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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Are drill sergeants trying to get one to stand up for yourselves or trying to break one down and submit?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (16778points) July 4th, 2019

What is the ideal?

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23 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Pretty much they want everyone to do exactly as they’re told, and also to work closely as a team. Lots of times that will require some breaking down because most people show up in the military pretty stuck on themselves.

janbb's avatar

They’re trying t break down individual will and have obedient soldiers.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends when in the process.

Early on, they want to break you down and get rid of individuality, in order to teach obeying orders and internal power games among the recruits. They are going for obedient people with no ability to think creatively.

Later in the process, (note that basic training can be anywhere from 2 months (Navy) to 5 months (some Army specialties), the drill sergeant begins to identify soldiers and sailors with particular skills, and may (may) assist in preparation for the soldier’s MOS.

ucme's avatar

This is what makes me hate Private Pyle in Full Metal Jacket when he kills Drill Sgt. Hartman.
The fucker was turned from a useless, quivering wreck into a fully fledged marine marksman.
Polished, professional & able to make something of himself & yet the ungrateful bastard claims to be in a “world of shit”
Nah man, not having it!

ragingloli's avatar

Hartman got what he deserved.

Response moderated (Obscene)
Darth_Algar's avatar

The idea is to break one’s ego and individual will. Individuality has no place in the military.

Patty_Melt's avatar

It is both.
Recruits go to boot camp from all parts of the country. There are city kids, countryside kids, small-town kids, and kids with all sorts of families.

Drill sergeants, and in the Navy, company commanders, have to make each young person a blank slate. You need to think of them as your supplier, your judge, your only authority. There must be no doubting, because doubts cause hesitation.
Military functioning can be quite dangerous even when not in war.
When I was in Annapolis, I was involved with teaching classes underway, aboard the vessels used for various training functions. I had to learn how to bark loud and clear. Had I not taken that approach, there are times when various midshipmen would have reacted too slow and be injured.
They break you down, rewrite who and what you trust, and help you evolve into a service member who can be proud of theirself.
The purpose is not to cause anyone to be a quivering nymph, although when that happens, it identifies those individuals as being not suited to military environments.
For any military function to be successful, personnel must function as a team. They must have their civilian life pushed back, so their training can unify them.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

They are there to break down ego, privilege and get people to understand they are not special so they can work effectively as a team. They are there to mold children into confident, capable adults quickly and efficiently. It takes people decades to do this on their own. They can do it in a matter of months.

kritiper's avatar

They’re trying to weed out the jerk offs from the ones who are really trying to conform. They scare the hell out of everyone and then the training begins.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@kritiper How can one be trained to follow and lead at the same time? Are chiefs of staff expected to lose the sense of submission? Or does it then go into executive politicians?
Is the president/prime minister/king the only person with the authority to think for ones self?

How can one be trained to give orders?

snowberry's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 It’s easy, just become a parent, a teacher, a policeman, or any number of other occupations.

kritiper's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Did I say lead??
There are guys who always want to cause trouble and the sergeants ride those guys hard to get them to conform to military life. Other guys try their best to conform and not cause trouble for themselves from their sergeants. And the sergeants don’t ride those conformists so much.
American soldiers can always lead, if the need should arise. They can adapt in an instant. That’s what made the US military so formidable in WWII. In other armies, if the man leading was killed, the rest of the group was unable to adapt, because of their military training. But the American soldier has that certain “can do” spirit that always gets the job done.

Zaku's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 Everyone in a modern military is a follower, and only the lowest ranks are also supposed to be leaders… all under the command of… the man-child narcissist scumbag.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@RDG, you are asking some very astute questions.

When well trained, whether the work is janitorial, office oriented, or weaponry, as the individual becomes proficient in their vocation they will, hopefully, also observe and implement the techniques used in training them.
Followers learn to lead by observing their leaders. It is no different from getting a job at KFC. As trainees learn to fry chicken parts, they also are gaining knowledge of how to train the next new employees.

