Presentation on theme: "Overview of Military Culture"— Presentation transcript:
1 Overview of Military Culture Jeanette Hsu, Ph.D.VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemSeptember 2010Overview of Military Culture
2 AcknowledgementsVA Psychology Training Council Multicultural Diversity CommitteeVA Palo Alto HCS Psychology Training ProgramTiffanie Sim, Ph.D., VA Palo Alto HCSJay Morrison, Ph.D., San Francisco VAMCAdditional speakers: Judith Chapman, Ph.D., Dennis Murphy, Tiffanie Sim, Ph.D., Capt. Cindy Hart
3 Learning ObjectivesPrimary mission and core values of each branch of the militaryCultural and behavioral norms for military personnelBattlefield mindset and adjustment issues that might arise when coming homeClinical implications for civilian/VA providersAdditional resources
4 Basic Tenets of Military Culture "Duty, Honor, Country"The military emphasizes discipline and hierarchy, prioritizes the group over the individual, and uses specific rituals and symbols to convey important meanings and transitions.Military law requires commanding officers and those in authority to demonstrate virtue, honor, patriotism, and subordination in all that they do.
5 Elements of Military Culture DisciplineProfessional EthosCeremony & EtiquetteCohesionAdditional subculturesType of unit (e.g., fighter squadron)Branch (e.g., Infantry)War Fighting community (e.g., aviation, submarine, special operations)a) discipline enables military operations in the most demanding environments- combatb) Professional ethos- values willingness to engage an armed opponent and sacrifice self to accomplish the mission; physical and moral courage; and discipline; obedience to lawful authority, loyalty to and respect for comrades, unit, and nation, service and advancement based on merit.c) ceremony and etiquette- salutes, uniforms, ribbons and medals, and playing of taps; celebrate military service and portrays powerful symbolismd) cohesion- essential for combat effectivenessSteps:Bootcamp/Basic trainingFormal training in specialty areaBased on meritocracySubcultures:Type of unit (e.g., fighter squadron)Branch (Infantry)War Fighting community (ex Navy- aviation, surface warfare, submarine, or special operations)
6 Military Personnel Enlisted (84%) – perform specific job functions Warrant Officers (2%) – highly specialized expertsCommissioned Officers (14%) – management and leadership roles, need bachelors degree or higher1) Enlisted- perform specific job fxn like employee at company; E1-E6NCO- non-commissioned officer/Petty officer (Navy)High school diploma required2) Warrant Officers- highly specialized like pilot; experts in career fields; no warrant officers in the AF3) Commissioned Officers (generalists); like mgrs/leaders in company; highest ranks; need Bachelors or higher
7 The Average Soldier RANK: E-4 (Corporal / Specialist) AGE: 22 TIME IN SERVICE: 4 YearsBASE PAY: $1,978.50/monthEDUCATION: High School GraduateMARITAL STATUS: Married w/ two ChildrenRACE: 60% Caucasian/40% Ethnic MinorityGENDER: 85% Male/15% FemaleAVERAGE WORK DAY: When the mission is complete
8 Army Motto: This We’ll Defend. Army's Mission: “To fight and win our Nation’s wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders.”the minimum age for enlistment in the United States Army is 17 (with parental consent) and the current maximum age is 42.
