Split: What constitutes expertise on military matters?

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GStone
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Post by GStone » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:49 pm

Cpl Kendall wrote:
Who is like God arbour wrote:
He has said, that he is not at liberty to go into the specifics.

What do you want?
He said he wasn't at liberty to go into specifics than went into a mishmash of crap about how he wasn't presently in the field and wouldn't be in the near future. In my experiance that's the mark of a bullshitter. If he wanted to close of further discussion he should have simply said his job didn't allow him to discuss it.
So, if someone does have military training, in a military or not, they must be doing work in the field for the rest of their life? Maybe it's different in Canada's military, but in the US, you don't join the military for life. And unless you're a fighter in a third world country, there is no need for you to spend most of your life going into and getting out of the field.

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Post by Cpl Kendall » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:51 pm

l33telboi wrote:
Military training doesn't guarantee combat experience though. So, in your opinion, is it the training or the combat experience that is needed to effectively be able to participate in a Vs. Debate?
Knowledge=ok

Training=good

Combat experiance=better

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Post by Cpl Kendall » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:53 pm

GStone wrote:
So, if someone does have military training, in a military or not, they must be doing work in the field for the rest of their life? Maybe it's different in Canada's military, but in the US, you don't join the military for life. And unless you're a fighter in a third world country, there is no need for you to spend most of your life going into and getting out of the field.
Typically in a military you rotate in and out of field postings, unless your a combat arms soldier in which case your in a field posting your entire career.

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Post by l33telboi » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:03 pm

Cpl Kendall wrote: Knowledge=ok

Training=good

Combat experiance=better
The leap between knowledge and traning when it comes to something as simple as how to operate in a squad isn't that huge. What traning can give you is more of a "this is how it feels like in practice" experience, but the theory behind it is still the same. I admit that it's pretty darn unsettling the first time you put your theoretical skills into practice with live rounds in your rifle, especially when you know that the guy standing next to you is just as new at this as you are. For me at least, the biggest difference between theory and practice was managing to keep your feelings in check and still be able to remember what exactly your supposed to be doing. But in the context of vs. debating, what could be more important then the theory behind it? All we do is evaluate how other people perform, it's not like we ourselves have to be there and experience it for ourselves.

Combat experience i can't comment on though.

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Post by Jedi Master Spock » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:40 pm

The total number of people involved with various military and paramilitary organizations, as members, contractors, etc., is truly staggering. In the United States, Canada's southern neighbor, there are 26.4 million veterans of war(ref), which does not count the assorted paramilitary groups, those whose military service was outside of wartime, civilian contractors, etc.

In Norway, every single man is required to put in his respective "year" (and change) of service after reaching his majority. This is not remarkable globally, as there are still a few dozen countries that have some form of compulsory military service (including Germany, by the way, since Germany has come up in particular).

The training to look at tactics as variant with or independent from technology is not particularly common to soldiers or anyone else, however; so while military "experts" are often more common than college graduates, the fact that someone qualifies as having expertise in military matters doesn't mean that they're qualified as experts in what abouts to a speculative flip-side to military history.

For example, if Eric Flint decided to review Star Wars ground tactics in a book, I might take that as an expert opinion before I even check it out, based of the quality of research I expect from him and the number of experts he can be expected to consult on the way.

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Post by coyote » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:56 pm

GStone wrote:You really need to start paying attention. You even quoted me saying 'though I've never been in the military and I'm not talking about something I just read from a book'.

See there? I put it in bold. It was on the last page and it was in your first post on this board. I specifically said I wasn't refering to just reading from a book.
Again, I must show you how you aren't paying attention because I said there are ways that one can learn military tactics without being in the military that civilians can use. But, when I mention Iraq or Vietnam, you gloss over those and go for what you're trying to make out to be the weakest part of my argument and say that's how I learn when I expressly said it isn't.

