Why Society Needs Reintegration

Updated: January 8, 2014


The performance and discipline of the civilian workforce is an unpleasant sight. I fail to find a reason to “reintegrate” into a culture of laziness and disrespect that lacks the simple foundation of a good work ethic. Policies, procedures, and core values are in place for a reason. When not adhered to or enforced, they are simply a pile of paper that creates a pretty picture on a website.

The most common performance problem in today’s workforce is being late. Did you forget that you had 12 hours to figure out how to get back to work on time? I never knew showing up for my job on time was such a big deal. Hell, I thought it was normal.

I consistently show up fifteen minutes early and people ask me what I am doing at work so early. WTF, Over? How about spending some time focusing that attention on employees who are consistently late, yet still have a job. I question why these employees still have a job. The reply that I get is, “What are we supposed to do?”

Well, it goes something like this: measure performance against established guidelines and enforce them. Wow, what a concept. Who would have thought that the rules are there to be enforced? Yes, you may have to hurt a person’s feelings; after all, you do need your employee’s at work when they are scheduled! Alternatively, you can quit making a damn schedule, commence free for all mode and hope that somebody will show up at some point…not hung over.   

The simple performance problems that go unsolved stem from a lack of leadership initiative. If nobody cares what the kids are doing, they will do what they want to do. When the majority of employees are unaware of current policies and procedures, that is again a leadership problem. Do not get mad if people are failing all over the place because they do not know what to do or how to do it.

If every day consists of putting out fires in a workplace that resembles an exploding shit storm, you might have a problem. Yes, you will actually have to fix it, which requires doing work.

I recently resigned from a position due to ethical reasons. The management would not support me in implementing procedures in accordance with established company policies. I met with every supervisor, every manager, and the general manager. No support.

I provided proof of almost $10,000 going out the door on a weekly basis due to the lack of adherence to policy. Yes, the consumers end up paying for this little problem in the form of higher prices. Thanks dickheads. This eventually led to an investigation. Meanwhile, I resigned and went on about my life, leaving the cluster fuck to devour itself.

I received a phone call from the company’s human resource department. We talked for a couple minutes and the call went something like this…

HR:  This job is not like the military.

Me: How would you know? Are you a veteran?

HR: No

Me: Is following established policy and procedure not a common expectation?

HR:  Of course it is. Everyone is required to follow company rules.

Me: Is losing money due to a lack of leadership the current sales and marketing strategy?

HR: No, we are in the business of meeting sales goals.

Me: Would you like employees to operate in ways that are against company policy?

HR: No.

Me: So how is this different from the military?

HR: Silence….Thank you for your time, we will look into it.

If I were to keep doing my job in this way, the way that management wanted, I would be lying to myself on a daily basis and sacrificing my values to avoid confrontation. I was not going to allow that to happen because I have a strange and uncommon virtue that we military folks know as integrity.

Through this experience, I learned that reintegration is not an option for me, nor should it be for anyone. I expanded my knowledge through interviews with friends, family, co-workers, and college associates to find that this is all common practice. Outraged by the thought of a widespread lack of work ethic, responsibility, and ethics, I wonder if this is all that there is left.

In order to reintegrate, I would be required to lower my work ethic, abandon my values, live a lie every day, and not stand up for what I know to be right. How could this be attractive?

I think the problem is that this being a widespread problem in society, they do not know how to operate in an honest and upright manner. Therefore, society wants us to reintegrate instead of having to do the work required to develop and maintain a high level of integrity, discipline, and performance.  

In order to make themselves feel and look better, they paint a picture of crazy veterans that are too serious and intolerant of any deviation from policy. Interestingly, most of these individuals have not served in the military. In reality, military personnel are accustom to working ungodly hours, often in intense and unforgiving environments while getting the job done and not getting paid extra for doing it.

We have all heard the common stereotype about the military brainwashing people. Brainwashing is a term that hippies and the like tend to over use and abuse. They either are unsure of its meaning or are unaware of how they are applying it.  

If brainwashing teaches people to be punctual, honest, work hard, be an integral part of a cohesive unit or team, present a professional appearance, have respect for the people around you, clean up after yourself, be attentive to detail, and put yourself in danger to help or save another, I think that this word must be extremely positive and upstanding.

In any case, I believe that the people suffering from an evil social experiment are the everyday civilian workers that are unable and unwilling to produce the dedication and character embedded in military personnel.

We are not the one’s suffering from some sort of psychological mind reshuffle. We are the people that you want to emulate. Our will, dedication, and performance is undeniable. We are the assets that can turn this culture around and lead it to success. It is not about integrating or reintegrating; it is about doing what is right simply because it is the right thing to do.


Opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Rhino Den or its parent company, Ranger Up.






  1. Mike

    January 8, 2014 at 9:59 am

    For the Win!

