T O P I C R E V I E W
||This is going to be a rant so if you have something better to do; Go do it!|
Everyone involved in the military has had, at some time in their lives, an emotional investment so great and sincere that they are beyond the 'normal' human being and is more than capable of destroying what ever threat may occur to change that feeling. I call that Pride.
Everyone involved in the military has had a switch flicked or a button pushed that will cause them to do what few other human beings are capable of, no matter the cost up to and including the lives of their friends/peers/brothers in arms to include their own lives. I call that Honour
Everyone that is successfull in the military has developed an inner commitee that is the directing force of their lives and the lives that depend on them as leaders or followers. I call that Integrity.
Why are there so few Warriors left in our Armed Services?
We don't need them ... now.
They will be gone by the time they are needed again.
It has been more than half a century since the last time the 'call' went out for the young men and women of this country to stand between civilization and tyranny. Two entire generations since the last time a warrior has had to be created but we always had vets to show us the true paths in the ways of a warrior. They are all but gone now.
I know that this will fall on many deaf ears but there is a small hope within me that demands that this bequest of an Old Soldier be acknowledged and that Warriors be created in his place; with Pride, Honour and Integrity.
Dileas Gu Brath
||Thanks MB for putting into words something I've been thinking about for a year or two. You put the paint on the canvas.|
Anyway I was having a discussion on recruiting success and QL/2 failures with my Battle Captain. He said we should stop emphasizing the pay and benefits of the CF REserve and move instead to search out those individuals that would join the reserve as an expression of deep patriotism and love of their country. In our conversation we began to talk about the Regimental Family and the bonds formed from being brothers-in-arms. Kinship, duty, loyalty, putting mission befor self, and ethical behavior(chivalry) If it is anywhere I believe it is still in the individuals of units in the CF. Search them out--they are easy to find because they stand out-- everyone wants to be like them.
Has any one got any good reading on this topic or know of an individual we could e-mail this to by way of encouragement?
||Some may think the distinction silly, but I prefer the "soldier" ethos to that of the "warrior". Rightly or wrongly, the latter now carries with it some undesirable attributes.
||I'm with MB and the good major on this one. Too many people are putting money and career advancement before things more important like honour and intregity.
||Master Blaster, interesting and thought provoking post. It harkens a romantic image of the soldier of yester year that when a nation is faced with peril its Warriors will heed the bugle call and fight for the common good of Canada?|
Are Warriors only created during war? Is there a warrior ethos? Were the veterans of WWI, WWII, Korea the only warriors? What about the Cold War Warriors? Modern day Peacekeepers/PeaceMakers called upon by the people of Canada to enable the soft power agenda of Lloyd Axworthy?
Pride, Honour and Integrity are all attributes worthy of a warrior. Do you not feel pride when you stand in front of your soldiers? Do you not feel the honour of being Canadian in the war torn lands of the Balkans? Finally do you not have the best interests of you soldiers at the heart of your integrity? Are we really that far away from these attributes?
I've heard many lament the poor attitudes of our youth toward our nation and that our capability to mount a national mobilization on the scale of WWI and WWII would be impossible in todays environment. I don't buy this at all. There are many good people in Canadain society and when the call comes again in the future, they will be their as their forefathers were before them.
Was the soldier on the beaches of Dieppe a warrior? Or was he scared, frightened, in a state of shock at how inhumane man can be to man? What kept him going? A warrior ethos? Or did he simply follow the rest of his brothers at arms into the hellish fury because there was no where else to go?
Gordon Angus Mackinlay
||Ladies and Gentlemen,|
I am in agreement with the gentleman who has negative feelings on the term "Warrior". I have been involved for the past 40 years (starting from Boys Service in the British Army) with soldiering in one form or the other, and have seen a number of "two way rifle ranges", both as a participant and as a peacekeeper/observor. To I, the term "warrior" brings out such as the Nazi SS, the uniformed thugs in Lebanon, and the Former Yugoslavia, the madness of armed men and women in Sierra Leone and Somalia.
While the term "soldier" brings to mind the rifle platoon of 23 Royal Welch Fusiliers, they in the tradition of their regiment, their response to their leaders, and their natural comradeship to their mates, resulting in a sense of duty which protected 1600 Muslims from over 820 heavily armed Serb 'Warriors", whilst only a few miles away a 800 strong battalion of Dutch "Warriors" as they proudly called themselves from the Airmobile Brigade (a regular unit of the Dutch Army), handed over 7,000 Muslim males to the Serbian "Warriors" to be butchered.