And this is the decision making that's supposedly much better than ours? I'm to believe that?
You know, when you say "I've had military training" and all this hard core stuff but, when asked, go all cryptic and say "I can't talk about it", do you not realize how much this smacks of handwaving artistry? If you rattle off a list of FMs and describe paintball as "one means which civilians can learn", then guess what? I'm going to fill in the blanks because I have to work with what is given. If you've been on the internet for more than ten minutes, you know that the world is crawling with wanna-be GI Joes that know everything they ever read backwards and forwards.

The problem here is that you rely on this "experience" or "training" to make your point. But when asked where this experience or training comes from, you obfuscate. Your argument boils down to "accept me as an authority, because I say I am."

You say you got this training, but it wasn't military, it wasn't just books or paintball, but you were in combat and men died. You say it wasn't part of a terrorist group or whatnot, so again, I'm left puzzling over where this vast knowledge comes from. The chances of being a DoD contracter are slim, there are still the other choices I mentioned like a local militia where perhaps there was a training accident or something where someone got killed.

Step out for a moment and think about how all this looks to someone else-- hard-core leader of men whos tasted the bitter sting of death, etc.. never been in the military, though, and it's all stuff I can't talk about. Do you see how that might have just a touch of melodrama to it?

Dude, by even rationalizing a militia training accident I'm giving a lot of benefit of the doubt, here. Anyone else by now probably would have just shrugged and said "armchair commando" and shuffled off.

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Post by GStone » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:24 pm

coyote wrote:You know, when you say "I've had military training" and all this hard core stuff but, when asked, go all cryptic and say "I can't talk about it", do you not realize how much this smacks of handwaving artistry?
Well, since you are having a tough time with the phrase 'I'm not at liberty to discuss it', I'm gonna assume that you are also not familiar with the idea of 'loss of security clearance' either, regardless of the fact that everything you need to know about that specific phrase is directly in that phrase.
If you rattle off a list of FMs and describe paintball as "one means which civilians can learn", then guess what?
I'm gonna guess you have a tough time with honesty because that is not what I did. I did mention just one field manual by name. Not a list of them.

You say that I meant that paintball was one way to learn, when the idea I was getting across is that there are a few military tactics that can be learned from paintball, but it shouldn't be thought of as a good way to learn them in a general sense. I have specifically said that military tactics covers a very large range of things. How the fuck are they gonna all be covered in paintball?
I'm going to fill in the blanks because I have to work with what is given.
Which must mean that you are gonna go with the most negative option available, even when you have no evidence to support such a notion? Hiding behind the idea that in this instance, absence of proof contradicts the assertion?
If you've been on the internet for more than ten minutes, you know that the world is crawling with wanna-be GI Joes that know everything they ever read backwards and forwards.
I don't care about that portion of the internet.
The problem here is that you rely on this "experience" or "training" to make your point.
It wasn't anything close to a problem, unless you refer to the attraction certain elements on the internet have to such an idea.
But when asked where this experience or training comes from, you obfuscate.
I say I'm not at liberty to say. I have now informed you that if I were to, I'd loss a particular type of security clearance because I failed in my obligations, which I swore I'd uphold.

I'm not gonna risk my clearance just because a couple people on the internet got pissy and thought I was lying.
Your argument boils down to "accept me as an authority, because I say I am."
Wrong again. My argument boils down to 'accept what I'm saying is true or not. I don't give a fuck which you choose. I don't care.'

See? No obfuscation, no BS spin. I couldn't gather the strength to even attempt to fake caring about people believing.
You say you got this training, but it wasn't military, it wasn't just books or paintball, but you were in combat and men died. You say it wasn't part of a terrorist group or whatnot, so again, I'm left puzzling over where this vast knowledge comes from.
Fine, that isn't unexpected to be puzzled and just be puzzled. However, I'm also not surprised at the reaction both you and Kendall have shown.
The chances of being a DoD contracter are slim
Whatever.
Step out for a moment and think about how all this looks to someone else
I'm fully conscious of how this would appear to an outsider. I was aware longer before it was ever brought up here. The perceptions of others are not my responsibility. I gave up long ago on the desire for others to always agree with me.
-- hard-core leader of men whos tasted the bitter sting of death, etc.. never been in the military, though, and it's all stuff I can't talk about.
I'll probably get a warning for this, but it'll be worth it.