9 Army (cont.) Responsible for land-based military operations Largest and oldest branch539,675 Active personnel 557,375 Reserve personnelActive Duty, Army Nat’l Guard & Army Reserves15% women40% active Army composed of minority personnel21% officers minority
10 Army 7 Core Values - LDRSHIP Loyalty – Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and fellow Soldiers.Duty – Fulfill your obligations. Accept responsibility for your own actions and those entrusted to your care.Respect – Treat others as they should be treated.Selfless Service – Put the welfare of the nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own.Honor – Live the Army Values.Integrity – Do what's right, both legally and morally.Personal Courage – Face fear, danger, or adversity, both physical and moral.Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. Bearing true faith and allegiance is a matter of believing in and devoting yourself to something or someone. A loyal Soldier is one who supports the leadership and stands up for fellow Soldiers. By wearing the uniform of the U.S. Army you are expressing your loyalty. And by doing your share, you show your loyalty to your unit.back to topFulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team. The work of the U.S. Army is a complex combination of missions, tasks and responsibilities — all in constant motion. Our work entails building one assignment onto another. You fulfill your obligations as a part of your unit every time you resist the temptation to take “shortcuts” that might undermine the integrity of the final product.Treat people as they should be treated. In the Soldier’s Code, we pledge to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” Respect is what allows us to appreciate the best in other people. Respect is trusting that all people have done their jobs and fulfilled their duty. And self-respect is a vital ingredient with the Army value of respect, which results from knowing you have put forth your best effort. The Army is one team and each of us has something to contribute.Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own. Selfless service is larger than just one person. In serving your country, you are doing your duty loyally without thought of recognition or gain. The basic building block of selfless service is the commitment of each team member to go a little further, endure a little longer, and look a little closer to see how he or she can add to the effort.Live up to Army values. The Nation’s highest military award is The Medal of Honor. This award goes to Soldiers who make honor a matter of daily living — Soldiers who develop the habit of being honorable, and solidify that habit with every value choice they make. Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity and personal courage in everything you do.Do what’s right, legally and morally. Integrity is a quality you develop by adhering to moral principles. It requires that you do and say nothing that deceives others. As your integrity grows, so does the trust others place in you. The more choices you make based on integrity, the more this highly prized value will affect your relationships with family and friends, and, finally, the fundamental acceptance of yourself.Face fear, danger or adversity (physical or moral). Personal courage has long been associated with our Army. With physical courage, it is a matter of enduring physical duress and at times risking personal safety. Facing moral fear or adversity may be a long, slow process of continuing forward on the right path, especially if taking those actions is not popular with others. You can build your personal courage by daily standing up for and acting upon the things that you know are honorable.
11 Navy Motto: Semper Fortis, “Always Courageous” Navy Mission: “To maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.”2nd largest branchActive & Reserve; no Nat’l GuardFocus on tradition; downsized over the years
12 Sailor’s Creed I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.
13 Navy (cont.) The sea branch of the U.S. Armed Forces Three primary areas of responsibility:"The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war""The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations and all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy""The development of aircraft, weapons, tactics, technique, organization, and equipment of naval combat and service elements".Also transport Marines to areas of conflict, medical personnel, support & supply, counter-piracy, counter human trafficking missionsThe uniforms of the United States Navy are designed "to combine professionalism and naval heritage with versatility, safety, and comfort".U.S. Navy uniforms can generally be divided into three categories: dress uniforms, service uniforms, and working uniformsDress uniforms are worn during military-related formal occasions, such as ceremonies and other official functions. Many types of dress uniforms are used in the Navy with the full range of formal requirements represented. Service dress is the least formal dress uniform, full dress is one step higher in formality, and mess dress is the most formal dress available.Service uniforms are designed for daily wear and are most often worn in office or classroom-type settings, as well as other occasions in which physical activity is at a minimum. The most visible distinction between officers and enlisted personnel are the color of the service uniform. Only officers and chief petty officers are authorized to wear Service Khaki; all other personnel must wear one of the Winter Blue or Summer White (depending on the season), or the Navy Service Uniform (which will eventually replace Winter Blue and Summer White).Working uniforms prioritize comfort and safety first and thus are the most utilitarian of the Navy uniforms. They are intended for use in underway ships and in occasions that involve dirty, physical labor. Many working uniforms are variations of the service uniforms except with less formal requirements. This category includes Navy coveralls, which are authorized to be worn by members of all ranks.
