I am in New York City today for an all-day Word-of-Mouth marketing conference. We are at the end of the second session on creating buzz. It reminded me of the biggest change in the Army between my first enlistment and my current enlistment.
Back in the 70s and for time immemorial before that, the only people who spoke to the press in the Army were the Generals and designated officer spokesman. After 9-11 the Army lets any soldier talk to the press. the only restriction is that they not give future mission info and they stay in their lane. It turns out people belief young soldiers and leaders and mistrust high-ranking officers.
Anyone who served in the in the last century knows how different the perception of soldiers is now versus the old days. The Army itself has a much better public reputation than at any time since World War 2.
One big change between the post-Viet Nam army and today is the whole "I hate the Army" sentiment tht was so much a part of the old Army. To have friends, you had to hate the Army. I don't think I have heard the old acronym LIFER since I have been back: Lazy Inefficient F##kup Expecting Retirement.
People who fit the LIFER description still exist--we are govt. workers after all. But the acronym is not used to describe almost everyone who re-enlisted.