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.