- September 30, 2009
Warrior Culture 101
This post is in reponse to a comment made by Molaviis Fromm on my last blog entry, which you can see in it’s entirety here or read just below in red italics:
The US society needs warriors like it needs a hole in the head. Empires need warriors. Republics need citizens who can form a good sight pattern, perhaps fire a mortar, know basic first aid, perhaps mix some ingredients to make something go boom at the appropriate time and place, but most importantly are capable of critical thinking.
It seems to me that people who sell a warrior culture are trying to sell canals 30 years after the railroad has been developed. This warrior culture has wrapped itself in so much disinformation that those who perpetuate it fool themselves as well as impressionable young people. Warrior equals Samurai.With out scientists Americas warriors would be much redder in the face. Whether it would be from blood or embarrassment is hard to say.
The best analogy is that Americas warriors are the Sopranos of the planet. Ok Tony’s psychologist was secretly pleased about what Tony did to the man that raped her. None the less it is perfectly clear that she totally detests him and everything that he stands for and will make every effort to reform him. The fact that Tony may now and then do a good deed does not make him a good person.Especially when those good deeds are done to further the aims of a continuing criminal enterprise. Many of my fellow Americans say that America does not wish to dominate other countries. Hhahahahahaha what a crock of propaganda bullshit. If you want an example of a country that does not try to dominate other countries look at Ireland or Finland. The US is about the worst example in that regard.
If you wish to personally discuss this issue with me you can find me at US Army Garrison Schinnen Netherlands, or AFNORTH Brunssum Netherlands. Perhaps you can help me understand why a gay or lesbian person would fight to stay in the service of the 21st Century US mercenary occupation forces.Now you can not delete my comments and then say that you defend free speech, or can you? OK, it is illegal for someone writing an opinion to give their rank and branch of service. I can say that LTC Fern O. Sumpter, Commander, Schinnen Army Garrison, has been a great inspiration to me.I only hope that I can return the favor.Curt KastensAFNORTH, Joint Forces Command ID Number 122234
From: America’s 1st Sgt.
Re: Your Recent comment on Castra Praetoria
According to you, republics need only citizens with a passing familiarity of shooting skills, heavy weaponry, and enough knowledge of chemistry to concoct some homemade explosive. Frankly, that sounds like your average Al Queda cell.
You also say the most important characteristic is they be capable of critical thinking. This could be the only thing I might agree with you on.
Let’s define warrior first: A person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness. One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.
Now when you have a pest control problem do you call someone who has a passing interest in mixing insecticide chemicals or do you call someone engaged or experienced in vector control; a professional exterminator? Generally, I find when a professional isn’t put on the job, the enterprise will end in disaster.
So when it is time to wage war we can agree it should be waged by someone with some proficiency in combat arms.
Certainly there is nothing wrong with being a citizen soldier; simply do your tour and move on with your life. I am all about that. It doesn’t make them any less a professional while they are in the service though.
You claim warrior culture has wrapped itself in disinformation, but gave no examples of this. “Warrior equals Samurai.” Well, yes, it can. Samurai is derived from a word meaning servant or one who serves. I don’t think it is wrong to perpetuate or impress on young people the idea of service to something other than themselves is anything other than noble.
Although technology is a great force multiplier, it is not what wins battles. The American armed forces and other Western armies have had success in war not because of scientists, but for other reasons which I don’t have the time to get into. Victor Davis Hanson has written a great book on the subject called Carnage and Culture.
You equate the professional American warrior with a fictitious criminal organization comprised of thugs, thieves, and other undesirables. The difference between a thug and a professional warrior? The thug is completely self oriented, anything he does is justifiable in his eyes because it furthers his own agenda. The warrior is other oriented. His agenda is not about himself, but those to his immediate left and right; to his unit; his society. His actions may not be justifiable, if they violate the ethics and values of his society or organization. Tony Soprano would never have made it in the Corps. His fundamental character flaws would not have been tolerated by his fellow Marines or the Corps, institutionally. Tony, here’s your Bad Conduct Discharge; thank you for playing.
Many of your fellow Americans say America does not wish to dominate other countries? I have never said that. It certainly has never appeared here on the august pages of Castra Praetoria. As a matter of fact, I am all about dominating anyone and everyone who has shown they are a threat to American lives and society.
The U.S. is the worst example in regards to dominating others? As opposed to Iran? North Korea? China?
Why would a gay or lesbian person stay in the service? I don’t have the faintest idea, but they do.
