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On the Toxicity of the ‘Warrior’ Ethos

Remius

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So quick thing to add to the conversation.

Warrior ethos in military culture.  Does that translate into a police officer with military experience?

I know a few (dozen) police officers personally.  All of them have military service.  By all accounts except for a few that were crappy soldiers and became crappy cops, most are very good at what they do. 

Now looking at the US, how many police officers have a military background?  I’m sure the percentage is much higher than in Canada. 

Is that how this concept of warrior police is creeping into certain police forces?

I would think that having a military background is a plus.  Just not all of it. 
 

mariomike

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Remius said:
I would think that having a military background is a plus. 

See also,

CF experience relevant to RCMP, civ policing? (merged)
https://navy.ca/forums/threads/32733.0
10 pages.

Q: I am a current/past member of the military. Do I get special consideration?

A: Although we appreciate your service in the military, all current and past members of any military service will proceed through the Constable Selection System like any other candidate.
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/careers/uni_faq.php#q23
 

daftandbarmy

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Chris Pook said:
They learned how to take a bunch of vicious surplus youngsters hanging around gaols and football pitches on a Saturday afternoon and discipline the buggers to do what Her Majesty needed.

So you've met 4 Pl, B Coy, 1 PARA then? ;)
 

Kirkhill

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I was raised by a  Platoon Mortarman of Sugar Coy, 1 Para.
 

mariomike

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Speaking of warriors, memories of some local action 10 years ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XgEI5dCrE


I think the City is still paying off the lawsuits.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03xZS77-ljY9vZUe73rBz9fzZmSBg%3A1592166847766&source=hp&ei=v4nmXsGZLPKmggel1oWAAw&q=g20+toronto+lawsuits&oq=g20+toronto+lawsuits&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzICCAAyBggAEBYQHjoECCMQJzoECAAQQzoICAAQgwEQkQI6BQgAEJECOgUIABCxAzoHCAAQsQMQQzoICAAQsQMQkQI6BQgAEIMBUOwMWOw9YOQ-aABwAHgDgAGNCYgB3iySAQ8wLjguMi4yLjAuMS4yLjGYAQCgAQGqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiB9Ybbk4LqAhVyk-AKHSVrATAQ4dUDCAw&uact=5#spf=1592166857692

I was retired by then, and watched it at home on TV.
 

lenaitch

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When I started my career back in the 70s, I don't think I was aware of any fellow member that was ex-military.  It might have been more prevalent with the RCMP due to things like common employer, pension issues, etc.  I understand there are still pension 'portability' issues between federal and provincial programs but don't really follow it.  My experience was that the ex-military members that I did encountered and worked with later in my career ran a gamut no different than that of members 'off the street'.

Part of the issue with 'warriorism' in law enforcement is training and experience.  Many of the members I encountered who were into training recruits or in-service training in the areas of weapons and use of force were either wanna-be or former tactical members.  That was fair - they are really into the skills, high level of fitness and all of that stuff, but it lacked, for want of a better term, situationality (is that even a word?).  A cop needs to have a warrior mind-set when he/she is fighting for their life; you have to win.  But you can't go through life dealing with a public that you see as a constant threat.  I've worked with guys who approached every grandmother driving a car with a headlight light out as though they were a drug addled psychopath.  For sure, you need to have your guard up, be cognizant of tactical cues, etc. but it seems for some time on the job really didn't translate into a growth of experience and knowledge.  That is the strength of a really good training officer program - the ability to take the formal skills training that the recruit has learned and have them exercise it through the filter of real-world encounters.
 

lenaitch

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mariomike said:
Speaking of warriors, memories of some local action 10 years ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XgEI5dCrE


I think the City is still paying off the lawsuits.
https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03xZS77-ljY9vZUe73rBz9fzZmSBg%3A1592166847766&source=hp&ei=v4nmXsGZLPKmggel1oWAAw&q=g20+toronto+lawsuits&oq=g20+toronto+lawsuits&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzICCAAyBggAEBYQHjoECCMQJzoECAAQQzoICAAQgwEQkQI6BQgAEJECOgUIABCxAzoHCAAQsQMQQzoICAAQsQMQkQI6BQgAEIMBUOwMWOw9YOQ-aABwAHgDgAGNCYgB3iySAQ8wLjguMi4yLjAuMS4yLjGYAQCgAQGqAQdnd3Mtd2l6&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiB9Ybbk4LqAhVyk-AKHSVrATAQ4dUDCAw&uact=5#spf=1592166857692

I was retired by then, and watched it at home on TV.

As was I.  Hard to believe it was a decade ago.  I think part of the problem was leadership; either the lack thereof of its failure to be sufficiently agile (setting aside the fact that it was foisted on the city with minimal lead time).  Why they do these things in dense urban areas is beyond me - the G8 in Kananaskis, and the G20 portion of this fiasco in Hunstville were quite benign.  I also think part of the problem was confusing executive leadership - senior command level - with multiple agencies and departments involved.  'Matrix management' was a big buzzword for a while, but the reality is it blurs accountability.  A former boss once said to a fairly unappreciative audience that the response to 'who's in charge' should be a one-word answer.
 

mariomike

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Yes. Why it was held in downtown TO  was questionable.
 

