The real-life concept of “retirement” is a permanent departure from a position but within the army community, it is almost seen as temporary, leaving the door open to future comebacks.
Within the army community, we have seen many members come and go. However, many use the phrase “retirement” as a flexible ideology which connotes a departure from a current position, disregarding whatever may happen in the future. With that said, it’s not uncommon for retired members to announce their own comebacks. In some cases, it is seen multiple times across an army career. But why exactly is this the case?
Over the years, we’ve seen many leaders and army members retire from their respective armies or retire from the community altogether. However, most of them return when they are needed the most. The Rebel Penguin Federation is one army which is known for its domination in tournaments. Despite this, they are also known for their considerably large pool of veterans.
The “call to arms” in armies for tournaments and wars sees vets and former leaders from all over coming back to fight. Recently, the Rebels participated in the March Madness tournament, which saw veterans such as F6sixer return. F6sixer is a former league admin and army leader; he retired from the Rebels’ leadership in August 2022. However, he returned for the recent tournament to support his former army.
The support of veterans is not only seen within the Rebels’ army but it’s seen in many armies across the community. Not only do some return for wars and tournaments, but some also take an active place in the advisory of the army. A notable name is Mchappy as he advises the Army of Club Penguin to this day despite not leading the army anymore. With that said, he is a key figure within the army and within the community.
Are former members truly former members? Or are they just sitting on the bench, waiting to be brought onto the field when tournaments take place or wars arise?
Nostalgia is a feeling of sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. For retired people in our community, nostalgia can have a huge impact if they are revisiting the community and reminiscing about their past with active members or other retired friends. It is a powerful emotion that has brought many veterans back into the community.
Intrinsically linked to the emotion of nostalgia, is the inability to let go of something that you cared so much about, and worked so hard for. An interesting example of this was recently discussed by army legend and Water Vikings veteran, Kingfunks4. Since the reopening of the Water Vikings several years ago, he had been on their panel of guardians and remained the Discord server owner.
He confessed he struggled to relinquish this position for another dedicated veteran, Aaronstone42, as the army and his time there had such a profound and important impact on him. He did admit it was the right decision, but nevertheless, the powerful emotion of nostalgia made it even more difficult to come to terms with and allow him to really move on.
The Desire for New Opportunities
The desire for new opportunities isn’t a new concept. However, it is a concept which brings retired people back into the community or back into armies. For a rare few, leaving an army is hard to do so, when they retire, they don’t move on elsewhere. But if an opportunity occurs where they can reinsert themselves into the army then the idea may sound promising. Especially if the army has a great team with big ambitions.
Although, not many actually do stay with the same army for all of their army careers. While departures from an army can come in different shapes and sizes, the prospect of having a new start can seem appealing. Not only would they be having a new start but their past experiences can also help them in their new ventures. Experience is valuable to armies especially when you’re wanting to join as an experienced head. With that being said, it lessens the likelihood of having to start from the bottom within an army. When an army has great potential, desire can kick in and make individuals want to take a chance.
The desire for new opportunities comes not only from within armies but also outside in leagues and media organisations. The chance to be a part of something bigger within the community can be seen as a big prospect. Not only would they be helping the people within the organisations but they would be benefiting the entire community. Positions are open in many areas whether it be reporting, graphics, advisory or even event planning. Some retired people even go on to become admins of organisations, trying to make their mark on the community. Is the desire for new opportunities the biggest reason why members never retire?
It may seem strange to consider our attachment to this community as an addiction. After all, addiction is a strong word that denotes comparisons to real-life and very serious conditions, such as substance and alcohol abuse.
However, in the context of this discussion, addiction is in reference to an unhealthy attachment and engagement in a behaviour or activity that may result in negative consequences. There is so much good in our community, but we also know that it can become toxic and detrimental to a person’s mental health in many situations.
Some community members are drawn to the community for the excitement of controversies, the competitive nature of wars and conflicts, or even the desire for power and “greatness”. However, some wars can become toxic with personal insults and the threat of doxxing being common occurrences over the years. Others have admitted to using the community as an outlook from their chaotic personal lives – a coping mechanism that distracts from unresolved issues.
The inability to remove yourself from this situation, and to stay in a cycle of toxicity, is a form of addiction that is unhealthy. But as with any form of addiction, it’s a hard thing to break. The dopamine and adrenaline released in our brain when engaging in high-drama situations, over time, condition us to stay in a constant cycle of craving – whether we realise or even fully understand it is happening.
Of course, not every person that retires from the community returns. Over the years, there have been many faces that have never returned, even when the worldwide lockdown from COVID-19 saw many veterans return to the community. The Bluesockwa Brothers departed in 2017 with the shutdown of the CP Army Central and did not return to future media organisations. Boomer20, despite being aware of the Army of CP’s arrival, was the only ACP Panel of Guardians not to return to the Discord server.
To conclude, while many people will take leaves and have valid reasons for doing so, these leaves are very different from actual retirements in real life. However, there are plenty of reasons why members’ leaves may not be definite. Whether it be because of an addiction to the game, yearning for more, nostalgia or simply because an army calls them, the community draws people back in. Should the phrase “retirement” be renamed? Do people ever actually retire? What goes through people’s minds upon returning? Do you agree with anything we’ve stated in the post?