Dealing with that fact that you may kill someone while in the Military

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LineInTheSand, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    As was brought up in a different thread. Some people forget that while academies are college, they lead to their affiliated branch and in that branch you may find yourself in the position to kill the enemy, aka take a human life.

    You can talk about it on this thread so other threads are not hijacked for this subject.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    I also know this is touchy, but it's reality, so lets just get it all out there, quick and in a hurry.:eek:
     
  3. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Taking a human life, no matter whose it is, is something that we, as civilized people, are not brought up to easily accept.

    Sure, there are some who, for whatever reason, seem to have that inbred ability to separate their emotions from their duties, but for the average Joe, a lot of introspection is needed.

    In some services it's easier than others. For example, it is far easier to reply to "Take track 3452 with Bulldogs" and wipe out a patrol boat with 75 people on it than it is to crawl through the mud, sneak up on a single sentry, and slit his throat. In the Navy, I never saw any special training or counseling to help us deal with the former, and I regret I am unaware of any such resources being available to help people prepare for the latter.

    Those in uniform (past and present) love to boast that they'd take it to the enemy no matter what, but ask any of them when no one else is listening, and you may get a very different answer.

    Also, there is the difference between what you think beforehand and what actually happens when the SHTF. If you came home and saw some guy holding a knife to the throat of your daughter, would you draw and fire immediately, or would you hesitate? Would you crap your pants and beg him to kill you instead?

    I submit that no one knows the answer to that question until faced with it or something similar, unless they have undergone some kind of conditioning I am unaware of, but would love to at least hear about, if not receive.

    BTW, this doesn't make our troops murderers or robots. It makes them PEOPLE who are doing a mighty DAMNED hard job, and for reasons that DON'T include lots of money.
     
  4. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    THAT was a very good beginning response to a touchy subject.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks. :redface:

    Let's face it, I once wore a uniform. Many a time did my classmates and I discuss this very issue, usually at night and in hushed tones. It wasn't the chest-thumping types that occasionally scared me. It was the quiet ones who simply stared back at you or said something like, "I don't know".

    My response was always, "Well, I'd like to THINK I'd be a Rambo, but I'll let you know when the first round cracks past my head, the first SSM streaks close aboard, or the first time I hear a torpedo going active on MY boat." :eek:
     
  6. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Why anyone wants to sugar coat it is beyond me.

    It is the job of the armed forces to kill the enemy.

    We talk about leadership etc, but leadership where? Yes, on the battlefield.

    It is the job of these academies to produce men who can lead in battle, lead other men to go and kill the enemy. In the air, on the sea, on land.

    "Defeat the enemy" usually is accomplished by killing more of his men then he kills of yours.

    There is nothing wrong with that, it is a noble profession, to defend the country by all means necessary including, yes, killing other people.

    For any kid entering the Navy, Army, Marines, or Air Force and has not thought long and hard about how they may feel afterward shows severe lack of thought.

    And to pass judgment on a kid who HAS thought about it and has decided that he would rather help save lives, and not take an offensive role in killing, is thoughtless and idiotic.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004


    But also remind him that while he may be saving lives, he'll train with M-16s, Sig .40s, and riot shot guns, because he may have to use them. While I haven't shot at anyone with the 25mm on my ship, it's there for a reason, and it could be used to take a life.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,753
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    Although it may be more defensive, either for the unit or for fellow Americans and allies.


    The nation needs a good offense, as well as a good defense to win the game.
     
  9. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    No one is doing that, and no one HAS done it, so DROP IT. :mad:

    The discussion here is not a debate on the role of the military, but to ensure that candidates have come to grips with the grim lining of what they are now embarking on.

    You look through a USxA catalog and you will see smiling students, academics, athletics, and course descriptions. You won't see the disclaimer that, as you so correctly pointed out, all these preps are meant to get you to lead on a BATTLEFIELD. At least, it's not exactly put on Page 1.

    As LITS mentioned elsewhere, if a potential applicant can definitively say that he cannot take a life, then he should apply somewhere else.
     
  10. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well it certainly wasn't installed there to improve ship's stability, now was it?

    Nay, it was installed to totally SCREW UP the stability of OTHER ships. If people happen to be aboard that ship, it would be advisable to either obey the orders coming from the nice white boat beforehand, or dive over the side QUICK when the nice white boat starts making BOOM BOOM noises in your direction.
     
