chapter  1
Pages 6

For most Americans the words of the Declaration of Independence are something of a mantra. Providing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is seen as the “self evident” purpose of government, and Americans generally honor the assertion that “all men are created equal.” The military is composed of individuals who may be committed to these principles, but they have, nevertheless, chosen to join an organization where they may be asked to kill people and, perhaps, asked to sacrifice their lives. They serve in a rule-bound organization in which “liberty” is a time out for which one gets a pass, not the everyday experience. Also, although happiness means different things to different people, for most there is usually some association with pleasure based on material and/or physical well being. For the military it is likely to be connected to service and/or to honor. Further, every individual’s uniform clearly marks his or her location in a hierarchy. At a glance one can determine if someone is a subordinate, and just how subordinate, and, conversely, if an individual is one’s superior.