  2. topsey krets

    January 8, 2014 at 10:40 am

    One major flaw with your logic is that though you have such a sought after skill, being “brainwashed” as you put it, for every Stephen Parks out there in the mlitary, there are 9 more dirtbags. These dirtbags make military life harder on those that do all the work, such as yourself. A common mantra from government work is 10 percent do all the work while 90 percent do nothing else but lick windows and steal oxygen.
    Your article is just a testoserone laced flashback of you trying to convince everybody on why the military does everything better, when in fact, that jsut is not the case.

    • TJ

      January 8, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Tospsey, how long were you in the military for? And, what kind of discharge did you have? If you can’t say you were in, then as you’d put it, my logic serves me correct to tell you to mind your words, since you obviously have a biased view.

      Your 90% assumption falls short or we wouldn’t be so sought after for employment.

      When I was in the army, you would certainly get your dirt bags, and it wasn’t perfect by any means, but people were a lot better (more efficient, more integrity, and harder working) than when looking at civilian life and we followed all the rules or they would be reinforced like they’re supposed to be.

      Just because a person strives to be dedicated and to do more than the common civilian or go against tradition does not mean that they are wrong.

      FYI, we as veterans are extremely employable, if you still doubt me, then go look at all the jobs that can be found on various veteran sites. We are more dependable, efficient, and hard working than the common civilian and employers know that.

      The facts are there, you can choose to be an idiot, or to not be one.

      • matt

        January 8, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        I agree with TJ.With seven years of active duty and another six years of reservist timeI think that your numbers are a little off. I can see how most of the government bloat is a nine to one ratio but the military has that in reverse. I have worked for 3 different companies since leaving active duty and out of the past 6 years have only showing up late to work twice. (one time my basement flooded and the other time my wife had been mugged.) sadly the people who usually turn around and make derogatory terms towards veterans in the places that I have worked are the ones that have a hard time showing up and or doing what they’re told.The military taught me teamwork, accountability, responsibility, adaptability and how to show up on time. These things have helped me personally to start off at making $25,000 a year to almost double that in our current state of the economy with no further education. All l of the friends that I stay in contact with is either doing the same thing for furthering your education. The only negative thing we have are the fears and stereotypes given to us.

  3. Neal

    January 8, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Being raised in a military household I cannot agree more. My day job I work in quality control and my night job I am fire/haz tech/EMT and thusly torn between these two worlds. In my day job it is horrible, have to put my soul in a box and endure pretty much everything described above. While working emergency response has been the best experience of my life as we are a cohesive team where everyone knows and does their job without question. I have long been a proponent of mandatory conscription like many of the European countries, or at least a basic training style environment as a requirement for high school graduation.

  4. topsey krets

    January 8, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    TJ, not that it makes any difference, but I am still in the military serving on my 10th year in, not discharge as of yet, but moving past your inccorrect assumption…
    The people are not better in the military. These people in the military are the exact same people that are in the private sector, the only difference is that the government is their employer and if they were grabbed at a certain age when they were impressionable, then it did certainly shape their personality, but to assume that the personnel in the military are somehow better than those in the private sector shows an unmatched arrogance. This will be a reason why hiring veterans is bad.
    I am surrounded by civilians in my work center and they do the majority of the work here while the military is given the shit jobs. Want to know why? It’s because the military doesn’t do as good a job as the civilians and we aren’t trusted nor do we have the continuity.
    I agree with you that veterans are extremely employable, but certain attitudes such as the arrogance you displayed will serve no prupose. The goal is to be part of the corporate team and being a team player is our biggest attribute, not being better than everyone else because we are somehow privelaged due to our service.
    By they way, what facts are you talking about, TJ?

    • J

      January 8, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      Let me guess, you work at NGB….

      • Patty Crack 'N Pack

        January 9, 2014 at 12:06 am

        This is the sort of person who obviously had a very different experience in the military. It seems as though he works in an office type environment where the military members aren’t used to a “work together or lose your ass” environment.

        • J

          January 9, 2014 at 10:11 am


  5. Egodram

    January 8, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    While the author raises some excellent points, I think his attitude sucks: I get it, you hate seeing a poor work ethic wreak havoc on society, you have your own strong ethos & stuck too it (which is actually a very good thing) But in the long run, after reading this, you have to stand back and ask yourself ONE THING: Who the fuck are you, or ANYONE, to make demands on the whole of society to conform to YOUR OWN personal standards? Just because YOU don’t like a pattern of behavior in others DOES NOT MEAN that your way will actually be any better.

