”When our men and women go off to war and they come back differently, we must remember that their theological world has been shaken to its core... What many of our troops have seen makes no sense to them; it is not reasonable” Don Holdridge, Ph.D. Don Holdridge, Ph.D. Col. USA Chaplain
Flak Jacket For The Soul A pre-combat spiritual resiliency seminar To prepare "unblooded Marines," With a "flak jacket" for their souls By providing “Spiritual and emotional coping skills" Through which they can process What is experienced on the battle field, Thereby, minimizing the wounding of their souls.
“I look upon the spiritual life of the soldier as even more important than his physical equipment. The soldier’s heart, the soldier's spirit, the soldier's soul sustains him, he cannot be relied upon and will fail himself, his commander, and his country in the end. It’s morale – and I mean spiritual morale – which wins the victory ultimately. And that type of morale can only come out of a solider who knows God and who has the spirit of religious fervor in his soul.” General George C. Marshall General George C. Marshall
“A warrior’s code is “... setting standards of behavior for themselves, accepting certain restraints, and even "honoring their enemies," creating a lifeline that will allow warriors to pull themselves out of the hell of war and reintegrate themselves into their society, should they survive to see peace restored.” – Shannon E. French, Ph.D. – Shannon E. French, Ph.D. United States Naval Academy United States Naval Academy The Code of the Warrior: The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present and Present ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
Resiliency The strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event And The capacity to rebound from experiencing an adverse event.
“... resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom.” Joseph C. Napoli, MD
“The soldier's trade, if it is to mean anything at all, has to be anchored to an unshakable code of honor. Otherwise, those of us who follow the drums become nothing more than a bunch of hired assassins walking around in gaudy clothes...a disgrace to God and mankind. Major-General Carl von Clausewitz On War
USMC SLOGANS "The Marine Corps -- When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be Destroyed Overnight" "Death Smiles At Everyone -- Marines Smile Back" "Marine Sniper - You can run, but you'll just die tired!" "What Do I Feel When I Kill A Terrorist?.... A little Recoil" "Marines -- Providing Enemies of America an Opportunity To Die For their Country Since 1775” "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It" "Happiness Is A Belt-Fed Weapon" "Machine Gunners -- Accuracy by Volume" "A Dead Enemy Is A Peaceful Enemy -- Blessed Be The Peacemakers” ~~~~
Number one question asked by Marines: “Can I be a good Marine and a good Christian at the same time?” YES! (Rom 13:1-7)
“... the lasting psychological damage suffered by some veterans (such as debilitating post-traumatic stress) is most often the result of experiences that are not simply violent, but which involve what Shay calls the "betrayal of 'what's right.'" Veterans who believe that they were directly or indirectly party to immoral or dishonorable behavior (perpetrated by themselves, their comrades, or their commanders) have the hardest time reclaiming their lives after the war is over. It is easier to remain a warrior when fighting other warriors. When warriors fight murderers, they may be tempted to become like the evil they hope to destroy. Their only protection is their code of honor. “... the lasting psychological damage suffered by some veterans (such as debilitating post-traumatic stress) is most often the result of experiences that are not simply violent, but which involve what Shay calls the "betrayal of 'what's right.'" Veterans who believe that they were directly or indirectly party to immoral or dishonorable behavior (perpetrated by themselves, their comrades, or their commanders) have the hardest time reclaiming their lives after the war is over. It is easier to remain a warrior when fighting other warriors. When warriors fight murderers, they may be tempted to become like the evil they hope to destroy. Their only protection is their code of honor. Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
“War must be carried on systematically, and to do it you must have men of character activated by principles of honor” General General George Washington George Washington
Military Application “The process where the commander and his staff synchronize the daily operating tempo within the planning, decision, execution and assessment cycle to allow the commander to make timely decisions.” Some of the planning and operating cycles that influence the battle rhythm of the command include: Intelligence Collection Targeting Air Tasking Orders Reconnaissance Tasking
Spiritual Application “The process whereby believers synchronize their walk with the Lord by bringing up to speed and maintaining that level of walk which allows the Lord to direct the planning, decision making, execution, and assessment cycle of their daily life, which allows the Lord to impact their daily decisions, keeping them in sync with His will” Planning and operating cycles influencing the battle rhythm of the believer: Intelligence Collection (Daily Self Evaluation) Targeting (Daily Identifying areas of personal need) Air Tasking Orders (Daily time spent in prayer) Reconnaissance Tasking (Daily searching the Scriptures)
What A Spiritual Battle Rhythm Accomplishes: Puts the believer into a position of strength Absorbs the severity of the incoming shock of combat Allows for the ability to see things with an eternal perspective Provides the ability to know what to do next when you don’t know... what to do next. ~~~~~~ Major Mike Smith USMC
“What helps you make sense of what is sometimes senseless in combat?” What do you know now that you wished you knew when you first deployed? How has your combat experience strengthened you? How would you prepare yourself prior to going into a combat situation and what would you do afterwards? How do you not dehumanize your enemy? What helps you make sense of what happens in combat? What one thing would you like to leave with “Unblooded” Marines prior to their deployment?