Re: "the species' immune system"

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 15:25:37 MDT

In your typical platoon during WWII, in any given firefight, typically 3-5
soldiers actually would shoot back, the rest trying to dig themselves as deep
into the ground as possible. Most people have an innate reluctance to shoot a
human shaped object. Durinig Vietnam, the Marines instituted a training program
that acknowledged this fact, and which attempted to break down this reluctance,
training soldiers to shoot BEFORE they had time to think about what they were
shooting at, that it was human shaped. Part of this comes from the psychological
trauma the drill instructors would put the trainees under every day, such that a
soldier in combat would fear their seargent more than the enemy, at least until
they had been through their first few firefights. The first few firefights would
typically weed out the soldiers. You would typically have three types: a) those
who either stood their ground and shot back or advanced and shot back, b) those
who would duck into the lowest hold they could find, and c) those who turned
tail and ran. Those in the third category would typically get shot in the back
by the enemy as they fled (this is typically the number one way to get killed on
the battlefield). Those in the second category would typically either survive
long enough to get rotated to a non-combat position, or find something to do
supporting someone who was willing to shoot back (feeding ammo and mortars,
giving first aid to other deadweights who got hit first, etc.), or get killed or
captured when the few who were shooting were overwhelmed by enemy forces. Those
in the first category typically survived and/or got the medals (sometimes
posthumously). Getting medals is not a matter of being brave in combat, but in
being brave in combat while an officer is looking (and who survives long enough
to report it).

Special forces owe a large portion of their success to the fact that they are
100% proven shooters, so a small squad or maniple of specwarriors can do as much
damage as a platoon or company simply because they have as many actual shooters
as a conventional platoon or company (and they are more mobile because they
don't have to worry about carrying out cowardly deadweight). Since the early
Vietnam war era, the percent of soldiers actually shooting back in combat has
grown measurably, up to around 30-60% these days in conventional units. ASVAB
tests and other tests in early in training help the services weed out most
non-shooters into non-combat positions before they get sent off to train for
their MOS.

The sort of training the Marines use to make shooting people instinctive is one
reason why combat soldiers are useless as police or 'peacekeeping' forces, and
why military police are separate from and different from other military units.
They have to be trained to be able to distinguish combatants from non-combatants
to a far more discriminating degree (the sort of training you see in 'hogan's
alley' type exercises). wrote:
> In a message dated 10/3/00 12:58:13 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:<< I had referred to willing warriors, eager soldiers, those who
> fought for god and country. >>
> Somewhere I heard that only about four percent of men are truly warrior
> material. Can you shed any light on this? Anyone?
> Ron H.

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