Nov. 15th, 2009 09:20 am
zebee: (Default)
[personal profile] zebee
I have no idea what the Australian army attitude to homosexuals serving is. It doesn't tend to come up here.

Hang out on the net and the American attitudes are quite obvious. Well...maybe.

As I don't hang out in strongly anti circles I don't know what anecdotes and evidence they see, I see lots of interesting things like

What strikes me about the stories there is that the guy is talking to people who are not serving in a peace time army.

Ever since reading Dixon's "The Psychology of Military Incompetence" I've understood that peacetime armies are very different to ones shaped by war because they have different pressures on them. It's very hard to keep an army at peace shaped like one at war.

My grandfather was CO of one of the first Autralian batallions so ship overseas in WW2, got a DSO for his leadership in the Western Desert and "Walker's Mob" was known as one of the best disciplined units in the Army at the time. He died when I was quite young so I never got to talk to him about such things, but Mum recalls him saying that he had a "shirt lifter" in his HQ company and the man was a good soldier. I think that's all he cared about, that the guy did his job well.

Seems to me that the soldiers in that article are focused on that too. They want someone who can do the most important job: help keep them alive. Anything else is secondary. BUt also.. what does that is people being obviously competent. It seems competence is the most important thing.

IN a peace time army I think what competence is changes. Dixon says the pressures turn from wartime competence which is about sudden change and focus on doing a particular job no matterhow it is done to keeping things exactly as they "should" be, and focusing on looks and outward show.

Looking like you can do it is more important than being able to do it because you can't really test that you can do it until you get a war. So looks is all you have. YOu can do war games but they aren't real, they follow a designated path and you are judged on doing it by the book.

I can drill all I like and move beautifully in drills. Actual bouting is way different. I've seen people who spend all their time on drills and fall apart when faced with someone who isn't co-operating and isn't doing the moves they expect with the timing they expect. Transitioning from drill to bouting is one of the hardest things in fencing and much of your painfully acquired neatness just disappears. All the fancy stuff you have been practicing can just fly out of your brain and your muscles. A really good fencer has practiced enough that the things that remain are more than the basics, and they can improvise on the theme.

While there probably is a generational aspect to younger soldiers' attitudes to homosexuals serving I wonder if the pressures of war are also important in that change.


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