I had been present when the Bn CO of the 13th Bn of the Airmobile Bde, stated that the "toy soldiers" of the British, were nowhere as good as the "fighting Warrior" that the modern Dutch Army empified! His officers in total agreement.
There is no doubt in my mind as to who are the real "soldiers". Over the years, I have found that the only people in any country that talks about "Warriors", are those who have never been on a two way rifle range. Also be they Americans/Australians/Brits/Canadians etc, they are invariably reservists. When you soldier for a living, you become reality based very quickly.
Soldiering is not just about 'war fighting', it's all about the other things that soldiers do; peacekeeping, aid to the civil power, ceremonial, barracks maintenance, training for war in all it's variations. Urban, jungle, desert, the North German Plain, mechanised, airmobile.
Ensuring your soldiers feet are clean, their fed and clothed, they don't do more than their fair share of guards or patrols. The mail comes through, Pte Bloggs 17 YO wife and 6/12 child are looked after. The QM makes sure the Bn gets its fair share of the beer breakup from Bde, etc etc etc.
The "Warrior" with his big gym biceps, cam painted face, boutique head covering, grasping his M60 whilst covered in link of 7.62, assorted knives, pistols, grenades, survival equipment and of course the obligatory climbing rope. Is I am afraid nowhere as good as Pte Boggs with his snotty nose, whining about his 17 YO wife and 6/12 child back in barracks, he's the lad who no matter how bad he is, will be up there with his mate's doing their job as a soldier, be they riflemen, drivers, staff clerks or hygiene dutymen, and if they don't, the Pl Sgt or CSM counsel them as to their military duty (o' for the days when you could give them a verbal quick kick up the bum)!
In regard to how the modern youth will cope with patriotism etc, the following may be of interest.
From the Daily Telegraph of London:
The spirit of Douglas Bader lives on among the British
By Iain Duncan Smith
News: Legend of Douglas Bader is set in stone
SIXTY years ago next Thursday, Gp Capt Douglas Bader collided with a Messerschmitt 109 over northern France. The crash tore the tail off his
Spitfire at 24,000ft, sending it into its death dive. It had plunged to 1,000ft before Bader was sucked out of the cockpit; but one of his artificial legs was trapped, leaving him dangling upside down in mid-air. He was battered mercilessly by the slipstream, and the limb tore away just in time for his parachute to open. Even so, he broke two ribs as he landed.
The Luftwaffe was honoured to have such a prisoner on its hands. In the 18 months since rejoining the RAF, Bader had notched up 20 confirmed kills and an estimated 10 more, and had pioneered a new form of formation flying.
Chivalrously, the Germans offered safe passage to an aircraft so that a replacement leg could be dropped for him. But the RAF refused, instead
dropping the limb during a bombing raid - a decision of which Bader heartily
After repeated escape attempts, Bader was transferred to Colditz, where his exasperated captors were eventually driven to remove his legs every night. I remember, as a boy, hearing my father's RAF colleagues talking of the way in
which Bader insisted on being included in escape attempts for which his disability rendered him unsuitable. Yet his ceaseless energy transmitted
itself to those around him.
I met Bader only once, briefly. It was when he and a number of others were collecting together before going out to dinner. One of those in the group
was my father and he introduced his young son to Douglas Bader. I was somewhat overawed, although the meeting left me fascinated by his remarkable story. I read everything I could about him and what continues to come through all that is written about him is his essence: his stubbornness, his restlessness, his courage. He was a man who would not accept that the loss of his legs made him disabled. Photographs show him taking taking part in American Indian rituals, riding, swimming and playing golf - and always with the same faintly pugnacious expression.
Golf had been his particular passion ever since his accident put paid to a rugby career. "Golf undoubtedly is the game that a physically handicapped person can play on equal terms with others," he once wrote. Not that equal terms were enough for him: he also had to win.
My father, who was an excellent golfer, told me the story of how he once played golf with Bader at Muirfield: an unusually long and arduous course.
As they changed for lunch after 18 holes, he noticed that Bader's leg-stumps had been rubbed raw. Over lunch, members of the party suggested various ways to spend the afternoon, but Bader was implacable: he insisted on playing a further 18 holes.
Many people have drawn inspiration from the story of this brave, irascible man. But I see him as something rather more than just an example of defiance against the odds. For me, Bader was an archetype of his generation.
During the war years, Britain was peopled by millions of Baders. Few had to overcome such great difficulties, and fewer still achieved his fame. But, in their own way, they also displayed a capacity for heroism and sacrifice that they had not, perhaps, suspected in themselves.
