I hear the word unfair a lot. I work in a school and to kids lots of things are unfair. How four square is played by their peers is a big one. Homework is another. The word unfair reaches my ear at least once a day usually.
Recently I have heard deployment referred to as "unfair". This really got me to thinking...Unfair as opposed to what???
Unfair as opposed to civilians who do not have to deploy? Well, sure, but the fact of the matter is that if you CHOOSE(and it is a choice) to join the military(and I will be focusing on Army as that is my life), you can expect to be deployed. The purpose of the army is to defend the country. That means going somewhere to fight. Right now it is in another country(and let's keep it that way!). If you join the army and think you will not be deployed, then you are living in ignorance. I have heard people say they recruiter assured them that with their MOS they would not have to deploy, but that is either a lie or just plain ignorance. The majority of soldiers deploy. Even soldiers who have been in for years and years and never had to deploy are finding that now they deploy. It is a fact of army life. a sucky, part, but a necessary part.
There was an insistence though that the fact of the matter was that it was unfair that someone was deploying. So let's look at how this is unfair and the alternatives.
I hear a lot that it is unfair to children for one(or sometimes both) of their parents to be deployed. In the case of both parents, yes that is unfair and the alternative would be staggered deployments. However, the majority is only one parent deployed. So, if this is unfair, the alternative would be that no soldiers with children should deploy, only childless soldiers. Is that any more fair? No.
Spouses complain that it is unfair for their spouse to deploy. So, should only unmarried soldiers deploy? Well, some soldiers are in committed relationships and it is unfair to their significant other. So, then should we only deploy single soldiers(with no kids, of course)? Is that fair? No.
I don't really think you can characterize deployment as being ufair because there is not anything contrary to make it fair. Except not joining the military.
There are plenty of things about the Army that can be unfair(believe me, I have encountered quite a few), but I really do not believe that deployment is one of them. It is just a way of army life and you deal with it.