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Old 10-20-2007, 04:33 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Gangsters in the Military?

A few weeks ago, I was watching some show on CNN and the subject was about gangs in Los Angeles. It wasn't well-done, but there was an interview with a young guy who didn't seem like a terrible, sick person.

His big dream was to join the Marines. "I would rather die a hero than... you know..... die a statistic."

He was not eligible to join the military because he had a felony. In a shot of irony, they showed the downtown sky-line with his voice-over saying "there's no where to go."

I always believed that one thing that helps gangs thrive is that the members have never seen much more than their neighborhood. They are able to know that there is a larger world out there, but I don't think that they can conceptually grasp what that means. Perhaps joining the military would show them a larger world than what they are used to, but going to fight in Iraq is probably not a great way to "see other stuff."

But can the military be a "way out?" If the the gangs were disbursed throughout the country, would the problem persist if a Crip was forced to live next to a Blood in Smalltown, USA. What if these same guys were forced to trust each other with weapons and fight with each other? Is it a stretch to even trust these guys with weapons. Don't they have a larger, more unglamorous, grasp of what weapons are than some kid playing Halo?

I have heard that some gangs are actually sending members to the military to train their ranks. I wonder how many of these people are reformed, when after two years, they see that people of certain race aren't that racist, that certain people have respect, and that they have some kind of opportunity?

Can the military be used to reform the lowest and most violent classes of our society?
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2007, 05:02 PM
tarheeljks tarheeljks is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

[ QUOTE ]
I always believed that one thing that helps gangs thrive is that the members have never seen much more than their neighborhood.

[/ QUOTE ]

the idea of getting out of the neighborhood would certainly be appealing, but i think that would only be a secondary factor. gangs appeal to their members in that they provide a sense of community, protection, worth/pride, etc. the military can also provide these benefits, but people can join gangs long before they can join the military.



[ QUOTE ]
But can the military be a "way out?" If the the gangs were disbursed throughout the country, would the problem persist if a Crip was forced to live next to a Blood in Smalltown, USA. What if these same guys were forced to trust each other with weapons and fight with each other? Is it a stretch to even trust these guys with weapons. Don't they have a larger, more unglamorous, grasp of what weapons are than some kid playing Halo?

[/ QUOTE ]

if they were normal neighbors in smalltown, usa the feud is likely to follow the gangsters, but being in the same reserve troop battalion for the us military would/should transcend the gang ties. same thing on the battlefield-- i imagine that the two groups would set aside their differences even if only in the sense that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." as long as they are voluntarily entering the military, trusting them should not be too much of an issue. psychologically many gang members may be more suited for combat than other civilians. however, i don't think it's a great idea to just use the military as a default reform center.
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2007, 05:26 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

[ QUOTE ]

if they were normal neighbors in smalltown, usa the feud is likely to follow the gangsters, but being in the same reserve troop battalion for the us military would/should transcend the gang ties. same thing on the battlefield-- i imagine that the two groups would set aside their differences even if only in the sense that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." as long as they are voluntarily entering the military, trusting them should not be too much of an issue. psychologically many gang members may be more suited for combat than other civilians. however, i don't think it's a great idea to just use the military as a default reform center.

[/ QUOTE ]

I am not to sure. Most people end there gang activities when they start reaching 30. Perhaps military would help speed up that process.

The military has recruiters in all of the inner-city schools. I personally stand against them. But it seems like the government is trying to us the military as a "default reform center" or maybe they are trying to use the military to extinguish the problem.
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2007, 05:47 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

Just guessing, but I'm not sure many gang members have the discipline necessary for the armed services. They may call themselves warriors or whatever, but the difference is vast. I'd guess a lot of them are in gangs in the first place because they don't have the discipline to put up with crap in order to achieve long-term goals. Getting up at 2 or 5 p.m. to start your day and telling people, "You can't tell me!" isn't going to go over big, either. I guess I think gangs nourish and encourage a lot of what the armed services try to extinguish, and they call for opposite mind sets in some ways.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2007, 06:08 PM
tarheeljks tarheeljks is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

[ QUOTE ]
I'd guess a lot of them are in gangs in the first place because they don't have the discipline to put up with crap in order to achieve long-term goals.

