To me freedom means not having to ask permission to do an act that hurts no one. Being able to buy from anyone and sell to others without asking for a permission slip on bended knee. Being able to to speak my mind without fear of reprisal from an Inspector General, Equal Opportunity Leader, Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Coordinator, etc.
But I can't do that. The only place where I am free to speak my mind is here where I blog anonymously, or in my private correspondence that the NSA data mines for potentially useful intel. There are always consequences to actions, and one of the consequences of speaking your mind is that you can lose your job for it. Had I brought up in my place of employment the facts that blacks in America tend to have an IQ clustered around 85 I could be disciplined for creating a "hostile work environment" and possibly discharged from the service.
Never mind that the context could be inner city school reform or cultural relevance to intelligence, if someone is offended then the only standard that applies is "the reasonable person standard." Unfortunately I have seen the writing on the wall, and "reasonable people" elected a Democrat majority to Congress and the White House in 2008. Reasonable people are idiots.
In this day, only unreasonable people make sense. Ron Paul makes sense, his foreign policy stance makes me cringe sometime, but no one can deny the facts behind what he says. Facts are a really good judge of truth, there is nothing "reasonable" about facts. Facts can be insulting, insensitive, or even cold. But facts are facts, and feelings are NOT facts. How a reasonable person feels about my opinions, thoughts, and worldview could determine my fate should anyone ever be offended by them.
So I am personally not free, and I knew that coming into my job that this would be the case. However, over the course of my career I've come to appreciate freedom more and more. And I have come to see how a culture of fear of stepping out of line has created an Officer Corps that only one Lieutenant Colonel had the guts to say straight up that Obama isn't a legitimate President.
Given the facts that I know, there are at best serious doubts about the legitimacy of the President from a Constitutional standpoint. I am not saying that the President is illegitimate or legitimate, I'm saying that I don't speak my mind where anyone can hear because it could cost me my job. While it may seem like I've sold my soul for a paycheck, having uncompromising morals doesn't put food on the table.
If there is a smart, motivated individual who wants to join the US military to learn some combat skills and they have ANY other option, right now I hope they take the any other option. Spending some of your hard earned cash on a commando school taught by veterans would be a more profitable use of your time than going through basic training/OSUT/AIT Ranger school, etc. You don't need to know how to lead a platoon in the dark while starving, or shiver on the beach until you look forward to having your buddy piss on you for warmth in order to become an effective and disciplined warrior. Don't get me wrong, there are some things you learn about yourself in those situations that you won't learn any other way, but I don't think the juice is worth the squeeze.
Want to be a better shot than 99% of the Armed Forces? Shoot High Power and 3-Gun matches. Inside of a year you'll be better than 99% of the Armed Forces. Want to get really good at CQB? Take up paintball or airsoft and watch some Youtube videos. Want to be able to sabotage train tracks like WWII Commandos? Study for your commercial explosives license.
All the potential useful skills you think you want are available in open source products and commercial schools. It used to be that the military was a great place to get training while you got a paycheck (still can be if you go into it knowing the full story) but right now I can't in good conscience tell anyone to enlist.
Be unreasonable. If you ain't hurting anyone fuck them for thinking they have any say in your actions or interactions.