With this statement of yours, any hope I had that you actually had some brains rummaging around inside your melon is now utterly gone.
Do you see how that might have just a touch of melodrama to it?
Repeart after me, coyote: I don't give a shit.

Once again, I show no obfuscation. No BS spin. There is no way anyone ever can be or could be any more clear.
Dude, by even rationalizing a militia training accident I'm giving a lot of benefit of the doubt, here.
I've given Kendall the benefit of the doubt when he says he was in the Canadian army that he actually is or was in the canadian army, but I don't care if he was. I gave Wong the benefit of the doubt when I first heard he said he was an engineer and went to school and got a degree, but with him, I've see so much stupidity on his site, I've started having my doubts of just how much of an education he really got.

If you're calling what you've shown a benefit of a doubt, I'm flabbergasted.
Anyone else by now probably would have just shrugged and said "armchair commando" and shuffled off.
That's right, because there wouldn't actually be anyone that ever really had a security clearance of any kind that's involved in the debate. There wouldn't be people like that that wouldn't have been put in the position to agree to not give certain specifics and want to be in the debate.

That type of person wouldn't be caught dead in a versus debate and anyone who says they are...they've got to be lying about it.

So, ladies and gentlepeoples...let me say it again: As far as if people think I'm just an armchair commando...I...Don't...Give...A...Fuck.

How about them apples? Is there any part of this that isn't clear?

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Post by coyote » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:58 pm

Fine, it's no skin off my teeth either. I, like Kendall, wondered if you were a poser or whatnot, which under the circumstances seems a fair question. One that, for all intents and purposes, will just have to remain unanswered. A little mystery spices life up.


































... is it SD6?

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Post by Jedi Master Spock » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:06 am

Yes, that would be a violation of the good manners policy. Perhaps I should amend the enforcement policy to take clear and deliberate violation of the rules as a slightly more severe offense than the simple "any" transgression aside from offenses severe enough to lead directly to a ban (per clause: "The administrator reserves the right to apply immediate sanction against any member engaging in what are deemed severe offenses.") Say, a category of offenses worth two warnings.

Unless I do revise that policy, however, GStone may definitely count this as a warning for violation of the rules.


To everybody... I think it's perfectly clear that - as is truly the case in any situation in which you're chatting with someone over the internet - you'll have to either take GStone at his word or not take him at his word as to whether or not he knows what he's talking about when he talks of matters military, and you're not going to get any closer or further in having him say anything that will (or will not) reassure you.

There's not too much point in talking about it further.

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Post by Mr. Oragahn » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:18 pm

GStone wrote:
Cpl Kendall wrote:So tell me, if you've never been in the military than how did you come by this military training? I'm honestly curious as someone who's been in the military myself I've found the only way to actually aquire this training is to have served.
I'm not at liberty to go into the specifics, but it wasn't as any kind of rebel/freedom fighter/terrorist. I'm not presently in the field and don't expect to be in the near future, as well as the partial anonymity the internet and a made up screen name (but even that is limited with things, such as electronic surveillance, both legal and not), so there is just a tad bit of leeway with just mentioning it in a general sense. But, it would be inappropriate for me to go into specifics though there is still the opening of deniability left even though the entity of 'GStone' can be thought of just some kook that was trying to make himself sound more knowledgable than he really was.

But, you can look at history and there are loads of examples of people learning military tactics without being in the military. Not everyone that does learn them would be at the same level of skill, as those within a military institution because there is more access to a wider range of resources.