15 Marine Corps Motto: Semper Fidelis, “Always Faithful” Marine Corps Mission: The seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and other land operations to support naval campaigns.The development of tactics, techniques, and equipment used by amphibious landing forces.Such other duties as the President may direct. (National Security Act of 1947)Strongest service culture; worships at the altar of uniqueness“First in, last out”“Every marine as a rifleman”“Once a marine, always a marine”Fewer female marines (6%); much of medical and combat service support provided by NavyArmy supports it further inland
16 Marine Core Values Same as Navy Honor Courage Commitment Marines are called marines, not soldiersMarine Corps operates administratively under the Navy
17 Air Force Motto: Above All Air Force Mission: “To deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests to fly and fight in air, space and cyberspace.”AD, AF Reserves, Aerial Nat’l Guardprimarily conducts aerial warfare; air forces are responsible for gaining control of the air, carrying out strategic-bombing ; youngest serviceUSAF has 327,452 personnel on active duty, 115,299 in the Selected and Individual Ready Reserves, and 106,700 in the Air National Guard as of September In addition, the USAF employs 171,313 civilian personnel, and has 57,000 auxiliary members in the Civil Air Patrolmissions and providing support to surface forces.
18 Air Force Core Values Integrity Service Before Self Excellence in all we doYoungest service branch; worships at the altar of technologyMore women (18%)99.7% of jobs open to women; women fly nearly every combat aircraft in the AF inventory
19 US Coast Guard Motto: Semper Paratus, "Always Ready" Coast Guard Mission: “To protect the public, the environment, and the United States economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways.”Can operate under DoD under Dept of Navy if congress declares war or at request of President; armed force but not part of DoDPart of Dept of Homeland Securities, law enforcement, search & rescueAD, Nat’l Guard (operated by state) & Reserves (fed gov’t)
20 Coast Guard Core Values HonorRespectDevotion to DutyStop here to have Dennis and Judith comment5- minutes of “The Marines” DVD
21 Military Culture and Masculinity The Combat Masculine-Warrior Paradigm (CMW)Dunivin (1994, 1997)Combat, the preparation for and conduct of war, is the military’s core activity, and its overwhelmingly primary reason for beingAs an institution, it has historically and continues to be comprised primarily of men, and soldiering has been viewed as a traditionally male roleAt present, this CMW paradigm may be changingIncreased diversity and expansion of women’s rolesBroadening of the uses of the Armed Forces, to increasingly encompass humanitarian support, disaster relief, and peacekeeping roleSpecial thanks to Dr. Tina Liu-Tom and Athena Yoneda for this reference
22 Military Belief Systems Shared set of beliefs thinking & behaviorBased on the shared understanding of the missionBarriers to seeking treatment65% fear the perception of being seen as “weak”63% fear leadership might treat them differently59% fear others would have less confidence in themExample: The Army’s mission is to provide national defense. The mission is the utmost importance; serving in the army requires personal sacrifices; anyone who joins the Army should be ready to fight; personality characteristics that are adaptive for fighting are valued; maladaptive- devaluedSeeking treatment = “weakness” because it is not adaptive for combatDo you want someone who is weak to be on your combat team? Tend to “suck it up” or “drive on”About 23-40% with positive screen seek tx within one year of deployment
23 Induction into Military Boot camp/Basic TrainingPrepares recruits for all elements of service: physical, mental, and emotionalTraining in the basic tools necessary to perform in their roles during their tour of dutyCombination of physical training, field exercises, and classroom timeRanges from 6.5 – 12 weeks depending on the branch of serviceEach branch has its own training program tailored to the its role in the militaryGoal to make individuals strong and capableFollowed by formal training in specialized areasBasic Training—often called boot camp—prepares recruits for all elements of Service: physical, mental, and emotional. It gives servicemembers the basic tools necessary to perform the roles that will be asked of them for the duration of their tour. Each of the Services has its own training program, tailoring the curriculum to the specialized nature of its role in the Military.No matter which branch of the Service a recruit chooses, Basic Training is an intense experience. It ranges from 6.5 – 12 weeks depending on the branch of service. However, most people (up to 91 percent) who start boot camp complete it without problems. The purpose of this training isn't to "break" recruits. In fact, the combination of physical training, field exercises, and classroom time makes individuals strong and capable. It's a tough process, but a rewarding one that many servicemembers value for life.