  11. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    just highschooler's perspective:

    i think that whether it is offensive or defensive is a matter of perspective. and the line is gray, not black and white.

    i'd like to think that our nation's armed forces (and department of homeland security, coasties :wink: ) are defending our great country regardless of where the battle is taken- whether iraq, afghanistan or 10 miles out of new york harbor.

    don't forget that the coast guard has also fought in foreign lands. (i just read that in wikipedia this morning! :shake:)

    110% don't mean any disrespect to coast guardmen by this, but i wonder if more of them would be struggling with themselves if in some future conflict, the coast guard had to take an active part as they did in ww2. wouldn't it be worse for the average coast guardman for the very reasons that luigi59's son chose that service, to have to take part in an active conflict? i wonder if this was an issue during ww2 when the coast guard was part of the department of defense? why do i ask this question? because of guys like this:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=UkHI_b_YtKU
    in general, people who joined voluntarily but then decided they didn't like where it would lead.

    maybe lineinthesand, you can tell us your perspective on this. how would you feel if you and your service were called to take a traditional(?) wartime role. would you be honored? would you feel betrayed? would you wonder about the sanity of the guys in DC?
     
  12. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Of course. He understands that well. He also understands there is a difference between offensive weapons and defensive weapons.

    Look, my son is no pacifist, he understands the need for killing and battle and warfare etc etc. He is very familiar with firearms, he has been shooting since the age of 10 and has hunted since the age of 11, and might be considered a "gun nut."

    I have no illusions or doubts that if he goes into the law enforcement arm of the CG that he would have no problem blowing away some drug dealer who threatened him or his team, or no problem firing on some Iranian speedboat headed for the ship at high speed.

    He pursued (and received an appointment) to the USAFA knowing full well that if called upon he would have to kill, and as I said before, if that was his duty he would have done it. He also received the appointment to New London, knowing full well that if was called upon to kill as part of his duties he would also do it, no problem.

    But given the choice of the USAF offensive strike capability where killing is part of the mission (saving lives by killing) or the USCG mission (saving lives by not killing), he chose Coast Guard.

    In spite of what Zaphod or you-know-who says, it is not a slap at the others services at all. If those service members cannot reconcile the fact that their mission is to kill (whether to save lives or not), then they need to reconsider their profession.
     
  13. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyone who is so naive as to think this is all that combat is about should be forced to volunteer at Walter Reed and assist our PTSD patients and become a little more educated. After all, there are plenty of them, approximately one in eight of the nearly two million who have served over there. And PTSD is usually not incurred from bad food.
     
  14. SemperExcelsius

    SemperExcelsius USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just have a question... Someone told me once that the CG can be called upon by some higher power (I think the Secretary of Defense), to become a part of the navy? Is that correct?

    EDIT: Nevermind... Did you know that there is this site called Wikipedia!? (I jest :smile:)
    Wow, and I did not read VMINROTChopeful's post.... Apologies!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5

    More educated? :rolleyes:

    You know nothing about me, my education, where I have worked, what I have done, where I have served or what I have seen.

    Anyone so naive to think that they know EVERYTHING (like you) should run for God.

    STOP TROLLING! :unhappy::unhappy:
     
  16. VMINROTChopeful

    VMINROTChopeful Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, that's what i was referring to in my post above! :wink:
     
  17. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am going to have to disagree with you here. Close and personal, it is not about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is about saving both your butt and that of your buddies. Mission is important but secondary. It is relatively easy to pull the trigger on someone who is tryng to do you in. I think it is from the relative safety of the button pushers and the plexiglas cockpits where the soaked sheet nightmares are more likely to begin.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2008
  18. jamzmom

    jamzmom Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    Uh. Ouch. This is gonna be a hot topic. I would like to see this subject conversed about without insult as it is one of THE most important issues facing our young service men & women of today. Please try to keep it civil. We have the opportunity to learn from one another here.

    What are ya'lls thoughts on the recent incident involving the MSC ship in the Suez canal? I truly think that since the USS Cole attack, Captains of US ships have good reason to fear the small peddler type vessels in the water near our ships. I understand the confusion on the part of the "locals" not realizing it was an actual contracted Naval vessel. I will admit that I would have fired the warning shots as well.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/03/25/suez.incident/
     
  19. USNA69

    USNA69 Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,771
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, more educated about what combat is all about. Listen to what some of the PTSD patients are saying.
     
  20. Zaphod

    Zaphod Founding Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    2,952
    Likes Received:
    4
    Interesting point. You may be 100% right. Raw survival is a base instinct, and that may make a HUGE difference.
     

Share This Page