The Army, Lord of the Rings, and DnD

I joined the Army so I could travel, fight, and go on adventures. Just like Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

So, this is going around:

I’m a BCT Drill Sergeant. I told my soldiers to write me a paragraph or two about why they joined the Army. I got this in my stack of papers. Really, private?


I thought that’s why everyone joined.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Montanareddog says:

    I have to say that what the Private wrote does not bother me too much. He is effectively saying that he joined the army because he is a romantic and wanted some adventure. Not such a bad motivation; better than saying because he wanted to kill people legally.

    And the joke is quite good.

  2. James H says:

    I concur with Montana. The message seems weird and dorky because the writer couched it in terms of his D&D characters and Frodo Baggins. But joining the military for adventure goes back a long, long way. And it was not that long ago that folks were implored to “Join the Navy and See the World.”

  3. scott says:

    There are worse reasons. Like staying out of jail. Or for pure material reasons, like income and healthcare. Who can say who will become a better soldier.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I think if the Srg. can’t tell when he is being set up for a joke, he should keep his day job and not seek his fortune as a stand-up comedian.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    No comment on the soldier. But I laughed at the joke…

  6. john personna says:

    The related reddit thread is here. Much humorous sharing.

  7. john personna says:


    The author is a she, which is cute too.

  8. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Sounds like Specialist Schwarz’ soul mate.

  9. Brett says:

    That’s actually pretty awesome, and similar to my motivations when I seriously considered joining the Navy.

  10. matt says:

    That’s awesome.

  11. P Lamanac says:

    She is a honor graduate from high school. She has always stood her ground on doing the “right” thing not the easy thing. She kept the house spotless and cared for her siblings as needed for 2 public safety parents. She was the first officer for the fire explorer post in the state. She came home and told me she wanted to have adventures, see places she’s never seen, she wanted to be strong of body and mind. She had joined the ARMY. She smoked her asvab and dlab she passed her top secret security clearance. Never had a ticket, never missed curfew, never in the principals office (trust me they are serious about the background checks). The US ARMY is lucky to have her and I am lucky to be the proud mom of such a wonderful, intelligent , compassionate, loving daughter. Her DS is doing a wonderful job molding her into a US soldier. Thank you for the kind comments.