Finally, you label the U.S. military as mercenaries. A mercenary, according to the Geneva Convention, is someone “motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party.” For the most part we who consider ourselves professionals (in the armed forces of a sovereign nation) pretty much hate on mercenaries. I’m talking about your Blackwater, Ageis, and what have you. They aren’t doing what they do for the same reasons we are. A mercenary is not governed by the principles of his society or institutional values.
But what are the core values of the professional warrior culture that you rail against? Why, I’m glad you asked. Taken right off www.marines.com
Honor: Marines are held to the highest standards, ethically and morally. Respect for others is essential. Marines are expected to act responsibly in a manner befitting the title they’ve earned.
Courage: Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to face fear and overcome it. It is the mental moral and physical strength ingrained in every Marine. It steadies them in times of stress, carries them through every challenge and aids them in facing new and unknown confrontations.
Commitment: Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in every Marine. It is what compels Marines to serve our country and the Corps. Every aspect of life in the Corps shows commitment, from the high standard of excellence to vigilance in training.
I suppose that the above is just more sewage pouring into impressionable young minds. Horrifying!
Here’s some more foolishness we try to perpetuate:
Justice – Giving reward and punishment according to merits of the case in question. The ability to administer a system of rewards and punishments impartially and consistently.
Judgment – The ability to weigh facts and possible solutions on which to base sound decisions.
Dependability – The certainty of proper performance of duty.
Integrity – Uprightness of character and soundness of moral principles; includes the qualities of truthfulness and honesty.
Decisiveness – Ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in clear, forceful manner.
Tact – The ability to deal with others without creating offense.
Initiative – Taking action in the absence of orders.
Endurance – The mental and physical stamina measured by the ability to withstand pain, fatigue, stress and hardship.
Bearing – Creating a favorable impression in carriage, appearance and personal conduct at all times.
Unselfishness – Avoidance of providing for one’s own comfort and personal advancement at the expense of others.
Courage – The mental quality that recognizes fear of danger or criticism, but enables a man to proceed in the face of it with calmness and firmness.
Knowledge – Understanding of a science or an art. The range of one’s information, including professional knowledge and an understanding of your Marines.
Loyalty – The quality of faithfulness to country, the Corps, the unit, to one’s seniors, subordinates and peers.
Enthusiasm – The display of sincere interest and exuberance in the performance of duty.
• Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
• Be technically and tactically proficient.
• Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
• Make sound and timely decisions.
• Set the example.
• Know your Marines and look out for their welfare.
• Keep your Marines informed.
• Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
• Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.
• Train your Marines as a team.
• Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.
I can see where it would really rub some the wrong way to try and actually live up to and mold others to the attributes listed above. Concepts like personal accountability are rather unpopular these days, I get it. But that is what we are as a 21 Century warrior culture. Do all Marines live up to these standards? No, that is why we have the Uniform Code Of Military Justice. We also have a saying: If everyone could do it, it wouldn’t be the Marines.
Somewhere you picked up that being a warrior makes you morally corrupt. Not sure where that comes from. But you know what? Don’t take my word the Marine Corps actually stands for something noble and good. The following comes from an article written by Hunter C.S. Armstrong about his experience with Marines
“…there is the requirement that the constituents have the ability to fight and, just as important, are knowledgeable of the appropriate time for and responsibilities that come with fighting. They train for reasons that ultimately come from within and fight for reasons dictated by necessity and social responsibility. Similarly, with the Marines I met in Okinawa, ethics played a huge role in their identity as warriors. A moral system produces a cohesion and continuity within the team and professionalism in the execution of their work.”
“The aspects that mark the distinction between soldiers and warriors can be put into two areas that are at the root of their professionalism: capability and responsibility.”
I fail to see how an organization rooted in an ethical, moral ideal which makes itself accountable for its actions is somehow dishonorable and a vehicle for disinformation and incapable of critical thinking. If anything, America needs more people who represent those ideals. That is why the Marine Corps puts great emphasis on returning great citizens back to the communities they came from.
Do I think you will be enlightened by my response?
Really that’s doubtful.
No, I do not wish to discuss this issue with you personally.
You’ve already made up your mind; why bother?
Could I delete your comments and still say I defend free speech? Absolutely! This is my blog and I’ll do as I please here thanks. You can start your own site and say anything you like. A lot of people do and I support it. THAT is free speech.
Hopefully, this has been an informative introduction to what a warrior culture is really about.