why do the soldiers find it difficult to go forward
igh standards of leadership and an embedded understanding of core values provide a very sound moral baseline from which the military can move forward in the conduct of its business. But, and this is a critical question, one wonders whether a sound moral baseline is enough? Should there not also be a spiritual dimension в or even a spiritual foundation to this moral dimension? Not surprisingly, I believe there should. A moral baseline is very much a thing of the head, whereas a spiritual dimension is very much a thing of the heart. And, fundamentally, it is that word "believe" or "belief" that is at the heart of any spiritual dimension. For some, belief in the cause, belief in the leader or even, given the tribal nature of the British army, belief in the regiment, will be enough. But I disagree. What really sustains, in my view, is something more than this в something far bigger than ourselves, something bigger and deeper than we can imagine or rationalise for ourselves. This first came home to me as a young platoon commander in Belfast in the early 1970s.
My platoon got involved in a fierce gunfight в two of the enemy were killed, two of my soldiers were shot and one died. Everyone that day was really frightened, despite our denials. That experience told me that even the toughest of men, when the chips are down and the reality of life and death confronts, are reaching out into the spiritual dimension, beyond the rational and beyond the moral. But don't just take that assertion from me в let me read you part of an account by a British private soldier, who had just shot his first enemy fighter in
in 2006. He wrote this: "Afterwards I sat there and I thought 'Hang on. I just shot someone'. I had a brew and that. I didn't get to sleep that night. I just lay there all night thinking, 'I shot someone'. It's something strange. A really strange feeling. You feel like, you know, a bit happy with yourself в I've done me job, it's what I've come here for, know what I mean? He's Taliban and I've got one of them. You feel quite chuffed about it. "Then you're feeling, like, you know, well you know, sad.
You're thinking в well, you know. you know, the, the geezer's another human being at the end of the day, like. Then you get the feeling, well, you know, it's either him or me. And then you're thinking в "I think people get, like, you know, religious then as well. You're thinking, well, in the bigger picture, if there is like a Geezer up there and a Geezer downstairs, what does that mean to me now I've just shot someone? Is that me done for? Am I going to hell or what? And all of that went through me mind that night, for hour after hour after hour. " There are young people out there tonight asking those questions, and that spiritual challenge must be responded to. I sense, therefore, that, much as our leaders in the army must instil in their soldiers the core values and standards of behaviour that are so vital today and police them rigorously, so too our leaders need an understanding of this spiritual dimension, and so have an idea how to provide a response for their soldiers, because they are asking for it в and that is a real responsibility.
And is this just confined to the military? I am not sure. Being a Soldier gives you the opportunity to complete the mission and make a difference in the world. You will also gain leadership experience, as well as a work-life balance that enables you to pursue your personal and professional goals. You will be part of a global family, and you will be provided all of the community amenities you need to raise your family and enjoy life. In this section, you will learn about the process of becoming a Soldier, and what you can expect from and. Youвll get to hear other Soldiers share stories about the roles they play in the Army and how the Army has changed their lives. Finally, youвll learn about the important role families play in the Army, and what services they can expect to receive while you are on duty. Want to experience life on an actual Army base? , which will give you a first-person view of the locations you will visit every day as a Soldier on post.
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