Vietnam War Inhumane Effects On Soldiers

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That the war has inhumane effects on soldiers becomes evident by looking at the during the Vietnam War widely spread appearance of an action called “fragging”. Literally this term describes “the employment of fragmentation hand grenades” , which are used in an attempt to kill unpopular comrades, or more often higher ranked officers. Although this has existed ever “since the earliest days of armed conflict” , as George Lepre describes it, but at no time it “became so frequent as during the Vietnam War […] [where] between 1965 and 1973, several hundred fragging incidents occurred within U.S. military units in Vietnam, resulting in dozens of American and Vietnamese deaths and hundreds of injuries.” An example for this can also be seen in the movie…show more content…
This loss is even actively supported by the Army, as it is shown in Full Metal Jacket, where the recruits are supposed to lose their individuality, which is achieved by them having to shave their head or the Drill Instructor giving them new names, as they are supposed to forget everything about their old identity. This is the goal that the US want to achieve, as they want to drill the perfect killing machine for the war that will obey every command and will not try to question anything. Hartman saying: “You will not laugh. You will not cry. You will learn by the numbers. I will teach you.” further emphasizes this as the draftees in the vision of the US Army should only follow their rules and should not be able to think freely, in order to avoid complications and shifts in the morale of the army later in the war. The consequence of this loss is, that the soldiers then have problems differentiating between what is right and what is not and so their personal morale takes damage from…show more content…
The breaking of morale
One of the most important aspects relating to an armies performance is, as George Lepre states, “the morale of their soldiers [because] this is what enables soldiers to endure hardship and accept the dangers of combat.” That means that a high level of morale is crucial in order to have a functioning army with a high level of discipline. But what happens to the armed forces if this morale is somehow broken? Jonathan Shay describes it this way:
Any army, ancient or modern, is a social construction defined by shared expectations and values. Some of these are embodied in formal regulations, defined authority, written orders, ranks, incentives, punishments, and formal tasks and occupational definitions. Others circulate as traditions, archetypal stories of things to be emulated or shunned, and accepted truth about what is praiseworthy and what is culpable. All together, these form a moral world that most of the participants most of the time regard as legitimate, “natural”, and personally binding. The moral power of an army is so great that it can motivate men to get up out of a trench and step into enemy machine-gun fire. When a leader destroys the legitimacy of the army’s moral order by betraying “what’s right,” he inflicts manifold injuries on his
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