There is a saying, “in order to learn to lead, one must first learn to follow.”
The meaning to that is simple. If you have not learned to perform basic tasks, you can’t teach someone else to do those tasks. Learning skills always exposes the student to the training techniques of their leader.

Learning a skill entirely from printed material can leave an individual lacking in the skills needed to teach someone else that skill.

ucme's avatar

It’s palpably different in the world of sport or business where man-management skills are rightly tailored to the individual & focus more on fostering healthy, productive relationships.
Soldiers are made to kill, as well as save & protect lives & require old school methods in order to be properly effective…grow some balls & man up.

LostInParadise's avatar

Each person in the line of command has a well defined role. They receive orders from those above them and determine the best way of directing those below them to carry out the order. Obviously, officers are not complete automatons. As you go up the hierarchy, the greater the scope of the decisions that must be made.

seawulf575's avatar

They don’t coddle anyone. They take a group and break them down to their lowest common denominator and then build them back up as a unit. They take individuals and make them a team.

ragingloli's avatar

They take humans and turn them into killbots.
Less than human.

seawulf575's avatar

After reading a lot of the answers, I find that most are missing the whole point of boot camp. Having been there, I speak from a position of knowledge instead of fear and feeling. Inductees are individuals. They have been raised for at least 18 years to think for themselves, sometimes to trust no one, sometimes to be helpless and dependent on others…basically every version of a human you can think. Coming out of boot camp, everyone has to understand they are part of an organization. This organization has a mission…to help keep this country safe. This is done through many, many missions, doing things that don’t always seem to make sense at the time. For this organization to succeed, you need to have a chain of command with people with more knowledge of the goals at the top and people with less knowledge at the bottom. But everyone needs to work towards the common goal. The only way to get from point A (inductee) to point B (functional soldier (or sailor or airman or marine), you don’t change the process, you change the attitudes of the people. You do this by defeating the idea that they are autonomous individuals and replace it with the idea that they are part of a group. That sometimes requires screaming at someone. But in the end, you cannot have a successful group where an order is given and extended discussion is needed before it can be carried out. If you try going with that second option, you get a lot of dead people.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@seawulf575 So they create lawful neutral soliders?

janbb's avatar

@seawulf575 I think most of us got that point and spoke to it.

Patty_Melt's avatar

No, @RDG, they are not training people to not think for themselves. They are not turning out blank robots. They are making people able to think about the job when they are on the job. If you have a job to get done and Christmas is two days away, you can’t be sipping cocoa and daydreaming about Aunt Nancy’s sugar cookies.

They teach people to think together as a group on the job.

You know we have had region questions on Fluther, do you say soda or pop, is it sofa or couch, do you like grits?

Well, in the navy if you gotta go, it is the head, in the army it is the latrine, that is it, that is all.

When you get home you don’t get immobilized because your SO calls it a bathroom. You don’t lose your ability to think individually, you learn how to be on the same page as everyone else you work with.

If you have any Bible knowledge, then you know the story of the tower of Babel. People were building a tower that would stretch to heaven. God caused them to speak different languages. They got confused, could not work together, and began having wars.
Bootcamp reverses that. It uses a bold, in your face approach to getting everyone thinking and talking together so they can be effective, but nobody is unable to think for themselves.

One more example, is dialing 911. When you call, they ask what is your emergency, because that is the purpose for 911, to get help for an emergency. If you need a doctor, then paramedics show up. They say stuff like BP, temp, and IV. We know what those things mean, basically, but we might not know a good BP from a bad one. They do, because they are trained to.
Military is separated from the civilian things they know, and get bunched together. In a short time they get to a certain degree of physical fitness, and learn to talk together. And there is no time to mess around and worry somebody has a headache, or cramps. You perform or you go to sick call.
Basic training is exactly that. It doesn’t take away thought, although most do tend to think differently about certain things after military training. For instance, it becomes more obvious how lazy are so many civilians.
Military training shows people they have fewer limitations than they think.

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