You don't need to be able to do everything someone from a military could do because the differences in resources keeps that from happening, but not all tactics and strategies came out of governmental institutions. As I'm sure you know, many originated from phylosophy, martial arts, experience of warriors in the battle field that has been handed down over the last several thousand years. Governmental institutions took them and ran with it, adapting them to their resources to work for them.

As I was saying, it isn't necessary to be a art of the institution. What you need is the information and the chance to experience the maneuvers. You're out of luck, for instance, without a flight simulator or a miltary jet to learn tactics for when flying in a jet and get the physical skill, unless you've got high governmental connections, but even then, it'd depend on the country and who you are. You can't just buy a jet off ebay.

Take the terrorists that have sprung up from within Iraq or the children that were in Vietnam. I'll bet you top dollar that the way they learned was by watching and someone nudging them in the right direction to notice certain things. You've got Iraqi going after Iraqi on the streets with automatic weapons, RPGs, homemade bombs that are planted in roads or shoved into cars that are driven by suicide bombers. There are probably some that had joined the Iraqi army, learned some stuff and then, deserted and taught terrorists, so they could better fight whichever side they're against. Then, they buy smuggled in weapons and go off to fight.

They may not be learning air combat tactics, but they'd be learning urban combat, some self-defense. I don't know the extent outside military people are teaching them, but they're most likely focusing on strategies that work best in urban areas in desert regions more than anything else.
No offense, but that doesn't sound terribly convincing...

EDIT: I can't know if you're honest or not, but usually, a long tirade such as this one is often attributed to posers, while a simple sentence makes things relatively more clear.
I'm not allowed to talk about that would have been enough, since you can't provide more tangible info and the whole rest will appear as hand flailing, really.
I'd rather see a short and strict answer. In the end, it would leave less doubts.

As JMS said, however, we won't go anywhere with that.

Now 2046 has a point regarding the over reliance on figures of authority, though it's also fair to consider that an educated person in a given field is probably going to provide more coherent and insightful information regarding an issue than a total amateur.

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Post by GStone » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:37 pm

:-)

None taken. The list was just me brainstorming about how civilians could get some idea outside of military institutions because it isn't like all military tactics are some uber secret hush hush thing that only they could ever understand that they keep only to themselves, except for maybe certain ones that require classified pieces of equipment or something typically used by just the military that everyone else wouldn't have access to.

Its intended use was not to equate all civilian access to all governmental access in all respects. Kendall asked how it could be done (thinking I was talking out of my ass) and I ran off a brief list of other sources.

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Post by Knife1138 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:12 am

l33telboi wrote:
Cpl Kendall wrote: Knowledge=ok

Training=good

Combat experiance=better
The leap between knowledge and traning when it comes to something as simple as how to operate in a squad isn't that huge. What traning can give you is more of a "this is how it feels like in practice" experience, but the theory behind it is still the same. I admit that it's pretty darn unsettling the first time you put your theoretical skills into practice with live rounds in your rifle, especially when you know that the guy standing next to you is just as new at this as you are. For me at least, the biggest difference between theory and practice was managing to keep your feelings in check and still be able to remember what exactly your supposed to be doing. But in the context of vs. debating, what could be more important then the theory behind it? All we do is evaluate how other people perform, it's not like we ourselves have to be there and experience it for ourselves.

Combat experience i can't comment on though.
The bolded part just screams that you haven't really run a squad then. Employing different fireteam formations, or employing those formations with in a squad formation depending upon the terrain, while watching out for possible chokepoints and possible ambush points, avenues of approach and deadspace. That's before contact.

Then you can decide on offensive tactics, moving all three of your teams in a charge or which one flanks. Ammo managment, command and control and then when you're done, basic triage and possible med evac, your evac or setting up a secure position, inventory, and sending word back to command on your sitrep, BDA's, SALUTE reports along with KIA's and POW situation.

It's a bit different than running in the woods with your buddies and some paint guns. And before you even ask, I won't have to kill you- 3rd Bn 5th Marines.

