Question of military morality
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29-03-2016, 01:16 PM
Question of military morality
I was raised at a time (immediately post-Vietnam) and community that it's fair to describe as less-than-enthusiastic about the military.

Through some research and archaeological work I've done over the past six years, I've been privileged to meet many active-duty military and veterans - and realize that they are not the robotic killers I was led to believe while growing up. Indeed, I find them far more thoughtful on issues of war and peace than most of us who have not experienced it.

I haven't asked any of them, but I thought I'd throw this one out here:

I have a respiratory condition that causes me to have a chronic cough. Doesn't stop me from climbing mountains or running ultra-marathons, but its ... noisy. Ask my wife.

As we move toward ever-more technological and remote warfare, this situation inevitably becomes less common, but it got me wondering about what soldiers or Marines in a combat situation do about, say, an injured comrade who is making a tremendous amount of noise - screaming, sucking chest wound, moaning, coughing or whatever - in a situation that could give away the unit's position and therefore put everyone in danger.

Under a morality based on maximizing "good" - i.e. saving the lives of the platoon, preserving their lives to fight another day, etc. - one could argue the best move would be to kill the injured soldier.

Of course, the Marines - with which I am most familiar - have a strong ethic of not leaving anyone behind, even, remarkably, dead fellow Marines when possible. Therefore I'm guessing that in the above scenario, many (most?) would take the risk, keep their comrade alive and engage the enemy as necessary.

Anyone have any experience with this, or thoughts?

Thanks.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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29-03-2016, 01:23 PM
RE: Question of military morality
Not in any way a military person but is 'More morphine' an option to render said wounded uncsious?
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29-03-2016, 01:29 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 01:23 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Not in any way a military person but is 'More morphine' an option to render said wounded uncsious?

*starts screaming, moaning and couging as if in agony* Tongue
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29-03-2016, 01:30 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 01:23 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Not in any way a military person but is 'More morphine' an option to render said wounded uncsious?

It is indeed, and perhaps it's as simple as that. There is physical evidence that my grandfather received morphine for the fatal wounds he received in World War II, though in a situation where stealth was not important.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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29-03-2016, 01:37 PM
RE: Question of military morality
Now seriously:

I have read quite a few accounts of (german) WWII soldiers or KZ inmates. What has been reported repeatedly was that: In situations of extreme stress and danger of life, many (im not saying most) or a lot of people think of themselves first. A lot of german PoWs in russia or Stalingrad reported what KZ inmates reported as well. In such situations, you steal the food of your comrade if your starving to death. You take advantage of them when you realize it comes down to "him or me". Its basic survival instinct that seems to set in. Combat training may have some effect, but it seems to have its limitations.

The portrayal of heroic comrades is (too often) a hollywood illusion.

So, yes, i think quite a few comrades would decide to kill him, if no other option is availiable.
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29-03-2016, 01:48 PM
RE: Question of military morality
"More of that stuff you gave him medic!" Is what my cousin remembers hearing from someone in his platoon. It was the last thing before he awoke in a German hospital from Vietnam. He never did know what that stuff was and laughs about it still. We used to drink together over the years and he blurted that out when he was half drunk many a time.
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29-03-2016, 01:53 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 01:30 PM)claywise Wrote:  
(29-03-2016 01:23 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Not in any way a military person but is 'More morphine' an option to render said wounded uncsious?

It is indeed, and perhaps it's as simple as that. There is physical evidence that my grandfather received morphine for the fatal wounds he received in World War II, though in a situation where stealth was not important.

Of course, this assumes that there is a medic present, and that he has morphine and the ability to administer it. I'm not sure how often all of that is true in a real battle scenario.

Disclaimer -- I have no military experience, and have never been anywhere near a "real battle scenario". However, I can easily imagine things going south to the point where there is no medic (maybe he's already been killed in the battle), or he's out of morphine, etc.

Then we're back to the original dilemma.
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29-03-2016, 02:01 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 01:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Of course, this assumes that there is a medic present, and that he has morphine and the ability to administer it. I'm not sure how often all of that is true in a real battle scenario.

The branch that I am most familiar with, the Marines, routinely issued morphine "syrettes" to Marines in combat situations. When we recovered my grandfather's remains in 2015, there were two capped syrettes, and one uncapped that adhered to a rib — suggesting, though not proving, that he or someone else probably administered the drug.

And Marines are taught how best to self-administer.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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29-03-2016, 04:00 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 01:23 PM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  Not in any way a military person but is 'More morphine' an option to render said wounded uncsious?
Yes.
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29-03-2016, 04:01 PM
RE: Question of military morality
(29-03-2016 02:01 PM)claywise Wrote:  
(29-03-2016 01:53 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  Of course, this assumes that there is a medic present, and that he has morphine and the ability to administer it. I'm not sure how often all of that is true in a real battle scenario.

The branch that I am most familiar with, the Marines, routinely issued morphine "syrettes" to Marines in combat situations. When we recovered my grandfather's remains in 2015, there were two capped syrettes, and one uncapped that adhered to a rib — suggesting, though not proving, that he or someone else probably administered the drug.

And Marines are taught how best to self-administer.

Same-same boat guys on the brown water.
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