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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Standards and Values - Discipline

The third of the standards and values that the army expects of its troops is discipline.

So what does that mean to you?


Anonymous sis said...

i'm thinking whips, canes, handcuffs...
what was the question again?

11:42 am  
Anonymous Rob said...

I'm thinking self control by which people respond and behave a certain way.

12:23 pm  
Anonymous sis said...

"The chief function of the disciplinary power is to 'train', rather than to select and to levy; or no doubt, to train in order to levy and select all the more. [...] It 'trains' the moving, confused, useless multitudes of bodies and forces into a multiplicity of individual elements - small, separate cells, organic autonomies, genetic identities and continuities, combinatory segments. Discipline 'makes' individuals; it is the specific technique of a power that regards individuals both as objects and as intruments of its exercise. It is not a triumphant power, which because of its own excess can pride itself on its omnipotence; it is a mdoest, suspicious power, which functions as a calculated, but permanent economy"
Michel Foucault _Discipline and Punish_
So for Foucault it's the way in which the individual
in modern (C17th and onwards) society internalises things like examination and surveillance. Freud would probably call it the super-ego...

1:07 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Sis - nice to see you finally commenting although I understood the first one much more than the second!

Rob - that's pretty much one side of it.

5:43 pm  
Blogger Annie said...

"Do as you're told"?

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to act without thinking as a unit

8:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To obey orders rapidly and without question - er.....and therefore face a court on manslaughter charges. shurely shome mistake?

10:30 pm  
Blogger The Boy said...

Faoucault is such a wanker, he assumes societal omnicience, big baddies at the top wanting to control.

I suspect the army would tend towards Machievelli's 27 Rules of Discipline from the Art of War (which was susciously like Sun Tsu, but suspect War is War and the rules are the same all over). Am very curious how the army "officially" rules it.

I prefer a personal definition that discipline is the application of trained will over personal need or want.

10:31 am  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

DO as you are told or I'll section 69 yer (ohh that sounds a bit rude)

Had an interesting discussion in the cookhouse once where a young lad out of training didn't understand why he should do whatever he was told, my mate, the NCO lecturing him, told him that if he didn't do exactly what he was told in a firefight and turn and said "why ?" he would be dead. Some times you just have to listen to the guy shouting

Funny thing is you don't need to bawl and shout to motivate, I was famed for shouting very rarely, on CR I had I was told that I was an NCO who would "Get the job done, just no-one sees you getting the job done" In other words I didn't stand in the middle of the garage and shout at youngsters.

Anyway disclipline is not only about giving and taking orders, self dicipline is the hardest thing, things like sacrificing sleep to clean your weapon and sort your feet out otherwise you fall to bits, many can't handle simple things like that

11:37 am  
Blogger NF Girl said...


3:34 pm  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

The word "discipline" (or "obedience", for that matter) has no meaning when linked as a descriptor to the male of our species. Just saying.

3:09 am  
Anonymous Mr Angry said...

Resisting the urge to punch the face of someone who just told you to do as you're told?

10:45 am  
Blogger PI said...

Discipline is vital otherwise chaos. Not least important self-discipline - vital when - at my stage - you could loll all day chewing the fat if you had a mind to. I totally believe in the Protestant work ethic and make myself achieve goals - not always successfullly and then- goody goody - comes the reward.
You know it makes sense.

3:54 pm  
Blogger backroads said...

Discipline is essential in a role like that. That's why you can look forward to job in the Civil Service when you are allowed to leave.

6:01 pm  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

Haven't got any. At all. Never had any. At all. I'd be a crap soldier.

9:06 pm  
Anonymous Grimmy said...

Not eating that second large pizza with everything on it, just because I can.

Not getting caught sleeping on duty.

Waiting until the Commanding Officer's back is turned before making derisive faces and muttering about that an idiot he is.
oh and making sure no one is looking before flipping him off.

Seriously tho, discipline comes in two distinct flavors. There's imposed or external discipline; and self or internal discipline.

When the later is insufficient then the former must be applied and when the later is in full gear then the former is largely unnecessary.

Discipline is a tricky issue for a good unit of Soldiers. Many folk think that discipline exists for its own sake and only serves to the good.
Too little discipline and a unit will disintegrate into a mob. Too much discipline and a unit will loose much, if not all, of it's flexibility in responding to events and creative problem solving ability.

Discipline is largely a by-product of pride. Pride in self and pride of unit. When a Soldier is proud of his service and the unit in which he serves he'll tend to practice and demonstrate the better aspects of self control and respectful demenor. In such cases only so much discipline as is necessary to guide and focus the Soldier's efforts is required.
When a Soldier is not proud of his service nor his unit then he'll tend to be a constant management problem and the harshest of external disciplines will need to be placed upon him.

12:38 am  
Blogger PI said...

Yay for grimmy!

10:22 am  
Blogger Potentilla said...

De-lurks to ask whether you are ever allowed to ask why, in the army? It seems to me that the main difference between the army and (say) a well-run business is the instant unquestioning obedience that is required. I can see it's necessary when you're in a battle. In business, you normally have a bit more time to think, so it's OK for people to ask why, within reason (but they still have to do what they're told assuming you still tell them to do it). Are there never situations in the army when you have the luxury of a bit more time? Or is it that you have to to impose the habit of instant unquestioning obedience to make sure you get it when it's crucial?

(Agree with the various comments about self-discipline, of course).

9:24 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Potentilla - thanks for de-lurking. It depends very much on the individual. Some officers actually like to be questioned as it can offer a good sounding board and give them confidence that their decision is the right one. It really depends very much on the situation and individual.

8:14 am  

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