24 Marine Boot Camp Video “Ears Open, Eyeballs Click” Documentary about Marine Corps basic training in Camp Pendleton, CaliforniaQuestions and Discussion15 minutes of video, 10 minutes discussion
25 Aspects of Military Culture and Military Life UniformityAnonymityDepersonalizationExpendabilityHard WorkBoredomTeamworkCamaraderieStoicismLonelinessTrustOrderlinessNote on expendability: we’re all expendable, and none of us, individually, is expendable – leave no one behind.
26 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability “Maybe it was the naïve optimism of youth, but the awesome reality that we were training to be cannon fodder in a global war that had already snuffed out millions of lives never seemed to occur to us. The fact that our lives might end violently or that we might be crippled while we were still boys didn’t seem to register.”U.S. Marine Eugene Sludge, quoted in Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War
27 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability “It was common throughout the [Okinawa] Campaign for replacements to get hit before we even knew their names. They came up confused, frightened, and hopeful, got wounded or killed, and went right back to the rear on the route by which they had come, shocked, bleeding, or stiff. They were forlorn figures coming up to the meat grinder and going right back out of it like homeless waifs, unknown and faceless to us, like unread books on a shelf.”U.S. Marine Eugene Sludge, quoted in Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War
28 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability You are something there are millions ofHow can I care about you much, or pick you outFrom all the others other people lovedAnd sent away to die for them?“The Sick Naught,” a poem to a convalescent soldierJarrell
29 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability “…sir, I can handle your Marine Corps, sir.”“[The drill instructor] punched the recruit square on the forehead. He swayed but his knees did not give. The recruit had made the mistake of using personal pronouns, which the recruit is not allowed to use when referring to the drill instructor or himself. The recruit is the recruit. The drill instructor is the drill instructor or sir.”From Anthony Swofford, Jarhead
30 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability “If your daddy is a doctor or if you come from the projects in East St. Louis or a reservation in Arizona, it no longer matters. Black. White. Mexican. Vietnamese. Navajo. The Marine Corps does not care! You are now green! You are light green or dark green. You are not black or white or brown or yellow or red. Do you understand me, recruits?”From Anthony Swofford, Jarhead
31 Uniformity, Anonymity, Depersonalization, & Expendability “While they passed the day waiting for dusk, a staff sergeant approached the female Marines…He let them know that they were not going to receive special treatment because they were women. They were Marines and every Marine (male or female) was a rifleman, and he expected things to run that way. Blais and Kispetik were grateful for this attitude.”From Kirsten Holmstedt, Band of Sisters
32 Hard Work & Boredom Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried “If you weren’t humping, you were waiting. I remember the monotony. Digging foxholes. Slapping mosquitoes. The sun and the heat and the endless paddies. Even in the deep bush, where you could die any number of ways, the war was nakedly and aggressively boring. But it was a strange boredom. It was boredom with a twist, the kind of boredom that caused stomach disorders. You’d be sitting at the top of a high hill, and the flat paddies stretching out below, and the day would be calm and hot and utterly vacant, and you’d feel the boredom dripping inside you like a leaky faucet, except it wasn’t water, it was a sort of acid, and with each little droplet you’d feel the stuff eating away at important organs. You’d try to relax. You’d uncurl your fists and let your thoughts go. Well, you’d think, this isn’t so bad. And right then you’d hear gunfire behind you and your nuts would fly up into your throat and you’d be squealing pig squeals. That kind of boredom.”Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
