Exemplar: Definition of the modern warrior

 Recent I’ve been ruminating on things in the face of some of the issues we are confronted with in our modern times. An anonymous commenter on my last post said: “If the English language has a word for the synergistic combination of moral courage, right action, and bravery, I’m sorry to say I don’t know it. If there isn’t such a word, there should be. If there was, it would either be used too rarely for people to know the word, or overused as the word ‘hero’ oftentimes is by the media.”

My response was to post something from Exemplar LLC, an outfit that disseminates values and traits of the modern warrior culture through hands-on training and lectures: “For us, ‘Exemplar’ is the definition of the modern warrior—that individual who is self-initiated, ever dutiful in aiding others, ever pushing forward in self development of his or her own capability, consciousness, and character. Exemplar LLC provides a culture where those individuals can pursue the path of the Exemplar.”

In another prior post I discuss the concepts of consciousness, character, and capability. Here is a more in depth look at those traits from the director of Exemplar LLC Hunter B. Armstrong:

I suspect most of you who are looking at this page share choices that you’ve made in maintaining goals in physical conditioning and perhaps combative skills. I know that all of those whom we’ve invited to this page also share high standards in regards to personal character. I believe that I can make a similar claim to their level of consciousness, by this I mean not simply intelligence, but intelligent awareness (or perhaps aware intelligence).

These are the three traits that we consider requisite to the concept of the Exemplar: Consciousness, Character, and Capability. In the modern pop cultural milieu of today, there is some interest in physical capability, though it tends to be in pop concepts of conditioning (e.g., CrossFit), or pop ideas of capability (e.g., MMA, jiu-jitsu (sic)). There is considerably less of a pop cultural interest in development in consciousness—in either intellect or awareness—and perhaps the most detrimental lack in the pop cultural world is a virtual zero value put to the concept of developing character.

Unfortunately, the pop cultural world seems to be having an ever expanding influence in the modern world. The good news is that there are people out there, who are men and women of consciousness, character, and capability, seemingly in spite of the common pop cultural values.

What we are trying to do with Exemplar is bring together some kind of cohesion among these people, a shared identity, if you will, that can provide a stronger model to help counter balance the negative values that we seem to be so constantly blasted with from the media.

There are plenty of groups, sites, and organizations that focus on one or another aspect of our three traits. In particular, there are a plethora of physical conditioning and combative skills pages on Facebook alone (our own Spartan Training Center page is an example of a combination of those two). To lesser degrees there are postings regarding intellect (an aspect of consciousness) and character. But these are independent and relative only to themselves as traits.

However, for the Exemplar, we see the three traits of consciousness/character/capability as three parts of the whole, as versus individual and separate attributes. Each trait contributes to the other, and each should be trained in accordance with the others: Consciousness drives; character guides; and capability provides the means.

Our goal, then, is to bring together, like minded individuals who, sharing aspects of those traits, through their own self-discipline seek to improve themselves in consciousness, character, and capability, not simply for their own self-improvement, but as well for the betterment of their community and society as a whole.

– Hunter B. Armstrong

You can check out more modern warrior concepts on the Exemplar Facebook page.

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

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  1. From the same Anonymous who commented on the previous post.

    Though I spent several years in the Army, I cannot claim to be a warrior in the classical sense. My “battlefield” for over three decades is manufacturing operations in various parts of the world. In that environment, the mode of “battle” comprises all of the factors of the classical warrior except for the obvious physical aspects. For the factors in common, the proportions are also different, and there is no life or death component.

    Nevertheless, on my “battlefield” moral courage, ethics, emotional strength, endurance, and other factors are very much required in order to be wholly effective.

    The Exemplar of the warrior has a different shape, color, and texture than the Exemplar of the operations director in my world, but the concept of an Exemplar remains consistent.

    I will give this idea more thought, and will likely write an article on the Exemplar for the operations manager. I’ll reference our short exchange on the Castra Praetoria website and the Exemplar Facebook page.

  2. Everyone is on their own path and it isn’t necessarily that of armed professional. Adopting the positive attributes of the Exemplar in daily living isn’t a bad thing. Whenever I run into people who lament they had not served in time of war I remind them we need good citizens too.

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