Webster's defines service as: "[from the Latin servitium condition of a slave, body of slaves, fr. Servus slave]. 1 a: the occupation or function of serving b: employment as a servant 2 a: the work performed by one that serves < good ~> b: help, use; disposal for use 6 b: one of a nation's military forces."
These definitions embody a concept that falls strangely on today's ears. Being a slave is not at all enticing or relevant in modern society. Employment as a servant is considered demeaning. The concept of subordinating one's needs, priorities, or philosophies to another individual or to anything other than self-is becoming increasingly foreign. It is rare to hear military members identify themselves as being "in the service." Instead, they describe their occupations in more socially attractive terms. "I'm a pilot," they say, or "I'm in the military." This growing disparity between identification with the concept of selfless service and the rising supremacy of self is dangerous in a profession in which the fundamental operating methodology and the accomplishment of the profession's ultimate purpose demand an ability to subordinate self.