While I didn't read the book I really enjoyed film by Verhoeven (people treat it as some kind of a goofy sci-film film when it's a very neat caricature of a Romanesque totalitarian regime).
That's the whole thing really. I expect the same manner of backlash. Jin joins the academy cause that's the only way for someone without cash living in the outskirts of the capital city to get an engineering degree. Vin wants to study particle physics but she can't cause that requires a grant and navy is loading some heavy money into that.
The pilots - Dandy, Hotshot, Deathwish are all pariahs and joined up cause that's the only branch of the military that can accept them. To put it in perspective - they're given fancy ice cream before they do a sortie, which for them is a big event for the first time.
This system is somehow prevalent for a long long time in 19th/early 20th century where joining up the army gave you an actual skillset you could use to boost your standings in society. Hell even Jin doesn't question that. He just questions why there is a war "over nothing" every 2 years that puts all those people in danger and wasting them. I mean it's not even spoilers because this is something that is in issue one where Vin talks with the pilots in training.