Sensitivity training and catering to the emotional needs of new service members is a political directive near you, eventually – even SOF. Patriot Update published an article entitled – “Obama forces the Army to undergo sensitivity training about Islamic Jihad.” Is this true? I’m not sure. But, this is indicative of a growing trend where sensitivity training and not offending others have become a pre-occupation. The military, and most likely everyone, ought to focus on emotional intelligence to avoid offending others – or how to navigate interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, political decisions have forced the military to embrace cultural changes and sensitivity training, whether it’s necessary, timely, or not – and to do it how they want it done.
It’s concerning when the Marine Corps commandant embarks on a campaign for a cultural change. How will new recruits feel? Men and women? No one wants to join the Marine Corps and want anything less than to be tougher than the rest. Within the Commandant’s plan is sensitivity training. I’ve even heard that new recruits in Basic Training, across the services, have a kind of get out of jail free card when they’re feeling stressed out. Sorry to use colorful language but, fuck that.
It’s not that the training was difficult for everyone else and it should be for future generations. It’s that you don’t get a stress card option in combat. Does gender integration require sensitivity training? At my old unit – morale was noticeably low, and a lot of domestic, legal, and disciplinary problems arose. The response was a group wide series of meeting to talk about it. Everyone at the unit had the opportunity to voice their opinions and, mostly, complain. The result was non-existent. The commander gained an understanding of his men and their grievances but, what can he do? It’s the responsibility of your peers to take care of one another, while the commander is concerned with macro-level problems.
A real concern is that sensitivity training is a result of fear in the senior ranks. The command level across the military knows that the force is not happy with the status quo. Whether it’s trackers, sensitivity training, or foreign policy and politics as a whole – military morale is not high. I’ve written quite a bit about morale and the unnecessary bureaucracy that’s crushing it, in a bad way. I’m worried sensitivity training will make things worse. Instead of a place where people understand one another they have specific buzz words they cannot say. It’s like being in a tumultuous relationship – where everyone is walking on eggshells afraid they’ll say the wrong thing. For me, these relationships that are turbulent in nature and hinge on what’s said – lack personality and complexity of understanding and get boiled down ambiguous and simple phrases. That’s unfair – and in the military, it will lead to a sharper decrease in morale. Because, service members will not be communicating and when they do – as a default – will do in a way to avoid conflict, not connect. To connect, we need to use emotional intelligence and an understanding of the nuanced behavior of others. We have to be connected on the battlefield and if an errant naughty word soars out of your mouth on the battlefield – it can’t be a big deal mid-firefight.
Featured image courtesy of quotesgram.com.