Even now, in my constituency work, I am struck by the courage of the wartime generation. Faced with a painful illness, or unexpected poverty, or
bereavement, they remain uncomplaining. Perhaps it is because of the experience of the war itself: losing friends during the Blitz no doubt puts
other troubles in context. But I think it has more to do with an ethic: a sense of duty that many fear we are now losing.
When Bader lost his legs in 1931, he wrote in his log-book: "X Country Reading. Crashed slow rolling near ground. Bad show." In this age of complaints and litigation, such stoicism seems almost nimaginable.
Almost, but not wholly. There may still be reason to hope that, in the right circumstances, we would respond as our parents and grandparents did before
us. Certainly Bader himself thought so. In 1981, near the end of his life, he visited the bedside of Cpl Philip Hartley, who had lost both legs in an
IRA rocket attack in Belfast. Afterwards, he was asked how contemporary young people compared with those he had known in 1940. He replied: "I have no doubt that they would display the same courage in the event of war. They would be just as brave. Characteristics do not change in a few generations."
He may well have been right. After all, many had despaired of Britain during the 1930s. But, when it seemed almost too late, our people displayed a sense of determination that astonished the world.
I believe that this sense of determination is still there. Looking at the boys and girls of my children's generation, I can still see flashes of Douglas Bader. It takes new forms and, God willing, it will never again need to be tested in war. But there is the same dauntlessness, the same refusal to take no for an answer.
This extraordinary resolve, perhaps more than any other trait, has made us what we are as a people. And, as Bader said, characteristics do not change
in a few generations.
Iain Duncan Smith is shadow defence secretary
This may be biaised towards Britons, but, I have personally found the same spirit in Australia/Canada/NZ. It has always been human nature to denigrate the youth of the nation, you can see it in the writings of the Greeks, in the 1820's people in Britain were saying the country was finished because of the decadence of the nation's youth!!!!
Jock in Sydney
||Yet another rant so...|
Call it what it is; War, Police Action or what ever you want to call it and you are at the epicenter of all that is foolish and foolhardy with mankind.
Mr. MacKinlay; you have, unfortunately run afoul of someone calling themselves 'Warriors' and, as is the common fault of some professional military individuals, have lumped all warriors cut from the same cloth. I assure you sir that I have had the fortunate/unfortunate circumstance to be involved in several operational theaters and hold very dear to my heart the term warrior.
If it were not for warriors I would not have the fortune to be able to sit at this terminal and write (or be alive for that matter). If it were not for warriors my heart and soul would have been torn from my being long ago.
I realize that the term may offend some and that 'Soldier' may have more professional conatations(?) however it is a word I chose most carefully.
My original 'rant' was just that; a rambling of thoughts put to print so that others may see the horror that I personal regard the vast majority of 'civilized, professional soldiers' and what they are no longer capable of completing. Their fundamental task...incisive, abrupt, brutal force to convince, demoralize and/or destroy an invader or tyranical system with the minimal loss of 'our' manpower and equipment resources. Realistically that scenario is unlikely to occur in our lifetimes barring the rise of the Chinese phoenix to pervade the rest of the world (how's your Cantonese by the way?) or to take by force what is denied by the (overtly) 3rd world nations to preserve the lifestyles of the European/North American cause.
I am not so foolhardy as to suggest that I am any better than my forbears (except for the vague possibility that I may be slightly more educated than my predecessors) however, with the commonality of hiring people concerned more with Quality of Life factors, leave accumulation, rank progression and political correctness I truly believe that history is (to our great disappointment) about to repeat itself in the same senseless cycle that was occuring about 1935.
Ready for WWIII? No one is except for the countries that train warriors of the 'state'.
Thank you for your patience
Dileas Gu Brath
||To Whom it may concern;|
Not withstanding all of the above;
If you have a problem with anything I say...tough.
Get over it.
There are certainly more important things that need to be accomplished in the next 12 hours than to fret over what I may or may not have to say.
All the Best
Dileas Gu Brath
||It is not for me to interpret someone else thoughts and feelings, but I think we may drifting into semantics when the same thing is being argued.|
I think what Master Blaster is saying is that the warrior ethos is slowing dieing out. What Mr Mackinlay objects to is the word warrior as oppossed to soldier. But both of you mean the same thing. I think, Mr Mackinley is just change your interpretaion of warrior to say mercanary, armed mobs etc. you will understand MB.