[/ QUOTE ]

i think you are overlooking the fact that a lot of these people are joining gangs as kids and often times the guidance that would steer them in another direction is absent. how many pre-adolescent/adolescents would stay the course in the educational system if not for their parents bearing down on them? yes, at some point they come to the realization that getting an education will go a long way towards success, but somewhere along the line they got that push. generally we are not talking about adults who decide to go fight b/c they are old enough to do it as it is in the military. i'm confident that if the options were to join a gang or the military most would choose to enter the military.

the "you can't tell me" attitude exists towards presumed oppression. i'm not arguing that the attitude is justified, but i believe it could be molded to fit the mission of the military relatively easily.


i don't think the difference is as vast as you may think. soldiers and gang members seek to accomplish very different goals, but they operate in similar fashions. gangs nurture and value some of the traits that the military does, albeit in an unconventional setting. pride, conformity, and discipline are a part of functioning within a gang just as they are important to the military. i'm not saying i revere gang members or that i believe they are honorable , but they are "soldiers" in their own right.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2007, 06:08 PM
MiloMinderbinder MiloMinderbinder is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

[ QUOTE ]
Gang activity on the rise in the ranks

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Aug 29, 2007 5:48:26 EDT

Recent reports by the FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command show that gang-related activity in the U.S. military is increasing. The FBI report concludes the increase poses a threat to law enforcement officials and national security.
Read the FBI report

Some experts point to looser recruiting standards, implemented in recent years as the Army struggles to meet recruiting goals, and the increase in waivers given to recruits with criminal records as a factor behind gang presence in the ranks.

Each year since 2003, an increasing number of applicants with records of everything from traffic violations to felony convictions have been allowed to enlist in the Army under “moral waivers.” In fiscal 2006, 7.9 percent of all recruits received moral waivers, compared with 4.6 percent in 2003, according to Recruiting Command.

So far this year, more than 9,000 recruits have received moral waivers to join the service. That’s 11 percent of all new enlistees in fiscal 2007, which ends Sept. 30.

[/ QUOTE ]

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/20...ports_070827w/

[ QUOTE ]
Testimony reveals location of gang beating
By Steve Mraz, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Sgt. Juwan Johnson was beaten July 3, 2005, at a pavilion near Hohenecken by more than six individuals for six to eight minutes during an initiation into the Gangster Disciples, according to witness testimony Monday.

The testimony, which detailed for the first time where the fatal beating took place, came during a joint Article 32 hearing for Pvt. Terrence A. Norman and Sgt. Rodney H. Howell. Both soldiers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, hazing, aggravated assault, conspiracy to violate Army policy on hazing and making a false official statement, stemming from the beating death of Johnson. Norman faces an additional charge of obstruction of justice.

Johnson, 25, of the 66th Transportation Company was found dead July 4, 2005, in his barracks room on Kleber Kaserne.

Criminal Investigation Command Special Agent Charles Sanchez testified Monday that Pfc. Latisha Ellis showed him and other investigators recently where the alleged “jumping in” ceremony for Johnson took place on July 3, 2005.

[/ QUOTE ]

http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?...p;archive=true

[ QUOTE ]
FBI Probes Military Gangs
Chicago Tribune | May 03, 2006
The FBI has assigned an agent to monitor any connections between U.S. Soldiers and a Chicago-based gang alliance, federal agents said.

Of particular concern are reports that the Folk Nation, consisting of more than a dozen gangs in the Chicago area, is placing young members in the military in an effort to gather information about weapons and tactics, said FBI Special Agent Andrea Simmons, who is based in El Paso, Texas.

"Our understanding is that they find members without a criminal history so that they can join, and once they get out, they will have a new set of skills that they can apply to criminal enterprises," Simmons said. "This could be a concern for any law enforcement agency that has to deal with gangs on a daily basis."

