Good points and applicable throughout life. Any invented entity doesn't *really* exist. People exist and it is people who shape a given circumstance. In that light, no, no entity can be exclusively one thing or another.
But these invented things, a country, a military organization, a Sunday brunch steering committee all are invented for a *purpose*. A group of people get together to decide what is the best way to accomplish a specific purpose and create an organization to accomplish it. The members of the organization that drive that organizational thinking, their thoughts and beliefs, direct the purpose of that organization. The policies enacted by an organization (in this case feeding, clothing, and training a soldier) are self-serving even if they also might have an ancillary benefit to the soldier. The army isn't in the business of creating good citizens, it's in the business of completing specific objectives by any means. The treatment of the soldier are a means to that end exclusively.
I don't know. You make good points in this article.
There are 300 million Americans milling around :- ) but when we add a Constitution, a flag, a territory, a set of laws, a tax system, we have a Nation.
There is the U.S. Senate, which forms when a gavel bangs, and there are U.S. Senators who go home and, apparently, work out with P90X. That entity "U.S. Senate" exists.
That Senate, as an entity, "believes" in certain things, has a mission, correct? It's not to fly to the moon or perform abortions or win the American League pennant. It's to uphold the Constitution and provide expediencies toward life, liberty and happiness. The Senate's "purpose" is identifiable.
That the Army is NOT in the business of creating good men, I'll have to take the other side on that one. Bat571, Lonnie, and others will take the other side also (as far as their branches go!).
It isn't Staff Sgt. Romesha alone who believes in Loyalty, Duty, and Honor. Those are institutionalized Army Core Values.
To the extent the Army, as an institution, believes anything, it believes in Loyalty, Duty and Honor just like it believes in winning wars. Ask the Servicemembers.
You can say that it's in the Army's own interest to create men of good character, and you'd be right. But it's in my own interest to make a good man out of my son. It's in my own interest to send cash to poor people in the Philippines; I get self-esteem out of it, right?
... if I CHOOSE to sourly deny all my fellow human beings any credit for anything they do -- because you CAN always argue that I was self-motivated! -- then where will I end up?
If I were to speak to the goals of military duty toward the individual, I'd be speaking from ignorance. I can defer to those who have served in this case. To those who have served, are Loyalty, Duty, and Honor instilled to make you a better person or because it would make you a better soldier?