'm proud of it. Would I do it again knowing what I now know about things? I'm not sure, but I don't think so....my life has been.....complicated.
 

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But I feel as if I join the Marines, that she will become lonely and lose interest in me and for some reason I think she'd even cheat on me. :/
... plus, you could get killed, you might kill other people (very potentially civillians, whether you mean to or not), and could, if you manage to get out alive, potentially have some experiences which leave you with severe PTSD and a brutalising trauma which may incline you to become violent to that lass you're smitten with.

i have no firsthand experience, but i've been interested in the military and war for some time, and i read a lot of military history... doing so has made me a much more sombre individual. war should *never* be gone into lightly, and, honestly, i dont really think it's that great of an idea to go to war for the prime reasons of gaining honour and proud memories. warfare is NOT about honour - the honourable fighter inevitably dies, it's not a sensible way to conduct warfare. and, as far as proud memories and all that... well, there's often a very good reason why many vets wont tell people about their experiences when they get back home.

now, sure, you may luck out and have an easy war without doing something that violates your morals and gives you some pride. but you might also discover the greatest hell beyond what you ever conceived - and potentially come out of it a shattered and cruel man, if you come out of it at all. is it worth it?

and, are you *really* invested in the war/s you may be fighting in? if you have doubts, i dont think you ought to go for it, because you'll be, *inevitably*, supporting an engagement which involves the death of a very large number of people (including MANY civilians, civilians are always the ones who suffer the most from war), destruction of economies, the elimination of property and comforts of many people, the destabalising of a country for years afterwards... is the cause WORTH all this?

and, besides, there are plenty of ways to be honourable and have proud memories which dont involve harming other people. i'm sure you could think of some examples.

now, obviously, i'm pretty anti-war. though i'm not a pacifist, and think there are examples of "just wars". and, i'll also say it frankly - i dont really support the conflicts you'll likely be getting involved in... but this isnt my decision to make.

in the end, i'm saying... dont take this decision lightly. personally, i dont think people should get into the military with the hopes of honour and personal development and all that - you may get that, but you're quite likely to be disappointed.

ok, anyway, i'm rambling. time for me to shut up.
 

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I joined the Army reserves while in high school and went to basic training a few months later to be a "health care specialist" which I later learned meant Combat Medic. One of the main reasons I joined was because I was scared to death of getting lost in college and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life or where I was going or anything like that. So... I ended up joining and went medical because I figured that would go against my values the least. In a way I was right and in many more ways I was wrong.

If you are capable of separating your actions from your thoughts and how you think, and you're able to maintain your ideals that way, then you will probably come out of it alright, a little worn and your view of humanity and what not will be a bit frayed, but you'll survive. If you can't do that, then be prepared for the most exhausting and shattering experiences of your life.

I was luckily able to separate myself into the faeriegal that I always knew and the faeriegal that the drill sergeants wanted to see. It wasn't easy, but after only a week, it was almost too easy. I was able to scream what they wanted us to scream, act how they wanted me to act and learned how to do many things that faeriegal never should have learned how to do. I'm a stronger person now for it and surprise a lot of people... but it took it's toll on me. It has taken me over six years to recover from that initial split and I'm still not done reconciling the various parts of me due to it.

However, I did find my career field, medicine, and most specifically nursing. That was the great part.

As for your girlfriend, if she's going to cheat, she's going to do it whether you're home or gone, it's just going to be easier if you're gone. If you don't trust her in either scenario then you need to sit down with her and go through the whys and whats and all that. If it's you being paranoid, then maybe this would be a good opportunity to just dive into that whole trust thing. I'm of the opinion that more people are honest than we give society credit for. My (now ex) boyfriend was very faithful and really gave me a lot of support while I was gone for 7 months. The letters he sent were so very sweet and really were something I looked forward to every time I got mail.

I do want to warn you - weigh the pros and cons and talk to someone outside the recruiters office about the jobs and fields and what to expect. I don't know how much has changed in 6 years, but I'm guessing enough that I could only give you a general idea of what to expect, but at the very least, you can PM me anytime you feel you want some info on how a fellow INFP made it through all the training and what not. Sometimes perspective does matter as much as anything else.

Good luck, and I hope you find the answers you're looking for.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok, anyway, i'm rambling. time for me to shut up.

Not at all. :] I appreciate the response. And I was thinking about being a Military Police officer. That way i'd be helping people out rather than killing them. I should've mentioned that... But I think my main reason for wanting to join the military is to see if I can 'find' myself and maybe have some structure and discipline put into my life. :/


Thanks all who replied. Very much appreciated! :]
 

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First, I want you to know I'm not attacking you or anything (you know something bad is coming...). Welcome to the boards, and I hope you continue to stick around.

