Brutality/Brutalization/Unit Arrogance in Battle Training: Pros, Cons

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Andy_S, Jul 31, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    DISCLOSURE:
    I INTEND TO WRITE AN ARTICLE ON THIS ISSUE.
    IT WILL NOT APPEAR IN THE UK PRESS, BUT IN THE SOUTH KOREAN PRESS.
    ALSO, IT WILL BE AN OPINION PIECE, NOT A NEWS PIECE.
    THE QUESTIONS BELOW ARE FOR BACKGROUND.
    I WILL NOT QUOTE ANYONE WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION (via PM).

    Gents:

    Wonder if I could have your thoughts on this issue?

    As those of you who read the papers may know, the ROK Marines (an elite unit) are taking flak at the moment, after a series of incidents, including a barrack shooting spree. These incidents are being blamed on the marines' self-consciously violent machismo, and their institutional practice of beasting recruits.

    Is institutionalized barrack violence - eg beatings of recruits by seniors - in any way desireable? (Many ex-ROK Marines say 'Yes:' They consider it part of the toughening up process. I'd confidently hazard a guess that it is also part of intra-unit bonding - i.e. shared suffering.)

    In today's armies, how are
    (1) aggression
    (2) the overcoming of the natural human reluctance to kill another human
    instilled in infantry training?
    (If I understand Col. Grossman's "Killology" correctly, the more effectively this essential attribute is trained, the more likely soldiers will store up future psychological problems.)

    For the old 'n bold: Do you honestly believe that today's recruits have got "weaker" in mind and/or body than previous generations?

    Have modern life, modern/liberal ideas about the worth of the individual, health 'n safety regs, etc, got in the way of effective battle training and softened the UK Armed Forces? Or have old-fashioned training methods and attitudes simply been given a long-deserved boot?

    Certain assault-focused units - ROK Marines, US Marines, UK Paras - which foster an elite arrogance and swagger tend to face ex-barracks issues with violent behaviour. (ROK Marines have been discussed; US Marines have faced a whole range of issues - rape, assault, etc - in Okinawa; UK Paras, as per the writings of Michael Asher -have had similar issues) Is after-hours violence an unavoidable byproduct of the training of specially battle-ready units?

    OTOH: Other crack units - I am thinking RM Commandos and UK/US special forces units - do not (as far as I am aware) face similar problems.

    Anecdotally: Certain infantry regts also tend to have reps for extra-barracks behaviour (I am thinking particularly Northern and Jock regiments here); others do not. Why so? Is this to do with the ethos of the unit, or the backgrounds of the men in the unit, or is it all overstated, and unbacked by any data....?

    That's it: Have at it and TIA for any enlightening replies.
     
  2. It won't appear in the UK press, but it will appear in the South Korean press? Do you think the UK press do not monitor other countries media. Do you think that the UK press will not take stories from the South Korean press? Or do you think people are that naive here?
    Anyway, UK press, South Korean press, US press....all the same scum.
     
  3. Agreed press are scum, almost as bad a politician scum.
     
  4. 'That's it: Have at it and TIA for any enlightening replies.'

    The best person to answer your queries is a certain Baron Castleshortt of the Royal Airsoft Regiment.
     
  5. Maybe your article should be: the arrogance of media/Journalists in light of the current situation (not tarring ALL with the same brush i might add)

    Requesting research material on a mixed public/serving/ex serving personnel forum may require a rethink..
     
  6. So naked roll mat fighting is a bad thing?
     
  7. Yeah. It's gay. It should be naked cage fighting.
     
  8. Is that the new name for Twister these days.
     
  9. If I may actually be allowed to answer the OP. I feel my comments are far less contentious than some of the NAAFI forum content, and so any journos may make of my remarks what they will.

    1. Misbehaviour outside barracks is a discipline issue. Some units are very prone to it, the British Army in general occasionally so. I believe that serving soldiers are still banned from the tourist areas of Cyprus for this reason (I am unable to check the present-day status of this remark). Harsh environments breed harsh soldiers who are used to violence and therefore need harsh discipline to control it.

    2. The Army in general is getting softer, in some respects regrettably so, reflecting the people we recruit from, and in particular the ludicrous "that's not acceptable" culture of the politically-correct nonsense infecting our society. Evidence - I used to carry a fighting knife at all times. People occasionally took the Mick but no-one was stupid enough to say I shouldn't wear it. (I am always reminded of the superb remark in "Aliens" where a Marine says "What are we supposed to use - harsh language").