I think the crux of the arguement (and correct if I'm wrong) is that careerism is replacing professionalism. Pride, Honour, Integrity is being overtaken by QOL, SHARP and CTOs. SHARP time over Field Time
I think it is hard to have warriors in peacetiome and I think that is where some of the confusion maybe arising. Because most of us do subcribe to Duty and Honour. I have been in a long time but have never had to face combat. I like to believe that I have it in me to do my duty and I know I would fight for this country of ours. But I consider myself a soldier. However, I beleive I have the warrior spirit.
So to clarify:
All warriors are soldiers, but not all soldiers are warriors, and I think this is the point of MB rant. And warriors are an endagered species in today's army.
||The effects of careerism on the profession of the military has been an ongoing debate for some time. See the following link for the views of LCol D.A. Nicholson in 1973.|
Where Have All the Tigers Gone?
I wrote a brief rejoinder to that article which was published in the first edition of the Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin. A copy can be found at:
[URL=http://regimentalrogue.tripod.com/papers/tigerbox.htm ]Tigers Can't Live in a Box?[/URL]
||Have a look at this article in this morning's National Post. http://www.nationalpost.com/commentary/story.html?f=/stories/20010807/638104.html
||i could tell you rightnow that if, and heaven forbid.another war should start and canada was in i would not have to think twice. iwould be the first one to join again.i know this will sound corny but i don,t care, i would die for this country. because i love this countryvery much . sure there are problems but name one country that does not have problems
Thanks for the nostalgic reminder about "The Tigers" - an article worth reading.
||Barbara Tuchman said "nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general." The corollary of this must surely be "few people could careles about the musings of an insignificant junior officer".|
Nevertheless, IMHO ...
Blaster's heart is in the right place, and we all have to acknowledge the right to rant once in a while.
I agree with his theme (semantics aside), inasmuch as honour/valour is what differentiates soldiers/warriors from thugs, as fol:
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-- Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 Jan 2021
The Soldier Trade, if it is to mean anything at all, has to be anchored to an unshakeable code of honour. Otherwise, those of us who follow the drums become nothing more than a bunch of hired assassins walking around in gaudy clothes ... a disgrace to God and mankind.
-- Carl von Clausewitz, 1832
"Waste no time arguing what a good person should be. Be one."
-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
||The new issue of Canadian Military Journal arrived yesterday with an article on the Warrior vs. Soldier discussion.|
You can find it online at:
I read the article and while I don't agree with most of the Captain's arguments I do agree with his final summations...Warriors are an anathema to the modern army. They are of single-mindedness that threatens the overall discipline and well-being of a soldier's army.
To paraphrase him; a warrior can only exist in a state of war where a soldier can exist in peace and at the begining of wars. The brutality of the war can turn soldiers into the warrior but a the cost of 'massed army' operations.
So...ethos not withstanding it would appear the almost everyone is in agreement with my 'rant' in one way, shape or form if only to put their own spin on things...and the world goes on.
All the Best
Dileas Gu Brath
||Blaster - of course many of us are going to agree - we're all on the same side, after all (except when we're fighting amongst ourselves ... sigh ... what a waste of energy).|
And, this tendency to put our own spin on it ... our own homegrown version of "An Army Of One" ... (chuckle - everybody's an individual, or a comedian ... and the Human Rights weenies are only to glad to tell us so ...)
||I think the Captain is too tied up in the sense of the word. If the "warrior" caste is dying in Canada, it is not just not due to bad government policies, but a shift in society. I like Charles Moskos' example of the military shifting from an institution to an occupation.|
So, instead of lamenting on the death of the warrior, how about trying to figure out how to bring him (umm...or her) back.
I always hear the old guys talking about how tough it was in the old days. Can simply going back to the standards of the days of yonder bring back the warriors. Or do we require a new approach to meet the demands that GenX society creates. Any ideas.
(I'll keep my own opinions to myself for now, as I am just a ****hot private.)
||Hello again, Master Blaster, RCA, et al. Have just spent an illuminating/exasperating summer training QL2/3 Inf at Watc. A thought- How can we develop warriors ( to me, a soldier with a strong sense of honour) if we do nothing to develop a strong sense of integrity, within the individual?
||How about these definitions..|
Soldier; one who is trained for and prepared to go to war.
Warrior; one who has gone to war.
Just a thought.
I take exception to the remark that most of those that use the term "Warrior" are Reservists. I have read a good many articles over the years that used the term. Most were written by Reg Force officers.
||Welcome back JR. I did time at WATC Shilo trhis summer. Seems like we re-invent the wheel every year.|
As to teaching intrergety, it hard enough to teach recruits how to tie their shoelaces in 16 days.