    Unlike the military, the workforce is full of people with various strengths & weaknesses, single parents with or without daycare, full time college & grad school students (who don’t have access to things like TA or a GI Bill) people with physical & mental disabilities… or did the author conveniently up and forget about them as well as the laws that protect their standing? Also, bear in mind, that unlike the military, you have ZERO SAY in how others around you live their lives or what they do in their free time. Sure, it was downright foolish of them to permit their employees’ lax behavior to cost the company & customers, but if they want to dig their own grave then that’s THEIR prerogative. THAT, however, DOES NOT accurately reflect the whole of the realm of business, at which point I have to call to question the manner in which ANYONE would keep finding themselves in the same dead-end work scenarios again and again and again (Ad Nauseam) to arrive at the arrogant conclusion that EVERYONE ELSE is the problem but “NOT ME, nope I’m THE PERFECT EMPLOYEE!!!”

    No, Bub, that’s not the way it works. If you keep finding the same patterns over and over again, especially after repeating the same ones yourself, maybe you need to take a good hard look at what, despite your own work ethic, you could in fact be doing wrong: Welcome to Earth.

    And since we’re using past service as qualifiers for this conversation, I served my years in the Army and even did MY TIME in Iraq (almost came come in a pine box, too)

  6. GA

    January 9, 2014 at 7:59 am

    As in all things there are no absolutes, but the author is correct overall. However, one should not compare the military with a government job. I am a state government employee at a professional level – bachelor degree or higher – and I can tell you that the work ethic in government is pathetic compared even to private industry. And for the most part the work ethic in private industry compared to the Infantry is as the author states. Even comparing past military with today’s military is problematic. I served a generation ago and if in today would probably need many counseling sessions. My son is a active combat NCO and after spending time with his men you quickly realize that you don’t measure up to the values and skill sets they bring to their jobs. Sure there are the goof-offs but the Army will weed them out especially in the combat divisions. Are there ineffective leaders sure but I have never worked with anyone in my 45 years in private industry that I would trust with my life. I can’t say that about the men I served with and under in my military career.

  7. CD

    January 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    I agree completely with the author here. after working for two large companies I pulled the plug and moved on from the corporate thing. Ignorant managers trying to motivate a bunch of slack-asses who’s biggest accomplishment was getting through college without drinking themselves into a coma. but its just a byproduct of society as a whole. (an i’m speaking completely in generality) whole crowd of people out there who want something out of life but too inept to pick up a wrench or a hammer and build something. too lazy to take on a challenging college curriculum. and certainly too panty-waisted to serve their country and instead would rather sit back on a comment forum and run their mouth about how shitty life is.

    I’m with the author 100% society has done a damn fine job of producing an abundance of candidates in need of a serious hard line attitude adjustment.

  8. Ken Olesen

    January 9, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    As a non military person with 40 plus year work experience in one profession, I get your indignation at relaxed codes in the work place. I do not think your expectations are unreasonable, but if a work place chooses to have a relaxed code they should state that and not pretend to have a higher code they don’t actually enforce. If you look at the code before taking a position you can choose to find employment in a business with a higher set of expectations. The fit should be a good one, and how you, fellow employees, and customers relate should also become a good fit. I truly believe you would hate working in a non-profit organization that had as it’s goal to help all helpless people, because there would be a lot of enabling of people who do not have a clue about what you have pointed out as your military training. Training which would be good training for any person to develop their own self worth and effectiveness. Unfortunately, people without a clue to what you have learned in the military do exist and do as you say fail regularly and repeatedly.
    Ex-service people make great employees, but as you have found out integrating into a non-military work force poses its challenges.
    Hope your current employment is working well for you.

  9. Maj MOGS

    January 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    This post and the comments are a great example of the one semi-useful thing I ever got out of a PME class; the one real trick in civil-military relations is this: “for servicemembers, as professionals, to embody and demonstrate a moral superiority, without becoming trapped by moral arrogance.” It’s less a matter of what, it’s always more about _how_.

  10. leftoftheboom

    January 11, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I guess the former military individual forgot the cardinal rule of the military; Survive, Adapt, Overcome.

    Just goes to show that once of the military some can decend to become what they claim they are upset about; whine, cry, moan.

    Put on your big boy pants and deal with your tasks. If you can improve the situation, fine do so, if you cannot, let it go, join the herd and move out.

  11. Del

    January 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    I did 6 years in the military way back in the seventies. I understand how this guy feels. I have been dealing with the same thing for over 15 years in my current government job. I think out of 400 employees at our location maybe 10-15 vets. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The big boss in DC is a 20 year career veteran. He is starting to make people follow the rules. The local “leadership” are having to perform to standards that have been in place for years- they don’t like it. It is fun to watch.

  12. kirt

    January 14, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I’m actually in charge of the hiring. I’ve hired veteran and noon veteran. One of my worst associates ever was a vet. One of my current great associates is a vet. I’ve also had everything in between. I could sit here and point out flaws in every argument, but that’s pointless. We are all different and we all change and grow differently. To say that because you did one thing (serve in the military) means that all of you will do another thing well later on, is a basic denial of those basic facts.

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