I want our troops to have the best equipment they can, but I also believe that our possession of the best military equipment makes us more likely to go to war.Military technology continues to grow more lethal, and technological developments create a never-ending cycle of military escalation. To this day I still weigh the ethical dilemma of my summer work.It’s even possible that my work would be saving lives, not endangering them.
Were I to not do the job, the vehicle components would still be produced.
Also, the parts I was making were for support vehicles, not assault weaponry.
What I learned about myself during my summer work wasn’t exactly flattering.
Indeed, it makes me realize that I need college so that I can develop not just my engineering skills, but also my ethical reasoning and leadership skills.
Within hours of beginning my new job, I learned that my father’s friend was a subcontractor for the military.
The components I’d be making would be used in military vehicles.
Drew's essay has a pleasing level of self awareness and self criticism. He is disturbed by his decision, and his essay explores his inner conflicts.
Drew is not perfect—none of us are—and he is refreshingly up front about this fact. Also, Drew's essay isn't just about his faulty decision.
I’m convinced that even the most innocent involvement in the science of war makes one complicit in war itself. Were I true to my ideals, I really should have walked away and spent the summer mowing lawns or bagging groceries. They made valid points about the value of the experience and the ways that it would lead to bigger opportunities in the future. My summer job made me recognize that the military is a big employer of engineers, whether directly or indirectly.
In the end I kept the job, partly from my parents’ advice and partly from my own desire to be doing real engineering work. I didn’t want to let a professional opportunity slip away. Undoubtedly I’ll be confronting similar yet more serious ethical decisions in the future.