A lot of what you said reminds me of myself in terms of general philosophy and particularly around the crossroads I was at nearing the end of high school. However, I'm not going to patronize you like you're some form of mini me, I'm sure we're entirely different. For perspective purposes, I'm going into policing and I have a full degree in Behavioral Psychology and Criminal Profiling.

The military world is far different from how many people interpret it. While some go there to "become somebody," many people end up seeing a side of the world that society hasn't conditioned us to deal with. If you are not someone who has yourself figured out, or even has a stable footing of who you are, you will be absolutely crushed in in the military and will likely lose a large portion of your original identity. The only people that can -excel- in this environment are those who are capable of killing their emotions -- basically psychopaths. The kind of people we typically end up locking in prison. While other people can still go into the military and be successful, I wouldn't say they excel, I'd say they survive.

I've done tremendous levels of research on the topic, the people that go in, and the psychological changes that can occur through the experience. Why have I done this research? Because with regards to policing, I was always fearful of losing who I am and straying from my original intentions of bettering society. We always hear stories of cops going bad, becoming jaded, going nuts, you name it. Do you honestly think many people go into policing with that intention of being that way? No, they want to make a difference, be that hero you described, but for some reason they stray. This all applies to the military as well.

Quote: "There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring."

So many people just jump into the fray hoping to become someone on the way. They are not psychologically developed enough to handle the stresses of the job and end up compromising parts of their life to simply survive the day. They may abuse the people they love, turn on society, turn against the system, maybe even turn on themselves.

Focusing on your points,
- You won't be perceived as a hero by pacifists and you will likely never be truly acknowledged by the military. You may get thanks here and there, but you'll still be viewed as a bit of a grunt.
- You will likely hurt the girl you care about. Will she leave you? I don't know, but you should never abandon someone you -truly- care about. It's almost like choosing your career over someone. Regardless of whether she stays, I doubt she'll ever look at you the same.
- Trust issues, you realize in the military it's all about trusting one another? It's all team. If you can't trust the person you care about then how are you going to trust Bubba next to you? You'll likely suffer severe paranoia and anxiety in the military if you have trust issues.

If you go into the military anytime soon, I predict you will be at least 2 of the following...
Abusive / Temperamental.
Single
On medication
Require therapy
Develop new or enhance pre-existing psychological disorders
Dead / Involved with self harm
------------------------------------

I'm not saying never go into the military at all. All I'm saying is that you need to work on yourself first.

Other solutions to the things you mentioned?
- Volunteer work is one of the best things you can do. The character of other volunteers will rub off on you positively and the same will be said in reverse. You'll gain experience in a variety of fields, and also get something sexy for the resume. It also may help you figure out a future career path and doesn't require a massive amount of commitment at first. You'll feel great!
- Take some time to travel a bit. That's what I did out of high school. I learned so much more through a few years of travel than I ever have in school.
- Look into post secondary education. Start off in a general studies program and slowly focus yourself along the way.

Generally man, just live your life and it will slowly come to you. Most people gain a stronger sense of identity within the 20-25 range so it'll come, just be patient.

In the future, you may want to consider policing. Hell, even a short military stint first then shoot into policing. Just realize that you will often be dealt the hardest card in society, you will experience so many truly despicable things and will often have no one in the real world that can relate to you. In essence, you're a hero because you can do so many incredible things and you will never do it expecting any acknowledgement. You'll see the lives you can touch, but you'll probably never see your name in a newspaper. For a real heroes, just doing the deed is more than enough.
 

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In many ways I feel like the military is violent towards its recruits. Follow orders, however wrong or contradictory they might be, or suffer dire consequences. If you want to help people you shouldn't join the military. If you want to be brutalized, desensitized, treated like an object, thrown in with a bunch of people who are the very antithesis of an INFP,and forced to use violence to defend an immoral goal, then go right ahead. But do not go into it naive, learn all you can, starting with talking to people who know more than I do, people who have already been or are currently serving (and not the fing recruiters!) Also, read this article.

18 veterans commit suicide each day - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For a real heroes, just doing the deed is more than enough.
Thank you for taking the time to write all that out. I believe my trust issues lie only with relationships, just because of media and my mother divorcing three times and whatnot. I still can't imagine leaving this girl and I don't think I could choose my career over her. :/ I have a lot of things to consider and a lot of options to weigh. And just for the record, I really do appreciate all the different responses you've all given me and I've already begun taking thins into consideration and just messing around with ideas in my head. Thank you guys so much. I know it seems silly that you guys have already begun to help me in making my decision, but when you're as confused as I am, anything helps.
 

