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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Modern Wars & Warfare > Military Medicine

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Military Medicine Discuss aspects of this specialist field not covered in other forums.

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  #61  
Old 01 May 10, 10:39
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Originally Posted by Lawler View Post
"Even without looking at the Flag at the top of your mail your style screams out YOUNG AMERICAN, with a vacant space above the eyes!!"

Ah I wish but I last saw young a couple of decades ago. I do know a fair number of young Americans serving in our nation's military though and their abilities are truly impressive. They deserve better than to have men who served before them call them weak and soft and fakers if they experience mental health problems.

The soldier of yesterday would be lost in today's military. First of all, he wouldn't know how to operate all the fancy equipment they use now. It's funny, one of the other posters (probably not you) was criticizing the country's youth because they play video games. Funny because the US military actually uses video games in training. You have to be tech savvy in our military now, not just be a grunt who can hump 100 lbs on his back (although you have to be that too!) because a lot of that weight is made up of special gear.

We fight wars differently now and for different reasons than in the past. It stands to reason that what made for a good soldier back in the day isn't going to be the same now, once you get past the basic requirements. It also stands to reason that the modern soldier's experience shouldn't be expected to mirror what some soldier went through in WW II or any other war. Although the idea that those soldiers didn't face PTSD, albeit by a different name, has already been discredited by others who've commented here.
The trouble with video game training is that is causes a from of psychological disassociation. The player is safe because he knows it isn't real. We are the results of the lifestyle and training approach now in the exponentially increasing PTSD rates. There is no RESET button in war, which remains unchanged throughout Man's history - extreme violence, dismemberment and death as a means of defeating an enemy.

Modern day weapons and munitions wreak havoc on the human body in ways never seen even on places like Tarawa and OMAHA Beach.

The modern soldier might be good at video games, but he isn't handling the actual physical violence, maiming and death the way he should be. Splattering someone all over the landscape might be "cool" in a video game, but it is emotionally devastating when done for real on the battlefield.
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  #62  
Old 01 May 10, 15:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
The trouble with video game training is that is causes a from of psychological disassociation. The player is safe because he knows it isn't real. We are the results of the lifestyle and training approach now in the exponentially increasing PTSD rates. There is no RESET button in war, which remains unchanged throughout Man's history - extreme violence, dismemberment and death as a means of defeating an enemy.

Modern day weapons and munitions wreak havoc on the human body in ways never seen even on places like Tarawa and OMAHA Beach.

The modern soldier might be good at video games, but he isn't handling the actual physical violence, maiming and death the way he should be. Splattering someone all over the landscape might be "cool" in a video game, but it is emotionally devastating when done for real on the battlefield.
You do realize "video game" training as you call it, IE CCTT(Close Combat Tactical Trainer) and SIMNET before it is just a supplement to actual boots on the ground training, it allows for platoon and company level maneuver training, even BN with an OC controlling other companies. It doesn't replace regular training, but allows tank commanders and Platoon leaders/ COs to realistically maneuver their unit without spending all the time and $$ to do it for real. It is a base building block.

CCTT doesn't cause any less disassociation than any other training method, I don't see where you are going with that. In CCTT, when you shoot a tank you see it burning, during real world training when you shoot a tank with a MILES laser, an orange light flashes. When you shoot a dismount in CCTT he falls over, when you shoot a dismount with MILES, he takes off his helmet and sits down, and turns off his weapon laser to make his MILES harness stop beeping.

Any form of training the US Military uses has a "RESET Button" this is a way to allow you to learn from your mistakes so you don't make them again.

After all the training I did in the US military, the first time I lit some dude up with a burst from a 240, and he got chewed up pretty bad, it didn't phase me at all, and I kept scanning.

Can you tell me a way to train someone to deal with the gore, the smell, and the sounds of dying people? Is there any training method you can think of where the soldier being trained doesn't know it is not real?
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  #63  
Old 01 May 10, 22:30
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To begin with I have NEVER degraded the present day men and their capabilities. so you are Tech: savvy, if the old 'Plods' were fighting now ,they would not be old men fighting a modern war, they too would be young men AND Tech: savvy!! I maintained that the old 'Bootnecks' would hold their own and be just as capable as the present day ones. We were able to adapt to new equipment you know! This I think is a damned silly argument!!
If you've never degraded the present day military then my quarrel isn't with you. While I am sure there are some who served before who would acquit themselves admirably in today's military I'm just as confident that there are some who wouldn't even get in under today's standards or who wouldn't be as successful if they did get in. This is a common misunderstanding, that the US military takes all comers because it's just looking for warm bodies. This is not true.