FJAG

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Remius said:
So quick thing to add to the conversation.

Warrior ethos in military culture.  Does that translate into a police officer with military experience?

I know a few (dozen) police officers personally.  All of them have military service.  By all accounts except for a few that were crappy soldiers and became crappy cops, most are very good at what they do. 

Now looking at the US, how many police officers have a military background?  I’m sure the percentage is much higher than in Canada. 

Is that how this concept of warrior police is creeping into certain police forces?

I would think that having a military background is a plus.  Just not all of it.

Many do. Firstly it's one of the professions many Active army folks gravitate to after releasing and secondly many police officers (especially in the smaller county sheriff's departments) are also in the National Guard or Reserves.

Little aside. I was just doing some research for my current book where my protagonist is following some leads into southern Vermont where the local National Guard brigade had been mobilized to Afghanistan at the time of my story. My plan was to have my hero meet with the local county's sheriff but when I searched that department I found that the actual sheriff himself had been called up for the deployment.

I think one would find that in rural counties many of the deputies either were or are in the military.

:cheers:
 

Jarnhamar

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This is always a captivating subject.

Recently I got front row seats to what I consider a great example of how absurd a leader pushing a warrior ethos can be. In his head I'm sure it sounded gallant and dashing. Hoorah. In practice it seemed to just fuck guys around for no other reason than to appeal to his idea of what warriors are(explanation available through PMs).

On the other hand I think about the soldier side of the equation including what gets mentioned here. Teamwork, discipline, mission before self stuff. In practice I've seen the soldier ethos (I think) manifest in soldiers continuously treated like numbers. Promotions based on career forecasting and what they can do for the regiment and not individual skills, prowess and badassery. Young smart bold leaders held back because they didn't fit the mold of a yes-man NCO. People afraid to push back.


I've also had a discussion with some peers recently about two very different leadership styles we observed which I think lends itself to the warrior/soldier discussion. Maybe?

Both new company commanders at the time.
One used language like our plan for the next year. Milestones and challenges we'll reach and overcome together. The future we'll take ourselves into and the way we will do our part in the greater picture. Here is what I will do for you.

The other came across the opposite. My plan is this and by doing this I will accomplish that and by following my philosophy you'll support my effort to do what the CO is asking of me. You will champion these changes I want made.
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
Both new company commanders at the time.
One used language like our plan for the next year. Milestones and challenges we'll reach and overcome together. The future we'll take ourselves into and the way we will do our part in the greater picture. Here is what I will do for you.

The other came across the opposite. My plan is this and by doing this I will accomplish that and by following my philosophy you'll support my effort to do what the CO is asking of me. You will champion these changes I want made.

I involuntarily cringed at #2. How did he do getting all that stuff done all by himself? :)
 

lenaitch

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Jarnhamar said:
One used language like our plan for the next year. Milestones and challenges we'll reach and overcome together. The future we'll take ourselves into and the way we will do our part in the greater picture. Here is what I will do for you.

The other came across the opposite. My plan is this and by doing this I will accomplish that and by following my philosophy you'll support my effort to do what the CO is asking of me. You will champion these changes I want made.


Trust me - that is not isolated to the military.

Developing good leadership also means developing good 'followership'.  An effective team or organization can plan, study, collaborate, commiserate 'til the cows come home, but when the poo hits the fan, everybody needs to rise to the occasion.  It's not the time to convene another focus group.
 

Underway

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Jarnhamar said:
Both new company commanders at the time.
13th Company perhaps???  ;)

The term "warrior" seems to have been pushed quite a bit by culture/media.  Crossfit, obstacle races (like Tough Mudder), UFC, and other sports, fighting cancer (like you can fight your own body), etc...

There are plenty of synonyms and other terminology that one can use.  The Canadian Army seems to use Battle _____ for everything.  Battle proof mind, battle procedure, battle fitness, and the list goes on.

At the end of the day it isn't the word, it's the training and the expectations.  The US police act like "warriors" in many places because they are not true professional force.  Could you imagine how bad it would be if your company commander was elected from the general public (like some Sheriffs are) without having to do any military training or pass any courses?
 

Jarnhamar

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daftandbarmy said:
I involuntarily cringed at #2. How did he do getting all that stuff done all by himself? :)

lol ya. I mean, technically he's right. It's "his" rifle company. Hearing it put that way definitely sounded different to our ears than his I'd say.

Underway said:
13th Company perhaps???  ;)

Post heresy, certainly!

The term "warrior" seems to have been pushed quite a bit by culture/media.  Crossfit, obstacle races (like Tough Mudder), UFC, and other sports, fighting cancer (like you can fight your own body), etc...

Agreed. More of a marketing tool than anything now.
 
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