A life with purpose

I’ve blogged more than once about the fact that, when I meet with people in the military, they seem to have a purpose and meaning in their lives that I don’t often see in other people.  I’m not the only one who figured that out.  A very popular young actress in England joined the WRENS for precisely that reason:

Ten years ago, she was one of the hottest properties in British acting after making her screen debut opposite Ray Winstone.

Later success inspired the band McFly to write a song about her and in 2006 she made the big move to Hollywood

But now Emily Corrie has decided that her future lies on the ocean wave: as a Royal Navy sailor.


Miss Corrie, best known as a rebellious teenager in the Channel 4 drama As If, says she made the switch because she was disillusioned with acting.


‘To be an actress in LA is demoralising,’ said Miss Corrie, who is engaged to a sailor.

‘It brought about the realisation that I didn’t want to be in the industry any more.

‘Glamorous as the film industry is, it can be boring and you can become lazy waiting around.

‘I never wanted to be a leading lady and decided I just wanted a normal life. The Royal Navy seemed the obvious choice for me.


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  • CollegeCon

    Well, at least someone in England still has guts and self respect.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I applaud her attitude and courage in changing the status quo of her life.

    However, I predict that the Royal Navy is worse off even than the US Navy in terms of political correctness and indentured to causes and powers that seek not to build up the capabilities of the individual or of the service, but to simply turn the service into another corrupt social economy based upon rules, regulations, influence, and CYA practices.

    As the Iranian hostage situation presented, the one for Brits that is, the Royal Navy is not out to protect such ephemeral concepts as duty or honor. Their sailors aren’t trained with it in mind, and those that would naturally seek to do so, are hamstrung by rules and regulations.

    If only this was a single isolated incidence, like the US’s Mogadishu, but it isn’t. The British behavior, of their infantry branches even, in Basrah and Afghanistan have been riddled with political deal making and corruption, at the expense of the basic military security mission they were tasked to uphold and maintain.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    Don’t even get me started on Prince Harry’s service with the infantry in Afghanistan.

    A nation worth the sacrifice of their young men and women would hail the Prince’s duty, honor, and public service. They would pride themselves on having a warrior prince, one able to not just give commands to others, but to do the killing himself, without intermediaries. Instead, the Brits shun those that protect themselves or others. They create laws that enable crime and criminal behavior at the expense of home owners and peaceful citizens.

    It is a total disgrace. And it is not getting any better with the demographic bomb.

    These cancerous arms of subversion can be seen by me as spreading in our nation as well as theirs.

  • Oldflyer

    I hope it works for her.

    I don’t know what the Royal Navy’s position is on women aboard ship. I do know that life at sea can be pretty boring; it is certainly confining (unless you get to fly their airplanes). To get an interesting enlisted job, afloat or ashore, you have to commit for a fairly long enlistment to justify the schooling. So, it will be interesting to see how this goes.

  • colorless.blue.ideas

    As a retired naval officer (submariner), I wish Ms. Corrie the best. I have generally been impressed with the Brits I’ve met: not quite up to USN standards (IMNSHO: :-) ), but very good. Michael Yon has nothing but good to say about the Brit soldiers he’s embedded with.

    If I may react to the statement, “when I meet with people in the military, they seem to have a purpose and meaning in their lives that I don’t often see in other people.” I personally don’t think that it is the military which necessarily gives “purpose and meaning” to someone’s life: it just makes it easier and more difficult to escape.

    Anyone who’s been on active duty know that there are purposeless no-loads in the military–some of whom even stay in and retire. Perhaps “purposeless” is too strong a word: they have a purpose, and it is to keep as cushy a job as possible until retirement. I think the military–and especially their comrades–tries to get rid of such people, but it is difficult. OTOH, the percentage is smaller than in the civilian world, if my observation counts for anything.

    Similarly, I’ve met many civilians with “purpose and meaning in their lives”. When I started writing this post, I was about to say that the difference between them and the military was only in degree. Upon reflection, I think there is a difference in most cases.

    I think that this difference may be reflected in the word “service”, in the sense of “serving others”. Traditionally, this refers to service to the nation or the people as a community—and that is part of it. However, it also involves service under the command of “the officers appointed over” you, and, equally-if-not-more demanding, serving those under your command to ensure that their service is not wasted. Police and firefighters have a similar endowment, although, IMNSHO, good police officers have the most difficult row to hoe.

    Anyway, thanks again, Bookworm. You often make me think. That itself gives “purpose and meaning” to what you do.

    Thank you and God bless!