But behind the drones and the distance are stories of brutal, hand-to-hand combat that has taken place in the last 15 years in Afghanistan and Iraq. These tell a very different tale: one of the blade, bare hands and a fight to the death.
This article 5 Harrowing Stories by Task & Purpose describes the heroic actions of five Marines who, when they were unable to use their service weapon, survived by not backing down in a fight. Through sheer brute force, determination and instinctive training they took lives to save their comrades. All of them received gallantry awards as a result.
After reading the article, ask yourself the following questions:
- How does our current training prepare soldiers to engage in hand-to hand combat? Do we need to do more?
- What would you do in a similar situation? Do you have the knowledge, skills and attitude to defeat an enemy in a close fight?
- Is this just training for the infantry and special forces, or could anyone on operations find themselves in this situation?
- Does the trend towards using long-range weapons dehumanise the act of killing?
- How much do you think you can control your fear and emotions when confronted with a situation like this? Can you condition yourself to control adrenaline?
How can we better prepare ourselves for the possibility? Leave a comment and tell us what you think. Even better, hit 'contribute' and write us a short blog on your thoughts.