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AWOL, which is short for A Weekend Of Leisure and not, as many people believe it to be, a drill sergeant trying to pronounce the word "arsehole", is a common practice among airmen, marines, sailors, and soldiers in the military. It is where such personnel take breaks from work according to their own timetables rather than as authorized by their unit commanders.
AWOL is commited all over the World from First World to Third World countries as AWOL is a cheap and highly motivating military tactic. It is different to many other military tactics in the sense that AWOL is a decision and move that the average soldier makes and not the military commander. This is only the case thanks to the improved standards of military training and modern military strategy that allow a soldier to control minor tactically elements of a battle.
edit Rewards and Punishments
The military take the practice of AWOL very seriously. One week's worth of AWOL could land a soldier with a week's worth of solitary confinement followed by a round of the finest ale at the local "King's Arms" with your mates. In some military institutions, such as the French Army, AWOL is rewarded as an act of bravery as it takes a certain amount of courage to run away from your military duty.
In most cases AWOL is considered as a minor act of treason and so is punished accordingly through administering more brainwashing, combined with more electric shocks so as to indoctrinate the soldier even more.
edit Famous Practices of AWOL
In the late 1960s there was a huge increase in the Number of AWOLs in the US Army. The term, "We're going to 'Nam" became a synonym for "I'm going AWOL." This AWOL was said to have been due to the huge number of casualties that the US Army catering corps had inflicted on the troops in Vietnam.
In 1943, a pilot of the Japanese Airforce attempted to commit AWOL while in flight. He nose dived his plane and got ready to press the ejector seat button, however he hadn't realised that the ejector seat hadn't been invented yet. So he climbed out of his cockpit and jumped into the sea. His body was never found and on this basis the Guiness Book of World Records will not count the event as an official AWOL.
When Robert Falcon Scott led an expedition to the South Pole to get their first, his men did not suceed and he was forced to return home knowing that he had only got to the South Pole second. On the way back Lawrence Oates left his position of duty by walking outside his tent in the middle of the night and never returned. Scott commented in his diary, "Damn this expedition. It turns such fine men into AWOLers."
edit Draft Dodging
A draft dodger differs from an AWOL fighting man or one who has missed a bowel movement. He is a man who has circumvented or otherwise avoided being drafted into the military, usually the army. Favourite draft dodges include relocating to another country without leaving a forwarding address, fraudulently claiming conscientious objector status, and pretending you are too mentally ill to join the Army by jumping off a cliff (although this tactic is less commonly used).
Although some people consider dodging the draft to be morally problematic, it has not damaged most men's careers, and many famous people were draft dodgers, including Bill Clinton, George Bush and Mother Teresa.
JWOP stands for "Joining WithOut Permission." It is the opposite of AWOL, where civilians attempt to do anything so that they can get into the army. Usually the army will not let them in in the first place as they have a mental or physical disability that would impede them from being very useful to the military after joining up.
JWOPers try many tactics to attempt to get into the army. These tactics include displaying an appropriate level of insanity and trying to shoot as many innocent civilians as possible. After these have been tried, more desperate attempts include signing up to work for the navy laundry service and then grabbing hold of a gun in a time of battle.