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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Army Basic Training: Weeding Out the Weak

Basic training serves to weed out those who cannot increase their fitness, those who are weak-willed, and individuals who cannot act as part of a team. I first set out a very idealistic description of such training. Despite the theoretical effectiveness of Army training, gaps exist in the applied process. Some are a result of societal and political pressure on the Army.


Stress Builds Mental Endurance
Tackling Problems: Command Tasks
Gaps in the Sieve

I have lots of text prepared from 2003 (like this text was), which I will be gradually marking up... and am excitedly working on pages on Religion in the British Army, which will be pretty interesting, especially when I get on to the more esoteric stuff (which I won't be properly releasing for over a year, for political reasons).

Out here without the military library in Wegberg, and other resources, I am finding it impossible to find any reputable text on the psychology of Army training and on the sociology of army life, can anyone recommend anything?

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I am going to be on the Garibaldi next week for 4 days of the coast of Italy. They have a quite nice library and a very good and approachable Military Psichiatrist, who is one of the only 3 civians on board of the carrier. I'll try to see what resources I can gather from them and then send to you.


I misread, and thought you said you'd be "doing" a Garibaldi! But I'm not up enough on Babylon 5 to know what that would mean...

No, Garibaldi is the boat I serve at when I have to go to the Navy in Italy...

None at all, but I'd be interested to see comparative studies of boot-camp, religious indoctrination and brainwashing.

(That sounds harsh, but speaking as someone who's been through one of the above, I can imagine I'd have made quite a good basic trainee.)

Heh! Reading your description, I realise I spoke too soon. Physical stamina, check. Cooperativeness and teamwork, check. Mental stamina and resilience... no idea, sugar.

http://www.dpjs.co.uk/cultcontrol.html contains the text that I'd plunder for such a write-up... although I'd take the chance to rewrite it...

Yeah, of course the training techniques are similar... I will later write a page on army basic /in general/ that will explicitly draw these comparions.

You'd have been an awesome trainee, I'm sure, but I'm afraid you'd be massively dissilussioned by the actual workings and daily routine of the army! So much slak, non-caring, sloppiness, etc... it's no wonder that the officers feel the need to introduce ever-tighter legislation to try and get people to do things properly!


There are parallels in real life - the successful and the weak. The part I found most interesting is not whether you break, but it's how you deal with it.

And how did you fare in basic training? Alright, I presume? Were there any parts that you found particularly stressful or nearly unbearable?

Yeah ok, didn't fit in at all though, the most stressful part were the immature annoyances of the truly ignorant trash that I was doing basic with!

Oh, and being completely skint because I was still paying rent on a flat in London, that basic training wages didn't even begin to cover!

Peter H. Gilmore


...the fuck was that about?!

Re: Peter H. Gilmore

I haven't viewed the video, what was it? The still picture on the webpage wasn't a photo of Peter Gilmore, I suspect it's a piss-take by some CoS antagonist, seem about right?

Some stupid, ugly photoshopped video.

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Basic Training

I found your guild and accessment of basic training very interesting and agreed with many of your views on types of recruits. It is a long time since I was in the Army (The Poachers/RAR) 1987 -1992 and it's hard to think back to basic training, but reading your guide brought back memories, good and bad LOL. I gained the rank of Lance corporal and left the army in 1992 after yet another dumb tour of Northern Ireland (which the government showed no real will to hold on to). Even releasing the torrorists of the IRA that killed many of our soldiers and our people in Ulster and on the mainland. The British government is the real problem then and now not the army.

The Army of the UK is the best in the world but sadly our government is one of the weakest & dumbest. The lost an empire and now we have become America's puppet. :(

The government also fails to support soldiers when they leave the service. I did fine and own my own Landscaping company, but other have not. Many of us left the army having learnt no REAL skill in those days.

Re: Basic Training

Sorry about the typos :D

training costs

we are doing a school project on the m.o.d and need to find out the average cost of training per year, is there any way you could tell us pretty please??

Millitary Life

In general there are people that fit the bill that don't even understand their on physical and mental abilities, however the fact that there is only 26 weeks training its either a case of keep up or loose the pace. I did only 5 years with HMF and enjoyed the experience. There are more blaggers than the armed forces realizes but they do have their part to play even in the battle theater as they can sometimes push the group, altimately leaving the section commander to undertake his prim objectiv.There were Guys in my unit that you would question their abillity to act under stress but they always came up trumps on the day. Its interesting to read comments on this site and see what views other people give as a few have a very shallow view on the subject and would make great blaggers. Cheers buddy

Awareness of training

Great article. I'm a veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry. I am not aware of the details of what is dicussed in Basic Combat Training in the U.K., but here in the States these aims of trianing are never discussed. You recieve the stress and pressure from the Drill Istructor but without any real reasoning for it. My contention is that perhaps towards the end of training or at some point during training it should be explained as to why the recruit was stressed. It is the general idea that those who "can't hack it, or can't hang" either phsically or mentally are eliminated. My question is if soliders are aware of this detialed type explination either before or during basic if it would result in better adapted soldiers. Does awareness of this make basic training a more effect training method or would awareness of this in detail as you have stated make basic less effective?

Just a question I've always struggled with. Curious as to your thoughts on this.

Re: Awareness of training

Sorry about the spelling errors in that last post. Didnt spell check before posting.

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