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I'm applying to the ROTP after my semester ends. In other words I am applying to become an officer in the Canadian Forces, the yang to Lad's RCMP yin. I have gone through cadets and know the military lifestyle. They will dictate your life for you, ie when you can eat and sleep. That being said, it's about the only job I can see - myself - in. Another thing to note, you will be removed from society for prolonged (6+ months at a time) periods of time with no-one but your military cohorts to rely on. I can do it because it's what I know, and what I enjoy. The question remains will you be able to do the same.
 

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I was in the Marines and Army ROTC. I have a cousin and a long time friend who are INFP. You asking whether to join makes me think of them going through what I went through. Here's my answer: Don't fucking do it.

I loved the military. I dreamed of a career as a Special Forces officer since I was a kid. So my time in there was great. But knowing my cousin and friend, they would absolutely hate it and try to commit suicide in there. That environment (especially basic training) is not made for INFPs. I've had to do suicide guard in boot camp (recruit tried hanging himself) and I can tell you that just because you want to kill yourself doesn't mean they'll go easy on you.

Here's an example of what it's like in Marine Corps boot camp. As I remember it 8 years ago:

While in the house (barracks), a recruit is discovered not to have put his stuff away neatly like everyone else.

D.I. (Drill Instructor): WHO'S SHIT IS THIS!!!!
Recruit: It's this recruits bunk sir!
D.I.: WHY THE FUCK IS THIS ALL HEINOUS??!!!! DIDN'T I TELL YOU HOW TO PUT IT AWAY??!!!
Recruit: Yes, sir. I didn-
D.I.: SHUT UP!!!! YOU DIDN'T LISTEN TO ME!!!! YOU THOUGHT TO YOURSELF "FUCK THIS GUY!" DIDN'T YOU??!!!
Recruit: No, sir!
D.I.: YES YOU DID!!! YOU WERE THINKING "FUCK THIS GUY! I'M NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO HIM!!!"
D.I. throw's trash bin/chair/ anything in rage.
D.I. YOU TOLD ME TO FUCK OFF!!! I WILL RIP YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF RECRUIT!!! DON'T YOU EVER FUCKING DISOBEY ME!!!!

That's a typical day for the first few weeks at bootcamp. Don't let the recruiters tell you otherwise.

However, life does get better afterwards. They crazy yelling does go away. Military units also play a big role in determining whether you'll like it or not. Some unit commanders are horrible and make everyone hate the military, others are great and make their soldiers love it. Just like in private organizations, a shitty boss will make you hate your job. Only thing is you can't up and quit the military.


The only people that can -excel- in this environment are those who are capable of killing their emotions -- basically psychopaths. The kind of people we typically end up locking in prison. While other people can still go into the military and be successful, I wouldn't say they excel, I'd say they survive.
You're wrong. It's insulting to hear that all successful military personnel are psychopaths. Some of the most successful people I've known where also people of high moral standards and deep compassion. Yeah, there's a lot of people that go in broken, become broken, and people who are shit bags whether they join the military or not. Psychological studies and the news only focus on them. That's why you hear all the horror stories. In all your research, have you looked into model soldiers? The ones who are proud to have served, kept their nose clean, and not only lead decent lives but inspire others because of their strength in character? I can think of plenty that I've known personally.

Sure bootcamp beats the crap out of you emotionally. It's preparing you for war. The purpose of breaking you down isn't to torture you. It's for when that time comes when you're filled with sorrow and grief but still have to keep fighting knowing you're not out of the mess yet. It's getting the mission done even though your own emotions want to stop you. It teaches you perseverance despite mental, emotional, and physical anguish. A trait that I find lacking in a lot of civilians.
 

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Originally Posted by Lad View Post
The only people that can -excel- in this environment are those who are capable of killing their emotions -- basically psychopaths. The kind of people we typically end up locking in prison. While other people can still go into the military and be successful, I wouldn't say they excel, I'd say they survive.
You're wrong. It's insulting to hear that all successful military personnel are psychopaths. Some of the most successful people I've known where also people of high moral standards and deep compassion. Yeah, there's a lot of people that go in broken, become broken, and people who are shit bags whether they join the military or not. Psychological studies and the news only focus on them. That's why you hear all the horror stories. In all your research, have you looked into model soldiers? The ones who are proud to have served, kept their nose clean, and not only lead decent lives but inspire others because of their strength in character? I can think of plenty that I've known personally.

Sure bootcamp beats the crap out of you emotionally. It's preparing you for war. The purpose of breaking you down isn't to torture you. It's for when that time comes when you're filled with sorrow and grief but still have to keep fighting knowing you're not out of the mess yet. It's getting the mission done even though your own emotions want to stop you. It teaches you perseverance despite mental, emotional, and physical anguish. A trait that I find lacking in a lot of civilians.
I'm glad you said all that so I didn't have to.
For future note, you and your "research" can't call us psychopaths then tell someone else to do a short military stay, and expect anyone to take you seriously.:crazy:
I was a 55B, does that mean I'm an enabler?
 
