The Cost of Change By D.I. Jolly

“Good morning cadets! My name, is Staff Sargent Ironsides. Now, it has already been pointed out to me that due to my greying temples people seem to think my name is funny. Let me be the first to inform you, that it is not! Is that clear?”

“Sir! Yes sir!”

“Good. Now it is my job to train you people over the next six months, and turn you into the best possible versions of yourselves. But Sarg, I hear you say, the man on the television told me that the war needed more soldiers as soon as possible, and that it was my duty to enlist and run off to fight the enemy and become a hero. Well let me tell you that most of that is true, there is a war, and we do need soldiers. So why six months of training I hear you ask again. Because, we need soldiers who are going to survive. We don’t need people to pick up a gun they don’t know how to use and run off into the line of fire. So, it is also a part of my job to make sure you learn how to survive this war. I want to be able to send you home in a chair and not in a bucket or a bag. But please, do not get the wrong impression, before you start writing home telling your mommy, that the army isn’t as bad as you thought, and that you believe your feelings are going to be well looked after here, let me be the first to pop that bubble. Let me make one thing very clear. For the next four years, the army is going to feed you, house you and clothe you. That, costs, money. If you die that money is wasted. Furthermore, bullets, cost, money. If you fire 30 rounds and hit nothing, that money is wasted. That money that in theory could be used to rebuild the country after we’re done here. The army is not interested in your feeling, the army isn’t interested in your mommies’ feelings. We’re not keeping you alive because we like you, we’re keeping you alive because it’s cheaper than training new people. On a personal level, I too would like to get back to the battlefield, and I can’t do that if I have to keep coming back to boot camp. So, I’d take it as a personal favour if you’d do your best to learn what I have to tell you, and stay alive so that I don’t have to replace you. Do you understand?”

“Sir! Yes sir!”

“Good, now your beds are in that building and I will come get you for dinner in 3 hours. So be ready or run the hill!”

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