    3. Leading on from (2), I used to carry my own privately-purchased firearms and as a result, became very much more proficient in their use than my contemporaries. It is an absurdity that soldiers should not be allowed an exemption from the silly Firearms Act that banned pistols and semi-auto longs, as long as the weapons are accounted for in the same way that service weapons are held.

    4. I am not sure how the present Army conducts mental conditioning, someone else will have to answer that one. I used to take my soldiers to the Aldershot slaughterhouse.

    5. When I had left the Army, I did a spell as an officer in the ACF, and it was amusing to teach the lads "interest lessons", of a nature that the CoC would definitely have stopped, had they ever heard about it. No cadet ever abused what I taught them, as far as I knew, because I got it into their heads that they were privileged to learn such stuff and that the lessons would stop if they didn't keep it to themselves.

    6. Quote "Have modern life, modern/liberal ideas about the worth of the individual, health 'n safety regs, etc, got in the way of effective battle training and softened the UK Armed Forces? " Of course they fcuking have. When I was a kid, the average boy scout had a better knife on his belt than the average present-day soldier. My father, as a twelve-year old, used to be allowed out with a single-barrel .410 shotgun to roam Oxfordshire. I will not mention the H&S warning signs on the barbed wire at RMAS. Jeez, I used to chuck myself on it for the others to clamber over me.

    7. The northern units are more violent outside barracks; they allow the locals to wind them up much more, and external discipline is not managed correctly in these units. Effete Londoners tend to look at the average guardsman and realise that they will come off much worse in a scrap. As a southerner myself, there seems to be a different attitude to everything down south, compared with where I live now up North. As for Scotsmen, they are inherently hard men. Even the Germans knew that. None of these attitudes are unmanageable, you just have to convince them in different ways.

    8. There is no need for the use of physical force within training units, and I most certainly do NOT approve of it. I do not regard a DS grabbing a recruit by the collar of his jacket as physical force, I am referring to beatings. Bullying is absolutely forbidden and I agree with this; it is destructive of unit cohesion and morale. I know it is somewhat difficult in peacetime, but rape should be punishable by death. The point I am making is the ABSOLUTE distinction between the undisciplined violence and the use of extreme military force.

    9. There will always be the odd exception who goes haywire; the problem with our society is that (unlike the Norwegians, apparently) we seem unable to recognise it as such , and pander to the aims of single issue minority control freaks, and use exceptional events as an excuse for the furtherance of a control agenda. The difference in our attitudes and that of the French (for example) is instructive, and embarrassing.

    10. This country, and probably most others, seem to be unable to avoid having to re-learn the lessons of previous conflicts (I am referring here to tactics, not strategy) where extreme techniques were quite normally taught within the forces. The director of LOTR was discussing what sound a person would make when stabbed in the back, when Christopher Lee put him right. "During the filming of his death scene in The Return of the King, Peter Jackson began to coach him how to react when Saruman is stabbed in the back by Grima (Brad Dourif), but Lee interrupted him, reminding him that Lee actually had heard the sound a man makes when he is stabbed in the back".

    [Edited to add the first paragraph].
     
  10. [QUOArmy in general is getting softer, in some respects regrettably so, reflecting the people we recruit from[/QUOTE]

    You always hear the old n bold talking about the playstation generation being softer and I agree with absolutely everything you've said.

    Out of interest, what did your old n bold say about you when you joined?
     
  11. Tell you what mate,

    We don't know you, but you seem like a nice bloke...so we'll take the time to write most of your article for you. You can get paid and keep the cash. How does that suit you?

    If you want to know about violence and soldiers, just get yourself down to wherever 1 or 2 Lancs, some of the Scottish battalions (or any other chippy line regiments) drink on a night. Introduce yourself as a Journo on the make and you'll get all the research material you can ever use....
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. You always hear the old n bold talking about the playstation generation being softer and I agree with absolutely everything you've said.

    Out of interest, what did your old n bold say about you when you joined?[/QUOTE]

    I don't think they are softer now than they were, I used to think that but then I saw the operational honours and awards lists and that changed my mind.
     
  13. They would probably lament the dropping of standard's since the 303 went out of service and refer to the new lads as puddle dodging SLR wielding poofta's.

    And they would have been just as boring as the last lot.
     
  14. I reckon that .................. erm, this is a load of old bollocks.
     
  15. You always hear the old n bold talking about the playstation generation being softer and I agree with absolutely everything you've said.

    Out of interest, what did your old n bold say about you when you joined?
    [/QUOTE]

    Normally something like "YOU'LL BE SORRY" or "WAIT TIL YOUVE GOT YOUR KNEES BROWN" or "NEVER VOLUNTEER FOR ANYTHING" !!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.