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You'll do fine in the military. Doesn't matter what personality type you have. Speaking out of experience.
I was a Sergeant in the Royal Norwegian Air Force (Force Protection, QRF), also worked in the Army (ISTAR).

I've never had a drill instructor yell at me, and I've never yelled at a recruit. In the Norwegian military we don't motivate with fear.
 

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But I feel as if I join the Marines, that she will become lonely and lose interest in me and for some reason I think she'd even cheat on me. :/ Even though she claims she will never ever do that to me, I just have a hard time trusting people and think that it would be very unrealistic for her to stay loyal to me if I was gone for 6 months. And the fact that she's somewhat of a jock and is around all these athletes makes me even more worried about it.
This happens a lot. There is a high likelihood it will happen to you-it's called a Dear John letter. Not always, but it does happen a lot (unless you join the reserves). It's hard to love someone from a distance. If you marry her, you can take her with you. If she doesn't want to go.....Then somethings got to give, either she goes or you don't- if you want to keep her.
The divorce rate is around 50% for all marriages, civilian or not. Something to consider. Let us know what you decide.
 

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You're wrong. It's insulting to hear that all successful military personnel are psychopaths. Some of the most successful people I've known where also people of high moral standards and deep compassion. Yeah, there's a lot of people that go in broken, become broken, and people who are shit bags whether they join the military or not. Psychological studies and the news only focus on them. That's why you hear all the horror stories. In all your research, have you looked into model soldiers? The ones who are proud to have served, kept their nose clean, and not only lead decent lives but inspire others because of their strength in character? I can think of plenty that I've known personally.
Reading comprehension fail, TP. Careful on that shaky trigger finger before you fire.
It's also fun to hear a debate that uses anecdotes as empirical evidence.

Regardless, you read my statement in an overly emotional frame and twisted many of my words from suggestive behavioral traits to definitive. The reality is that everyone possesses psychopathic traits in some form. Generally the people who do better in areas like the military, are the ones with a higher frequency of those traits. I even confessed in my original post that there are successful people with less of those traits than most, but those aren't the ones I want fighting for me during a war.

Finally, general psychological profiles are comprised of various sampling methods which help to ensure a spread amongst all types of soldiers. This includes the bad apples and the good ones :D. I'm assuming your lack of knowledge in that area implies you either have some sort of degree in gardening or nothing at all.

I'm glad you said all that so I didn't have to.
For future note, you and your "research" can't call us psychopaths then tell someone else to do a short military stay, and expect anyone to take you seriously.:crazy:
I was a 55B, does that mean I'm an enabler?
FJ,
once again, psychopathic traits are desirable in certain careers. I never made a statement that soldiers in the military are psychopaths, but rather that the behavioral traits were favorable. Psych lingo plays a game of being overly cautious and uses "may" "suggests" "argues" all that crap because we can never really make a definitive statement, there are far too many variables.

On a final note though, my dad is top military brass in the US Air Force. So I'm not -completely- de-void of military life, but I wouldn't consider myself biased either. I can sing a multitude of praises for the military, but I focused on what the OP mentioned in his post.
 

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In Lad's defense approximately 1% of the population are psychopaths, and to be frank military as well as corporate workplaces are ideal for them. They are not all necessarily evil individuals, and many can function in society just fine.
 

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Ah, Psychopaths. The best tools of other Psychopaths.

Wait. Aren't Psychopaths classified the ones who have no Emotional or Compassionate empathy to begin with? The capability to repress or ignore that empathy isn't a Psychopathic trait, but that of practice, hardening, or training. Psychopathy is the disability and true lack of all, but possible cognitive empathy. (the ability to read and interpret emotion, a suggested ability of predatory Sociopathic types)

It's said that the emotion they may 'feel' tends to be brief and intense, yet ineffective.
Maybe like Patrick Bateman, who'd get all up and homicidal and only cried because he thought he wasn't cooking those brains right. Haha.

In that case, wouldn't the militia rather someone with emotional control and obligation, not socially autonomous egoism?

...Or so I've read. Feel free to shred this. After all my education comes from tvtropes U.:crazy:
Could be referring to ASPD while Psychopathy tends to route towards deviant behavior at least. Oh, I give up!

Hai mister INFP soldier dude!:tongue:
 

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Don't do it. You won't be serving anything worthwhile. And you'll be miserable, too, and harming the world -- war is a horrible, horrible thing and should never happen.

That's my opinion, and not yours, but I know in my heart that it is right.
 
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