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Pretty_Lilly's avatar

Has the US Military become a gentler,kinder organization ?

Asked by Pretty_Lilly (4655points) April 12th, 2010

Recently I saw a special on the Discovery channel about US Special Forces (Rangers) recruits and their preliminary training,the instructors were polite to the recruits,there was no yelling,threats nor calling of names even when a recruit was caught camouflaging himself with his poncho so he could sleep during the night training ! Was this kinder,gentler portrait of DI done for sake of the Tv show documenting the military training or has the US military become soft ?
The trainers in the Biggest Loser are much meaner to the contestants in their shows

*My uncle said that when he served in the military,the drill instructor would woken him up with bucket of manure slammed to his head and would have yanked him out from underneath the poncho by his nads !

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29 Answers

Jerikao's avatar

Having just met with my recruiter this morning…

He had a few shippers in the office today. Listening to them talk… One of the things he said was that, at the very least, Basic Training has become a lot gentler. They had to. They had people choking and dying during mess.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

Disgustingly so.

CaptainHarley's avatar

God help us all! : ((

ucme's avatar

1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. I adore the cutesy wootsey marine corps. Awww I mean look at it,bless.

semblance's avatar

Perhaps military training is kinder and gentler than in the old days. However, the military in action is not. Look at the results in Falujah, Iraq. History has proven that all military organizations are capable of unrestrained violence and troops in the field tend to default in that direction. The degree of control of troops depends on the integrity, discipline, and strength of the command. When the command is weak in one or more of these points, massacres and other abuses occur.

TexasDude's avatar

The harshness of US military training has traditionally served the purpose of breaking down the individual and forcing unit cohesion and espirit de corps that is necessary for survival and combat effectiveness. It has recently been decided that education should also play a role in training to create a more well-rounded soldier. Where DI’s job was formerly to break and mold you, their job is now to break and teach you. Military training is still rough, but it is gradually evolving to a more classroom-like environment. Whether this is a good thing or not has yet to be decided.

plethora's avatar

Oh my goodness, we certainly don’t want any of our kind sweet boys being unfriendly or killing anybody. If they are not restrained, then, oops, they will just “default” to killing someone. God Fordid. Make em kinder, sweeter and gentler.

plethora's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard You’re right.

Interesting that the top fighting units, Marines, SEALS, Delta, etc, subscribe to building unit cohesion and esprit de corps for survival and victory…..rather than classroom teaching about being kind and gentle.

plethora's avatar

@semblance “However, the military in action is not.” And thank God they’re not!!

TexasDude's avatar

@plethora, I agree. If someone is going to be defending my country, I don’t want them to be friendly about it.

Blackberry's avatar

You are aware that soldiers are still humans, right? People in the armed forces can still complete tasks and missions, obviously…...Use some common sense, could you really pull someone by their scrotum?

semblance's avatar

@plethora I have no idea what points you are trying to make when you reference my name. The question was whether the military is “kinder and gentler” and the OP talked about training. I responded that maybe the training is, but the troops in action are not. These are my opinions based on factual observations. I get the impression that you seem to take issue with something I said but your comments do not make it clear what that is.

plethora's avatar

@semblance Just quoted you re “The troops in action are not (kinder and gentler)” for which I am thankful.

plethora's avatar

@Blackberry Am I missing something? I don’t get the reference to “pull someone by their scrotum” YIKES!!!

CaptainHarley's avatar

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” — George Orwell

Blackberry's avatar

@plethora Read the description.

Rangie's avatar

If you are coming from a boot camp that teaches a kind and gentle way of behavior, what are you going to do on the front line, when your superior shouts orders to you? You can’t afford to stop and say, hey you can’t speak to me that way. Then get your head shot off, for not promptly responding to your orders.
I can see it now, ( Excuse me, but you are the enemy, I am sorry, but I am going to have to kill you. )
How about working on a Country with integrity, honor, honesty, starting with our leaders on down. Yes, we could have trickle down integrity.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Trickle-down integrity.” Interesting concept. Too bad most of our erstwhile leaders-wannabe couldn’t lead a thirsty herd of cattle to water!

plethora's avatar

@Blackberry Thanks…skipped the last line. My guess, having been in the military, is that his uncle was gilding the lily just a bit.

Blackberry's avatar

@plethora I don’t know what ‘gilding the lily’ means. I assume it means to exaggerate? I see this a lot from the older generation of people: Having to state how much ‘better’ the military was because it was more cruel and inhumane. It seems asinine to me.

Waking someone up by slamming a bucket of manure on their head hardly has a correlation with being a better soldier…..how dumb.

semblance's avatar

@Blackberry Off topic a bit, but for your education, “gilding the lily” is not so much a reference to exaggeration as unnecessary embellishment to make a point. A lily is a beautiful flower. To gild it would mean to coat it with gold, which would not make it any more beautiful (probably less so, actually, if we took it literally).

Consider this as courtesy by one of those people who, from your point of view anyway, are old.

Blackberry's avatar

@semblance Ah I see. Thanks.

plethora's avatar

@Blackberry Probably happend only in his head. Common for old military types, especially enlisted types.

@semblance You are exactly right. My use of the term was off key a bit. Thanks

jerv's avatar

Well, they no longer flog people the way they used to on Wog Day….

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

@plethora & @Blackberry
I guess there is a misunderstanding,,,My uncle did not mean that he was woken up in that manner every day !
In the Discovery documentary,while everyone was participating in night training,one soldier strayed away from the group found an isolated area and camouflaged himself with his poncho so he could take a nap and not be found,,,little did he know his equipment had GPS and was monitored for constant location and movement.
HQ reported it to the DI as a possible injured soldier as he had not moved for the last half hour,,, an instructor finally found him ! The instructor reprimanded him much less than even a high school coach would one of his players for slacking off.
That’s when my uncle made his comment ! He claimed that if he would have done that when he served in the military,he would have been wearing his @$$ for a hat and would have been court martialed after he got out of the infirmary !
I have been told that in the old days drill instructors were able to manhandled soldiers ,,,
as a matter of fact my grandfather said the movie “Full Metal Jacket” was right on the money as far as basic training used to be,,, pre-1950’s they would do it in public for everyone to see afterward they would take you out back ! I have spoken to some old timers and they all told me they were at one point or another,,,hit,chocked and/or kicked by a DI.

Blackberry's avatar

@Pretty_Lilly Gotcha. The military is kinder, but that is because society is getting smarter. There is a reason why we stop doing things the way they were done in the past, we discovered better methods.

jerv's avatar

@Blackberry Though I think that they ramped up the mind games a bit. Or maybe it’s just a Nuke thing.

Blackberry's avatar

@jerv Yes it is just a nuke thing, anything having to do with the mind and thinking probably isn’t present in the general military lol.

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