Warrior Mentality

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One of the first things that we learn in the military is that there is no room for the weak and letting down your team is the worst offense that we can commit.
This mindset is imperative in building strong units that can go into harms way and do the things that must be done.
We rely on the other members of our team for our very lives and they rely on us as well.
This level of Espirit De Corps is deeply ingrained upon us from the very first second we arrive at basic training.
One of my earliest memories of boot camp was when one of the members of my company sprained his ankle running up the stairs.
He immediately went to medical and was placed on limited duty until his ankle could heal.
We marched everywhere we went and this individual would not be marching on his crutches, so he had to follow behind the company while we marched as a separate group that we were told were the "Limp, Lame, and Lazy.
" This had a profound impact on me and everyone else and believe me no one wanted to be in that group.
It starts out as an embarrassment and was simply out of personal pride, but as the training went on and we became more of a team it became much more than that.
When you have to suffer hardship as a part of a team you build bonds with the other members of the team that are very deep and have a significant impact upon how we view those around us.
To let them down by not being there is absolutely unacceptable and we will suffer any pain to ensure we can pull our own weight.
This belief continues and grows with us as we progress through our career and terms like "Sick Bay Commando" are added to the list.
A warrior is strong, a warrior is invulnerable, a warrior is committed to the team and no force on earth will keep a warrior from doing their part.
I have had the honor of serving with all branches of the service at one point in time or another during my career; Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard, no matter what branch this belief is central to who we are.
The epitome of this is our special forces.
If you have ever had the opportunity to observe the training that our special forces undergo you will see our service members pushed beyond the limits of human endurance and ask for more.
When you are placed in an intense environment like this those bonds of camaraderie become stronger than any force you can imagine and the "Team" is your life and the relationships formed between members can only be understood by those who have endured the same.
Combat provides the ground for the ultimate experience of team building.
Most service personnel will suffer with numerous aches, pains and ailments without uttering a word; "Pain is weakness leaving the body.
" By the end of a career it is not uncommon to find our service members have a laundry list of ailments that they have never let slow them down but have taken a toll on them and they cannot be reversed or repaired.
So far I have focused on physical injury and those things that can easily be understood, what I haven't addressed is the mental injury that is commonly dealt with by the philosophy, "Suck it up!" Since there seems to be a faulty belief that as long as we can physically complete a task anything else can be overcome with enough determination and will power, we tend to minimize or dismiss potentially devastating mental and emotional problems.
This is not a deliberate attempt by the military to brainwash its service members, but rather a byproduct of the important and necessary training to prepare us for war.
It is my opinion, based on personal experience, that the military itself has played an even bigger part in the reason our service members won't seek help by the way they have handled those dealing with these issues in the past.
If someone had the courage to say that they were having problems dealing with a critical incident, operational or combat stress the protocols have been to remove the individual from duty.
This is the last thing that a service member wants to have happen, especially if they are career minded due to the perceived implications on their careers future.
There is a great amount of risk and liability on the part of the military if they do not take steps to remove potentially harmful individuals from duty but it is not always necessary and we could do our service members a great service if we took the time to truly evaluate each individual more closely and implement programs that were geared toward individuals, not "cookie cutter" programs to limit liability.
Whether these beliefs are real or not is a moot point, the service members believe that is what will happen so that is their reality.
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