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Old 12-23-08, 01:01 AM   #1
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Politically correct soldiers... British vs American

I'm watching different re-enacments of tough engagements on the military channel. Some with American troops and some with British troops. The main difference?

The interviewed American soldiers say "We were having a difficult time. We were on a really tough spot". While the british troops openly say "We were pretty fked up, in very deep sht!".
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Old 12-23-08, 01:03 AM   #2
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ah, Europe...the eternal utopia..
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Old 12-23-08, 01:23 AM   #3
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reenactments are always entertaining.
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Old 12-23-08, 04:21 AM   #4
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Well some things do turn out to be cluster $(@$(& s!!!!
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Old 12-23-08, 12:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
I'm watching different re-enacments of tough engagements on the military channel. Some with American troops and some with British troops. The main difference?

The interviewed American soldiers say "We were having a difficult time. We were on a really tough spot". While the british troops openly say "We were pretty fked up, in very deep sht!".
it's not political correctness. it's a difference in military cultures.

the American military has a tradition and culture of understatement. American soldiers' heroes are men like Alvin York, Peter Lemon, Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart. they tend to minimize and understate their experiences in combat because that's what their heroes did - at least the ones who survived.

the British soldier, with his cultural heritage of conscripts and colonial wars, tends to be much more up front about the struggles of the man on the battlefield. civilian recognition of gallantry was often key to advancement in early modern times, so there was no reason to stay silent about one's experiences.
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Old 12-23-08, 12:48 PM   #6
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it's not political correctness. it's a difference in military cultures.

the American military has a tradition and culture of understatement. American soldiers' heroes are men like Alvin York, Peter Lemon, Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart. they tend to minimize and understate their experiences in combat because that's what their heroes did - at least the ones who survived.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has read "Black Hawk Down".
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Old 12-23-08, 01:54 PM   #7
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it's not political correctness. it's a difference in military cultures.

the American military has a tradition and culture of understatement. American soldiers' heroes are men like Alvin York, Peter Lemon, Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart. they tend to minimize and understate their experiences in combat because that's what their heroes did - at least the ones who survived.

the British soldier, with his cultural heritage of conscripts and colonial wars, tends to be much more up front about the struggles of the man on the battlefield. civilian recognition of gallantry was often key to advancement in early modern times, so there was no reason to stay silent about one's experiences.
I think I learned more from this post than any other on BF.

Hopefully its not BS haha.
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Old 12-23-08, 02:20 PM   #8
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the UK soldiers aren't brainwashed..... as much
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Old 12-23-08, 03:12 PM   #9
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the UK soldiers aren't brainwashed..... as much
well there is that....

But I think its a necessary procedure for a normal person in order to be prepared kill people he has no problems with, all for the great price of minimum wage. Actually not even that, its not like you get paid the overtime. You also dont get paid for the chemical testing they do on you.

So you see? being brainwashed a bit helps. Its for freedom! Its them or you! The mission comes first! Always loyal! blah blah blah...
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Old 12-23-08, 03:15 PM   #10
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it's not political correctness. it's a difference in military cultures.
You make good points. I'd add different military attitudes too. Thinking of the original "American Spirit".
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Old 12-23-08, 03:40 PM   #11
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Jhota points make sense. I like it. I thought the Americans were just fearful of being reprimanded by their superiors for using inappropriate language on national TV. There must have been a hint of that too... but true, the culture over here dictates that you shall get up from a painful situation, stating that "It didn't hurt" even if tears falling from your eyes and you are leaving a blood trail as you walk by. Bike race accidents are nice examples.
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Old 12-23-08, 03:46 PM   #12
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I think I learned more from this post than any other on BF.

Hopefully its not BS haha.
Think that's better than carbon fiber frames explode?
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Old 12-23-08, 03:47 PM   #13
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it's like phil and paul saying, Oh, he's in a spot of bother! when the poor shmuck is lying there in a puddle of blood...the british are masters of understatement.

That being said....the british army is incredibly tough. The marines are super tough...but the british army makes the marines look like an episode of friends. I've heard and read accounts of training first hand and i think that MAYBE a marine could handle it....
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Old 12-23-08, 06:40 PM   #14
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In my encounters with members of the Royal Air Force (RAF), I have not noticed too much of a difference. They are excellent guests and put our hosting skills to shame for the most part but are great to party with no matter where on the planet you might be.

Operationally, they are agressive pilots making do without a lot the technological advantages enjoyed by the U.S. I do not doubt their skills at all.

I was flying with an RAF test pilot who was on an exchange tour and asked him what he saw as differences and his response was 1) Americans are very out going and loud, 2) Americans have better teeth through orthodontics, and 3) Americans wear running shoes everywhere.
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Old 12-23-08, 07:28 PM   #15
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I worked with RAF on occasion and the UK Army once. I never noticed a lot of difference in individuals but the Brits were much more into ceremony and formality on duty and less so off. They were great guys to party with. The only time I ever actually used my mess kit was this time when the Brits were in charge of food services and we actually had separate enlisted, NCO, and officer messes. We SPAMs always ate together in the field. But they were all great troops, highly trained and dedicated. I was proud to serve with them.
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Old 12-23-08, 08:38 PM   #16
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Don't underestimate PC. DI's aren't even allowed to swear at recruits anymore. College coaches can swear a blue streak, but the the gunnery sargeant? nope.
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Old 12-24-08, 10:37 AM   #17
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Don't underestimate PC. DI's aren't even allowed to swear at recruits anymore. College coaches can swear a blue streak, but the the gunnery sargeant? nope.
Blame mothers for that. Hell, that's half the reason I didn't pursue an education degree. Didn't stop most of my DIs from cussing, though.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:09 PM   #18
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Jhota points make sense. I like it. I thought the Americans were just fearful of being reprimanded by their superiors for using inappropriate language on national TV. There must have been a hint of that too... but true, the culture over here dictates that you shall get up from a painful situation, stating that "It didn't hurt" even if tears falling from your eyes and you are leaving a blood trail as you walk by. Bike race accidents are nice examples.
Pro football injuries aren't.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:17 PM   #19
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Don't underestimate PC. DI's aren't even allowed to swear at recruits anymore. College coaches can swear a blue streak, but the the gunnery sargeant? nope.
Don't believe everything you read. As a former Drill Instructor at MCRD Parris Island, SC I can assure you that while "the powers that be" may want to paint a pretty PC picture for the Mothers of America, the reality of Marine Corps Recruit training is another matter. Marine Drill Instructors are a very select and unique breed capable of getting the job done regardless of the obstacles placed in front of them by officers and politicians. Many are surprised to learn that regulations against swearing and placing hands on recruits have been in the SOP since the 50's. Does that mean it doesn't go on? Don't kid yourself.

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Old 12-24-08, 12:28 PM   #20
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Don't believe everything you read. As a former Drill Instructor at MCRD Parris Island, SC I can assure you that while "the powers that be" may want to paint a pretty PC picture for the Mothers of America, the reality of Marine Corps Recruit training is another matter. Marine Drill Instructors are a very select and unique breed capable of getting the job done regardless of the obstacles placed in front of them by officers and politicians. Many are surprised to learn that regulations against swearing and placing hands on recruits have been in the SOP since the 50's. Does that mean it doesn't go on? Don't kid yourself.
Yup

As far as the reenactment interviews, I believe the answer is a bit simpler. Brits are less inhibited when talking to strangers and outsiders. If the Americans had been talking amongst their peers, or people they perceived to be peers, the language would be much different.

Think of a story and how you would tell it:
A) to some reporter
B) one of your buddies who shared the experience
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