Across the ages, every great society has celebrated and revered a great warrior tradition and passed on the stories of these heroes in folklore. We can look back to the Spartans, Roman legions, Vikings, knights, Samurai, or Aztecs, and each time we will find that a strong warrior class coincided with a strong nation.

The warrior’s spirit is alive and well here in the greatest nation in history. Although it lives in the hearts and minds of the greatest fighting force in the world, our society is beginning to shun warriors and move them down the social ladder. At the turn of the 20th century, warfare began to move away from the martial art of combat and move toward a more mechanical, detached system of destruction. This has changed society’s view of what it means to be a warrior and paved the way for a society that now teaches our boys to be less masculine and more feminine. Now, we’re so far off track that it’s even okay to choose what gender you’d like to be (“Sorry God, you made a mistake.”), but not okay to train like warriors in an effort to defend yourself, your family, or even your country.

Another reason for this cultural shift in thinking is that people have seen an increase in the warrior’s dark side. Of course when most of us hear about the dark side, we think of Darth Vader in Star Wars, and this is good thing. If you understood how the force worked in those iconic movies, you’ll understand how it works in today’s most elite warriors—the U.S. Navy SEALs. Warriors have a certain set of traits that can be used for good or evil, and it’s up to each one to choose what path he will follow. It’s also up to our society to allow boys to be boys and men to be men and express themselves in manly ways. Sometimes this involves fighting, which if used for the right reason, is a good thing—like when protecting our freedom.

Too many people think that in times of war we can turn on a magical switch to activate our warriors and protect our way of life, and when the war is over, we can simply turn off the switch and our warriors go back to eating tofu and pissing while sitting down. I’m guessing that most of you reading this would disagree and understand that being a warrior is a full time job, a way of life, and something that needs to be trained and tested so we can be ready for our enemies’ surprise attacks.