Excuse the troops redux

Grown scouts
A lot of what happens there, and in any war, is that the soldiers are literally brainwashed.

Basic Training is designed to be an intensive indoctrination program. The similarity to Cults like the Unification Church and such is literally mind boggling. Every detail, the exact number of people in the Flight or Platoon, the number in each squad, the arbitrarily assigned Peer Leaders, chosen at random the first day, 1 flight leader and 4 squad leaders, a total of 40 men in the flight, shouted orders which you have to shout back or shout Yes Sir or No Sir, while standing in a rigid stance, made to shout again and again, in unison.

Stripped of the individualism. Made the first day to look as much exactly alike as possible. Given inadequate and often interrupted sleep, then sleep but not in a recognizable pattern. Look alike, walk alike, fold your underwear alike, soon you will be thinking alike. It gets scary by the numbers. 4 will develop acute psychoses, 1 will attempt suicide. A total of 6 out of the 40 will not complete the training.

This supposedly helps you maintain discipline, cope with being under fire or other harsh conditions and still think alike.

What it actually does is make you into equipment, for the nonce. You have your conscience sublimated, because you are ordered to not feel guilt for “doing your duty”.
You are suppressed and repressed. Soon you are either obsessed or distressed, and, I confess, depressed. But the effect is temporary, sooner or later, the guilt of what you ordered to do gets to you, unless you are a true psychopath or sociopath. But that too is timed, it usually takes years, sometimes decades, and you are out of the Armed Forces by the time it hits you.

You are not yet insane by definition while you are blowing people to their component particles. You are controlled, but not by yourself. But when the reality comes to you, usually after but not always After you have left the constant reinforcement of this behavior.

That you enter into it voluntary, or not, makes no difference. Once you are indoctrinated any pretense of you being a volunteer drops away.

And you have the constant threat to your life, just from the nature of the “job”, for some odd reason you can’t just go around shooting people without them wanting to do everything they can to prevent you from doing so, and there is a distinctly mind chilling effect piling up, every time somebody points a gun at you, you look down the barrel and see death looking at you with a hideous one eyed stare.

A bullet wound isn’t clean, a little hole and the person looking for all the world like he is merely sleeping, no, sir, that is Hollywood. The kind of movie where somebody gets thrown through a window, picks himself up, dusts himself off and goes back to drinking. Instead of being cut to shreds like really happens. Those movie windows are called Candy Glass. The same when somebody hits you with a bottle. In real life, bottles are thicker and harder than the human skull, you bust somebody’s noggin with a bottle and he might just die right in front of you.

A real bullet might throw your friends’ innards all over you. The blood and guts and the shit, and the horrifying smell and sounds, constantly. But even the intervals of calm, because they are not scheduled, random, interspersed with random acts of violence and pain, nothing stable, nothing safe, eats you just as fast as the active phases.

Add in the idea that there real monsters in with the crowd, people who join for the knowledge that they will get to kill somebody without going to jail for it. And you have to stand day and night with these Socially Retarded Animated Sphincters. You have to remain loyal, even to them, but you know they might shank you when you get careless.

No, it isn’t an excuse. It is a reason.

To take that and make it positive, we really need to expose that for what it really is, and find a way to make it stop, and heal.

One way the heal the Troops is to Heel the Commander. Put a leash on that thar dawg. Make him mind.

If there is one dawg in the world that needs the Ol’ Yeller treatment, it’s him.

There is a book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which makes the same point, if we become like them to control them, then we become them, and somebody else will eventually control us the same way.

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