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Post by l33telboi » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:17 am

Knife1138 wrote:The bolded part just screams that you haven't really run a squad then. Employing different fireteam formations, or employing those formations with in a squad formation depending upon the terrain, while watching out for possible chokepoints and possible ambush points, avenues of approach and deadspace. That's before contact.

Then you can decide on offensive tactics, moving all three of your teams in a charge or which one flanks. Ammo managment, command and control and then when you're done, basic triage and possible med evac, your evac or setting up a secure position, inventory, and sending word back to command on your sitrep, BDA's, SALUTE reports along with KIA's and POW situation.
Problem is that i didn't claim to have lead a fireteam in my last post, only that i've been apart of it. I was only what would amount to a private in rank, though we did all have to assume the role of a Corporal (or the equivalent by your standards) a few times, for the purpose of realizing the difference between giving and following orders in said situations and just to give some perspective on the whole matter. So yes, though i haven't done it that extensively, i have led a fireteam. EDIT: I should probably also clarify that we didn't get to do this during live-fire excercises - for obvious reasons.

Though i think you missed part of what i was trying to get across. The mental strain in those situations is a lot higher then one would initially think by watching something on TV or reading about it in a book. Well, at least for me, i guess stuff like that could come naturally to others though. But the theoretical part doesn't change that much, you are still supposed to do stuff by the book and there is protocol laid down for how you are supposed to act in different situations, though things are often a lot more 'fluid' in reality and often there really isn't a textbook answer for what you are supposed to do. In such cases you make judgement calls and this is of course something that is improved with experience. So in essence, while leading a team and being part of fireteam is different in practice (or at least feels different), it's not something that is impossible to learn without military training. In fact many of the 'war crazies' that i served with seemed to have a better grasp of how stuff was supposed to work when compared to the Corporals.

In the end, you don't really need to know a whole damn lot when evaluating how fireteams in Sci-Fi series perform. Mainly because they very seldom do employ realistic tactics. And IMHO, you can learn enough when it comes to squad tactics by reading about it, at least enough to be able to evaluate a team in a Sci-Fi series.

And this is why i initially found it a little surprising that people counted basic military training as something substantial when it comes to knowledge about tactics. In my mind, traning above the NCO level is something a lot more substantial and something that's a lot more relevant.
It's a bit different than running in the woods with your buddies and some paint guns. And before you even ask, I won't have to kill you- 3rd Bn 5th Marines.
And i suppose you'd like me to verify that i've served with the army? Well since i know how people on SDN dislike taking stuff at face value (and knowing this will most likely end up there anyway), i'll instead leave you with a hint. You could have deduced that i've most likely served in the military even before i claimed it.

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Post by SailorSaturn13 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:43 pm

So, in your opinion, is it the training or the combat experience that is needed to effectively be able to participate in a Vs. Debate?
Neither. To participate in a debate you need knowledge. This can be part of a training but can just as easy come from a book. It's fighting practically where training is vital. There you learn how to use this knowledge in practice, under fire or by marsh, or in other hostile situations. THIS is what training mostly consists of - learning to do things fast and correct. This is not needed in computer debate.

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Post by Who is like God arbour » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:04 pm

As I have said already, I have served only my basic military service. But we have trained too. And as far as I can remember, before each practical training, we have had a theoretical lesson - or at least, it was said, what we would have to do (theoretical). Only thereafter, we have tried with more or less succes to convert our theoretical knowledge in practical doings. I don't believe, that this is different in other armies. But I think, that the knowledge allone, could be gained as easiliy by reading a book.

Later, we have trained, to evaluate and judge situations and to choose the appropriate action by ourself. But that has build on the foregone training and lessons. We have resorted to our knowledge. Our experiences merely had enabled us to be better.

For a debate only, I think, that real combat experience is not necessary, as long the psychological effects of a real situation are considered. But my experience is, that these psychological effects are very various. One person (without corresponding experience) react in a real danger different than another person.

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