• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

On the Toxicity of the ‘Warrior’ Ethos

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
6,600
Points
1,260
We were all RCAF until 2013, and it was only Feb this year that those of us who wanted to switch out of RCAF DEU were given the opportunity. I think only four of us changed, and we all went RCN.
Does the change of DEU affect postings? Or it is literally a uniform and rank change?

Asking for some aircrew :ROFLMAO:
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,357
Points
1,110
Does the change of DEU affect postings? Or it is literally a uniform and rank change?

Asking for some aircrew :ROFLMAO:
I'll let you know this summer... By then my plans will have worked out or crashed and burned. :ROFLMAO:
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,446
Points
1,360
This is such a circle jerk of stupidity; warriors are individuals who fought for personal glory in a common gaggle. Throughout history they lost to professional soldiers.

Equipment support, logistics are all critical to the effectiveness of a military, but I'm not applying warrior ethos while fighting through the bullshit bureaucracy required in cubicle land (and primarily fueled by coffee and spite for the process). If the 'warriors' want to charge into battle, fill their boots I guess, but lets not lie to people and somehow 'sexy up' critical non-warrior support tasks being done at 1st, 2nd and 3rd lines.

I'm not in combat arms, but I'm guessing going full 'Leeroy Jenkins' in a squad attack isn't effective either, so they need to act as a team of professionals, not a group of individuals.
There is nothing inherently wrong with the term Warrior. Many Militaries have successfully integrated the idea of the "Warrior" in to their Military culture.

New Zealand is a great example of this. The Maori warrior culture is very important to not only their Armed Forces but also their Nation as a whole. Is it surprising that they have a far better relationship and integration with the large Aboriginal population in their Country than we do with ours?



There are other concepts like Bushido in Japan, Chivalric Code in Europe, Eso Ikoyi in Africa, Futuwwa in the Arab World that have been used quite successfully to integrate a Warrior Culture in to soldiering and the Military.

Your assertion that warriors have lost to professional soldiers throughout history is also wrong. It's such a North American viewpoint and has more to do with projecting our own insecurities concerning our history than it does with the actual validity of the term Warrior.

I basically consider it a thinly veiled form of North American racism that actually denigrates Native American/Indigenous Warrior culture.

I'm certain Custer wishes he and his "professional soldiers" took the threat from the warriors at little Big Horn more seriously.


Anyone who has a problem with the term Warrior needs to get over themselves, stop focusing on their own insecurities and focus on the positive aspects of a Warrior culture and there are many.
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,357
Points
1,110
There is nothing inherently wrong with the term Warrior. Many Militaries have successfully integrated the idea of the "Warrior" in to their Military culture.

New Zealand is a great example of this. The Maori warrior culture is very important to not only their Armed Forces but also their Nation as a whole. Is it surprising that they have a far better relationship and integration with the large Aboriginal population in their Country than we do with ours?



There are other concepts like Bushido in Japan, Chivalric Code in Europe, Eso Ikoyi in Africa, Futuwwa in the Arab World that have been used quite successfully to integrate a Warrior Culture in to soldiering and the Military.

Your assertion that warriors have lost to professional soldiers throughout history is also wrong. It's such a North American viewpoint and has more to do with projecting our own insecurities concerning our history than it does with the actual validity of the term Warrior.

I basically consider it a thinly veiled form of North American racism that actually denigrates Native American/Indigenous Warrior culture.

I'm certain Custer wishes he and his "professional soldiers" took the threat from the warriors at little Big Horn more seriously.


Anyone who has a problem with the term Warrior needs to get over themselves, stop focusing on their own insecurities and focus on the positive aspects of a Warrior culture and there are many.
Warrior wasn't invented as a word or concept to specifically speak about North American cultures... The idea that professionals beat warrior cultures goes back to Ancient Greece at least, and likely even earlier into the bronze age civilizations that started recruiting and training "professional" armies.

It's cool that you like the word, but don't lump all who disagree with you in as racists.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
3,207
Points
1,040
@Humphrey Bogart Again, projecting front line bullshit onto support; it's patronizing as hell and disrespects the importance of support roles. 'Sailors first' attitude directly is impacting RCN readiness, and undermined what we used to do to stick around and work until repairs are done. When operators are working 730-1530 alongside, there was a lot of surprised pikachus when MSED started doing the same (as they are sailors too).

It's also not a North American viewpoint; it's actually a very old one that warriors =/= professional soldiers. The Roman Empire rolled over all kinds of warrior societies. The Spartans also come to mind against other city states that didn't have full time soldiers. The Gauls for example were getting rolled over until they actually banded together and had the warrior clans work together as more of a professional army.

We're a professional, full time military, it's a team sport. Only a small number are actually front line troops where 'warrior' may be applicable, but if we're not all working together nothing happens.

It's also a very short term, myopic view. Our institutional focus on 'warriors' and long term de-prioritization of support and training roles is exactly why we have to down tools to rebuild (unless you are the Navy, and just try and ramp up training while not reducing any operational tempo).
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,446
Points
1,360
Warrior wasn't invented as a word or concept to specifically speak about North American cultures... The idea that professionals beat warrior cultures goes back to Ancient Greece at least, and likely even earlier into the bronze age civilizations that started recruiting and training "professional" armies.