[/ QUOTE ]

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,96056,00.html

More:

http://stripes.com/07/feb07/gangs/gangs1.html
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2007, 06:34 PM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

I've seen the "You can't tell me" attitude among kids and punks not toward oppression but just as a means of asserting dominance and irritable stubbornness. What kind of oppression are you talking about, anyway? Lots of gangsters and punks live in neighborhoods where they barely see other races, and they certainly don't spare each other from their hostility. When they get outside them, they sometimes bring their hostility with them, and vent it where it's inappropriate and even absurd. Not cueing in to reality isn't a skill set that seems transferable to military purposes, unless you it's simple aggression you think is something with some utility. I'd disagree there, too. In the military, tons of people are going to "tell you," and you'd damn well better listen, too. The last thing anyone wants to hear is any of some kid's loud-mouthed crap, I'm sure.

I very much object to the idea of gangsters as soldiers. Soldiers aren't supposed to kill civilians, and it's very much a dishonor, not to mention sometimes a legal matter, to do so. Gang members are more of the "I spray em from babies to 80's" mind set. Civilians being preyed on is a matter of course, and for some a daily occurence, and not just by mistake either. A gangster is absolutely not comparable to a soldier in discipline or morality.

Regarding "getting that push" to do better by yourself, I'm talking about the end product, not how they got there. By the time military age comes around, a person's character is very hard to undo anyway. It's a little late to start childhoood over again and become a different person. Besides, a parent can push all they want, but some kids just won't have it.

A more legitimate reason for joining a gang than the lack of encouragement from parents is that it's pretty much the only social outlet that has any appeal, and kids are all about conformity. Standing apart from the crowd, whether or not you get the occasional beating for it, is very hard for kids. In that case, joining a gang is probably far easier than not joining one, and solves a host of social worries. Many gang members are multi-generational and belong to extended social networks comprising almost entirely gang members and their families, and the idea of alternatives isn't really one that's easy to imagine, let alone consider, in the their environments.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2007, 06:53 PM
daveT daveT is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

What do you think about the military recruitment in inner city schools. Why are they doing it, and why aren't they doing it in regular schools? Isn't this a form of social cleansing?

Gangs are effective for the definition of their label. Alone, a gang member is usually nothing to be afraid of, and usually nothing that is hard to fight. It is unlikely that you have fighting skills when you are used to grabbing five friends and jumping on one person. A little chump mouthing off at a drill instructor is probably going to be very tired at the end of the day. Military seems to be showing who the Alpha is. Few gang members are Alpha, they are used to following.

It seems like many of the social reform programs are about taking out that aggression and using it, sometimes in violent matters. Boxing and Crunking being two examples.

Milo, your stuff is interesting as well. How large of a problem is it when it is a small number of people never learn? I agree that there is little want to have these kids learning how to shoot correctly running around on the street.
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2007, 07:39 PM
Duke Duke is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]

if they were normal neighbors in smalltown, usa the feud is likely to follow the gangsters, but being in the same reserve troop battalion for the us military would/should transcend the gang ties. same thing on the battlefield-- i imagine that the two groups would set aside their differences even if only in the sense that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." as long as they are voluntarily entering the military, trusting them should not be too much of an issue. psychologically many gang members may be more suited for combat than other civilians. however, i don't think it's a great idea to just use the military as a default reform center.

[/ QUOTE ]

I am not to sure. Most people end there gang activities when they start reaching 30. Perhaps military would help speed up that process.

The military has recruiters in all of the inner-city schools. I personally stand against them. But it seems like the government is trying to us the military as a "default reform center" or maybe they are trying to use the military to extinguish the problem.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm pretty sure they're using the existence of people with completely worthless lives as a good pool of potential recruits. I'm positive it has nothing to do with using the military to cure social problems.
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2007, 10:31 PM
LonesomeFugitive LonesomeFugitive is offline
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Default Re: Gangsters in the Military?

I saw a clip about this from some news show. The gangbangers in the military are like any other soldier. Their officers don't care and don't report them because they're doing a good job.

Iraq has the toughest "hoods" in the world (baghdad, ramadi, mosul, fallujah etc etc). It is only logical we send guys from the hoods from America to try and take control of the hoods there. Only the toughest of the tough survive in Iraq and this is why gangbangers make good soldiers, they are already tough before their training.

We should send all undesirables to fight our wars.
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