33 Hard Work & Boredom“The men who were killed or wounded were replaced by cherries, and if the older men got bored enough they sometimes made the cherries fight each other. They’d been trained in hand-to-hand combat, so they all knew how to choke someone out…Choking guys out was considered fine sport, so soldiers tended to keep their backs to something so no one could sneak up from behind...The violence took many forms and could break out at almost any time. After one particularly quiet week – no firefights, in other words – the tension got so unbearable that First Squad finally went after Weapons Squad with rocks. A rock fight ensued that got so heavy, I took cover behind trees.”Sebastian Junger, WarJunger covered the war in Afghanistan, traveling with American troops including recent Medal of Honor awardee Salvatore Giunta.Excerpt from his book:The reason First Platoon did not get wiped out had nothing to do with the Apaches flying overhead or the 155s at Blessing; it was because the men reacted not as individuals but as a unit. Stripped to its essence, combat is a series of quick decisions and rather precise actions carried out in concert with ten or twelve other men.In that sense it's much more like football than, say, like a gang fight. The unit that choreographs their actions best usually wins. They might take casualties, but they win.That choreography -- you lay down fire while I run forward, then I cover you while you move your team up -- is so powerful that it can overcome enormous tactical deficits.There is choreography for storming Omaha Beach, for taking out a pillbox bunker, and for surviving an L-shaped ambush at night on the Gatigal. The choreography always requires that each man make decisions based not on what's best for him , but on what's best for the group. If everyone does that, most of the group survives. If no one does, most of the group dies.That, in essence, is combat.
34 Teamwork & Camaraderie “The reason First Platoon did not get wiped out had nothing to do with the Apaches flying overhead or the 155s at Blessing; it was because the men reacted not as individuals but as a unit. Stripped to its essence, combat is a series of quick decisions and rather precise actions carried out in concert with ten or twelve other men. In that sense it's much more like football than, say, like a gang fight. The unit that choreographs their actions best usually wins. They might take casualties, but they win.“That choreography -- you lay down fire while I run forward, then I cover you while you move your team up -- is so powerful that it can overcome enormous tactical deficits.… The choreography always requires that each man make decisions based not on what's best for him, but on what's best for the group. If everyone does that, most of the group survives. If no one does, most of the group dies.“That, in essence, is combat.”Sebastian Junger, War
35 “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Stoicism“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”WWII slogan
36 Stoicism“Brown was shocked that Hampton would admit to being on the verge of tears because she was so tough. The admission made her seem weak and vulnerable. Brown didn’t know of any pilots who would own up to thinking about crying, never mind actually cry. Saying you almost cried was a funny thing to admit, Brown thought at the time. Not only that, but it was a funny thing to feel. Brown thought that way because she, like so many other pilots, trained herself to turn off her emotions. And that works, until someone says there was an aircraft shot down.”From Kirsten Holmstedt, Band of Sisters
37 Loneliness“Fountain tells the story of how none of the remaining war wives [on base], home alone with the kids and the checkbook and the car, were interested in becoming friendly with him and his wife, and at first they tossed it off…but soon…he and his wife noticed the mysterious movement of POVs, personally owned vehicles, into the driveways of the war wives late at night and out of the driveways in the early morning.”From Anthony Swofford, Jarhead
38 Loneliness“These were the women Rita and her husband had socialized with. She’d been to their homes for barbeques. She had babysat their children. … These women seemed only too happy to flirt with [other men]. They seemed starved for attention. The women either had had no idea of what life in the Army would be like, Rita gathered, or they clung to some idealized vision.”From Tanya Biank, Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage
39 Loneliness“Delores felt strongly that Army wives had to learn to take responsibility, or they wouldn’t be able to be independent when they returned to civilian life. ‘Figure out how to do for yourself, because your husband is not always going to be there.’ That was Delores’s credo. It was a lesson she knew only too well. She had often been both mother and father to her kids. Ski had missed Cherish’s birth, first birthday, and first Holy Communion; he hadn’t been there for Gary Shane’s high school graduation, or on countless holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. Delores paid all the bills. She didn’t even know if Ski remembered how to write a check. When he was away she mowed the lawn, maintained cars, and ran the household. Wives had no choice but to carry the entire load, just as a single mother would have to do.”From Tanya Biank, Army Wives: The Unwritten Code of Military Marriage
40 Women’s Experiences“In Iraq, a lot of the male Marines talked to Kispetik and Blais about their personal problems. Blais had a theory about this. They didn’t talk to the women because they were better listeners but because they were supposed to be better listeners. And they were somebody different. The grunts needed a new sounding board, a fresh pair of ears.”From Kirsten Holmstedt, Band of Sisters
41 Women’s Experiences“The staff sergeant slapped her on the back. “Nice f**ing job,” he yelled. Blais nodded her head. She didn’t know what to say. She had just taken a man’s life. The staff sergeant must have known it was the lance corporal’s first kill because he grabbed her Kevlar, turned her head so she was facing him, looked her in the eyes, and said, “Think of all the lives you just saved.” It was the first time in her Marine Corps career that Blais felt like she had made a difference.”From Kirsten Holmstedt, Band of Sisters
42 Contrasts with Aspects of Civilian Culture and Life UniquenessIndividualityChoicesRelaxationLuxuryWasteEmotionalityDisorderTogetherness
43 Challenges in Transitioning from Combat to Home – “Battlemind” Combat-ZoneHome-ZoneCohesion with buddiesAccountability and controlTargeted aggressionTactical awarenessLethally armedEmotional controlNon-defensive drivingDiscipline and obeying ordersWithdrawal from othersLack of controlInappropriate aggressionHypervigilance“Locked and loaded” at homeDetached and uncaringAggressive drivingGiving orders leads to conflict (no clear “chain of command”)
44 Masculinity Physical Inadequacy Emotional Inexpressiveness Conformity to Masculine NormsMasculine Gender Role StressWinningRisk-TakingEmotional ControlPursuit of StatusViolenceDominancePlayboySelf-ReliancePrimacy of WorkPower Over WomenDisdain for HomosexualsPhysical InadequacyEmotional InexpressivenessSubordination to WomenIntellectual InferiorityPerformance Failure
45 Common Correlates of Masculine Gender Role Adherence Greater likelihood of engaging in health risk behaviors, including decreased exercise, poorer diet, unsafe sex, and alcohol misuseGreater psychological distress (e.g., PTSD symptom severity)Risk-takingAnger and aggressionAlexithymiaLess social supportDecreased likelihood of seeking professional medical or mental health care, both preventive care or attention for more serious medical and mental health conditions
46 Fostering a Bicultural Civilian/Soldier Identity Acknowledging important skills learned during military serviceHonoring important relationships while in the serviceMoving toward identity integrationAllowing for discussions of increased engagement with chosen values through greater awareness of cultural norms and flexibility in enacting themPromoting re-integration as well as addressing masculine gender role stress
47 Men and Masculinity: Treatment Implications Identify gender-linked cognitive distortions contributing to the maintenance of health-risk behaviors or cyclical maladaptive interpersonal patternsUsing culturally-congruent language to decrease stigma and enhance compliance with care early in the treatment processAcknowledging and validating gender-linked thoughts exacerbating distressGender-related public health campaignsVA suicide prevention “It takes the courage and strength of a warrior to ask for help”
48 Additional Training Resources National Center for PTSD training on Understanding Military Culture when treating PTSD:Center for Deployment Psychology online training on Military Cultural Competence:
49 Selected Films Depicting Military Culture World War IIBand of Brothers (2001)Flags of Our Fathers (2006)Saving Private Ryan (1998)Viet NamFull Metal Jacket (1987)The Deer Hunter (1978)IraqThe Hurt Locker (2008)
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