It's cool that you like the word, but don't lump all who disagree with you in as racists.
All professional Armies, at least the ones that want to be successful, inculcate a Warrior Culture in to their fighting force.

Want to talk about the Greeks? Ok, what of the Spartans? They were literally a Warrior society?

Professional Soldiers are just "efficient" warriors.

I literally listed a number of different codes that you can do your own research on if you want.

@Humphrey Bogart Again, projecting front line bullshit onto support; it's patronizing as hell and disrespects the importance of support roles. 'Sailors first' attitude directly is impacting RCN readiness, and undermined what we used to do to stick around and work until repairs are done. When operators are working 730-1530 alongside, there was a lot of surprised pikachus when MSED started doing the same (as they are sailors too).
No what impacted RCN readiness was lack of money, a highly toxic chain of command and a bunch of charlatans who pretend to call themselves professional military members.

I was both a Combat Arms Officer and a Naval Officer. Commanded Platoons and held Charge.

Judging from what I saw in our Navy, they could use a heck of a lot more warrior culture. It might actually get rid of the plethora of beer bellies and discreditable conduct.

Oh and the culture in the Navy is complete shit but that's for another topic 😄
It's also not a North American viewpoint; it's actually a very old one that warriors =/= professional soldiers. The Roman Empire rolled over all kinds of warrior societies. The Spartans also come to mind against other city states that didn't have full time soldiers. The Gauls for example were getting rolled over until they actually banded together and had the warrior clans work together as more of a professional army.
And enter the Goths, Visigoths and Huns, a bunch of warrior societies who rolled the Romans!

All professional soldiers = warriors but not all warriors = professional soldiers 😉

We're a professional, full time military, it's a team sport. Only a small number are actually front line troops where 'warrior' may be applicable, but if we're not all working together nothing happens.
We used to be a professional military. We seem to be trying this thing where we convert our Military to a second class GD pool for the Civil Service.

It's also a very short term, myopic view. Our institutional focus on 'warriors' and long term de-prioritization of support and training roles is exactly why we have to down tools to rebuild (unless you are the Navy, and just try and ramp up training while not reducing any operational tempo).
These two things are not even remotely connected and the links your making don't actually exist.

We de-prioritized support because the Government over committed us time and time again to operations beyond the scale of our capacity to support. It has nothing to do with a Warrior Culture.

I would love to see you go tell Mr. Dress Up that you need to down tools next time he orders you to sail to XXX. We don't get to choose, it's all part of that unlimited liability piece.
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,446
Points
1,360
I want to congratulate Kent Gregory on his retirement and I hope he finds it fulfilling.

That's all I am going to say.
I know the CAF wanted to try this thing where they had "Command" Chiefs serve outside their elements.

I want to bring this guy out of retirement and send him to a Brigade, just to see what would happen 😁 because I'm evil 😈.

😏😏 "giggles in Infantry"

1st Ruck March: "Yah Chief, I think you hit the nail on the proverbial head with that paper of yours. You're not a warrior!" 🤣
 

Furniture

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2,357
Points
1,110
All professional Armies, at least the ones that want to be successful, inculcate a Warrior Culture in to their fighting force.

Want to talk about the Greeks? Ok, what of the Spartans? They were literally a Warrior society?

Professional Soldiers are just "efficient" warriors.

I literally listed a number of different codes that you can do your own research on if you want.
I'm aware of the history, and broadly accepted where you were going, right up until you called people who disagree with you racists.

As I said, it's fine that you like the term, but that doesn't make people who view it differently racists.

Also, bushido died/heavily evolved out with the modernization of the Japanese army, then reared its head again as a very ugly excuse to murder people in the interwar/Second World War period.

Chivalric code as most understand it is largely a fiction of later generations romanticizing the medieval era, and also happened to die out/heavily evolve at the time that European armies were moving to a full-time paid professional force.

There are aspects of warrior cultures that can be brought into the military to enhance its fighting spirit, but that doesn't mean we need to use the term warrior rather than the already existing and perfectly acceptable alternatives like soldier, sailor, aviator (ok, maybe warrior works better here :ROFLMAO: ).
 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
5,503
Points
1,260
I personally find the "warrior" concept can be cheesy, especially as marketed by the Americans, but it can be useful if done right.

I can appreciate where an idea of a "warrior ethos" is used by leaders to try and promote resiliency in soldiers, especially combat arms soldiers. For those who have put 100 lbs on with little to no sleep or food, and then push on in terrible conditions, that extra psychological buffer it could promote is useful (see final paragraph below). If you know, you know.

When warrior ethos is used to promote elitism, it becomes goofy at best, and toxic at worst - and probably both. Leaders need to be on guard for this.

Finally, I'll challenge commentators not to approach the concept from a western bias, fixated on Spartans and Vikings with beards. I visited a First Nations community and one member mentioned that "this community appreciates the CAF, as it views the warrior as an honourable role; someone who protects the community." Nobody would consider New Zealand's fusion of Maori warrior culture and concepts such as the Haka or the Aumangea programme as a silly or toxic thing; conversely, it can serve as an example of successful application of the concept. Here is a good example of training designed to "build a more resilient warrior."

 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,446
Points
1,360
@Furniture

My choice of words was poor, for that I apologize.

I do think though, that there are certain Special Interest Groups who are hell bent on destroying the fighting culture of the CAF for various reasons.

90% of those reasons are not very good ones and are also very bad for the CAF, especially one that wants to call itself a professional military.

They've found a lot of careerists, opportunists and willing bootlickers to carry the torches for them 😄.

I'm retired now anyways and personally, I would never do the bidding of the current Government which is why I'm a civvy now.


Your points on certain aspects of Warrior Code being potentially negative are equally valid. The use of Bushido by the IJN/IJA leading up to and during WW2 is a great example of this. This is actually a great example or where a Warrior Culture can have a potential negative impact on a fighting force.

I would argue that the IJA misused Bushido and manipulated its values, which are the following:

1520086532250


The important thing though is to ensure the fighting force picks the right warrior virtues to focus on. It must also avoid negative adaptations.

There are a plethora of examples of positive warrior culture vs negative warrior culture. Recent events involving SOF in Afghanistan/Iraq come to mind.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
3,207
Points
1,040
@Humphrey Bogart Look at how many people are actually on the ship in the RCN and then how many are required ashore for support functions, and then you may get a better idea on why 'warrior ethos' doesn't make sense for the entire CAF in every job.

In practice a lot of the 'warrior ethos' seems to translate into leadership by volume and other nonsense, and the whole thing is so poorly explained that it just is an eye rolling shitshow. We don't do it effectively at all, and it just seems to reinforce the worst behaviours. If we did it properly, it would bring people and their individual skillsets/tasks together to create an effective fighting force, which means some people are on the tip of the spear, and the others are making sure they have what they need to keep going.

If you think having empty instructor billets, empty LCMM/purchaser billets etc for a decade or more hasn't had a cumulative and crippling impact, I don't know what to tell you. Even the most inspiring leaders aren't going to train people, fill bins, fix things and get new stuff with 50% staff for very long at the rate we need. The toxic leadership and other things definitely contribute as well, but we've been trying to run ahead of it for a long time, and we're at the point now where we will be running out of sailors, and other critical basic things needed to go to sea pretty quick.

I'd say that part of the toxic leadership is ignoring the impact of that long term grind on support, but these are the same folks that ignore the impact of the insane opsched on everyone that refuse to scale it back to match actual capacity, so I can only imagine the rosy colour of glasses they are inspecting the inside of their own asses with at this point.
 

Weinie

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
3,363
Points
1,110
but these are the same folks that ignore the impact of the insane opsched on everyone that refuse to scale it back to match actual capacity, so I can only imagine the rosy colour of glasses they are inspecting the inside of their own asses with at this point.
Welcome to the CAF leadership, where everyone wants to make a mark, to prove their applicability.
 

Humphrey Bogart

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Reaction score
7,446
Points
1,360
Welcome to the CAF leadership, where everyone wants to make a mark, to prove their applicability.
Just like the author of this particular Journal Article did. Just jumping on the bandwagon for clout, probably trying to position themselves for some sort of post-retirement pseudo consulting gig where they get to impart their wisdom on how to improve our culture, in exchange for money of course 😆

We've got so many willing bootlickers and opportunists in uniform, the Govt doesn't even need to try. It will always be able to tind torch carriers that will do anything for a promo and a couple of extra bucks a month 😄
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
6,720
Points
1,110
Just like the author of this particular Journal Article did. Just jumping on the bandwagon for clout, probably trying to position themselves for some sort of post-retirement pseudo consulting gig where they get to impart their wisdom on how to improve our culture, in exchange for money of course 😆

We've got so many willing bootlickers and opportunists in uniform, the Govt doesn't even need to try. It will always be able to tind torch carriers that will do anything for a promo and a couple of extra bucks a month 😄
Torches - you forgot the pitchforks my friend.

You can’t have a mob without pitchforks…

Rules for a mob:

Torches and pitchforks are mandatory. The carrying of rotten vegetables and small rocks are encouraged.
Ropes are encouraged as well
 
Last edited:

dimsum

Army.ca Legend
Mentor
Reaction score
6,600
Points
1,260
Look at how many people are actually on the ship in the RCN and then how many are required ashore for support functions, and then you may get a better idea on why 'warrior ethos' doesn't make sense for the entire CAF in every job.
At least everyone has a somewhat equal chance of dying onboard ship if they get hit by a torp.

Take a land-based flying squadron like Long Range Patrol. Its technicians and support staff aren't usually even in the same country as the aircraft's Op Area. There might be some merit to instituting a "warrior culture" in the aircrew who are in harm's way, but to do that for the rest of the team supporting it in Allied Country X seems like practicing bleeding.
 

Navy_Pete

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
3,207
Points
1,040
At least everyone has a somewhat equal chance of dying onboard ship if they get hit by a torp.
There are thousands of people working ashore to support the ships, and usually that's who 'accepts the risk' which is bullshit IMO.
 
Top