This is not to say that those who served in the past were just warm bodies because of course they were more than that. But what was expected of them was very different than what is expected in the modern military. Which, to bring this back to PTSD, means that the effect of those expectations should differ as well, or at least our understanding of those effects should be as sophisticated as the modern war fighting methods now are.

Of course as I've already written, I think past warriors suffered from PTSD just like modern ones do. You only have to read memoirs such as Sledge's With The Old Breed to know that.
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  #64  
Old 03 May 10, 14:47
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Video Game Warfare

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post

The trouble with video game training is that is causes a from of psychological disassociation. The player is safe because he knows it isn't real. We are the results of the lifestyle and training approach now in the exponentially increasing PTSD rates. There is no RESET button in war, which remains unchanged throughout Man's history - extreme violence, dismemberment and death as a means of defeating an enemy.

Modern day weapons and munitions wreak havoc on the human body in ways never seen even on places like Tarawa and OMAHA Beach.

The modern soldier might be good at video games, but he isn't handling the actual physical violence, maiming and death the way he should be. Splattering someone all over the landscape might be "cool" in a video game, but it is emotionally devastating when done for real on the battlefield.
While I'd agree with most of what you're putting down, I'll just point out a couple of things.

The simulation center at West Point is largely a "video game training" system, and I can think of two commercial-grade games that have been used there.

In fact, several bases and academies rely on digital training to supplement or expand their war-figthing lessons.

I don't know much about soldiering, but I put a lot of faith in our military academies.

Also, practice makes perfect. The brain benefits from problem-solving exercises, whether they are on paper or digital or otherwise.

The outcome, of course, depends on the quality of the simulation and the collation with physical exercises that will compliment the video game's exercises.

I know personally a few combat troops who have been quite successful in war and give at least some credit to their simulated training.

As far as ill effects from killing, it's hard to say if there is anything that can detect (or prepare for) the delayed aftermath of "splattering someone all over the landscape."

I would only submit that desensitization from simulated exposure has been pointed to as a reason for the pervasive level of violence in our society, as thus it may help to dehumanize the mental damage done by massive exposure to carnage... It also stands to reason that longer combat tours would eventually diminish how upset a troop became over some gruesome experience.

If video games lead to violence because they desensitize people, then surely there is a way to harness that into method to prepare soldiers for committing and witnessing violence without mental damage...
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  #65  
Old 03 May 10, 20:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mann III View Post
While I'd agree with most of what you're putting down, I'll just point out a couple of things.

The simulation center at West Point is largely a "video game training" system, and I can think of two commercial-grade games that have been used there.

In fact, several bases and academies rely on digital training to supplement or expand their war-figthing lessons.

I don't know much about soldiering, but I put a lot of faith in our military academies.

Also, practice makes perfect. The brain benefits from problem-solving exercises, whether they are on paper or digital or otherwise.

The outcome, of course, depends on the quality of the simulation and the collation with physical exercises that will compliment the video game's exercises.

I know personally a few combat troops who have been quite successful in war and give at least some credit to their simulated training.

As far as ill effects from killing, it's hard to say if there is anything that can detect (or prepare for) the delayed aftermath of "splattering someone all over the landscape."

I would only submit that desensitization from simulated exposure has been pointed to as a reason for the pervasive level of violence in our society, as thus it may help to dehumanize the mental damage done by massive exposure to carnage... It also stands to reason that longer combat tours would eventually diminish how upset a troop became over some gruesome experience.

If video games lead to violence because they desensitize people, then surely there is a way to harness that into method to prepare soldiers for committing and witnessing violence without mental damage...
Video training and simulators are no substitute for the real thing. Committing violence isn't the problem - being the victim of it is.

PTSD is becoming a major and overwhelming problem; therefore, there is a good reason for it that we need to identify and acknowledge. Simply treating it accomplishes nothing unless we address the root cause.

Morphine will take away the pain of a broken leg, but the leg still will not work properly. Simply treating PTSD is a band-aid approach.
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  #66  
Old 03 May 10, 20:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Video training and simulators are no substitute for the real thing. Committing violence isn't the problem - being the victim of it is.

PTSD is becoming a major and overwhelming problem; therefore, there is a good reason for it that we need to identify and acknowledge. Simply treating it accomplishes nothing unless we address the root cause.

Morphine will take away the pain of a broken leg, but the leg still will not work properly. Simply treating PTSD is a band-aid approach.
Did you even read my post?? CCTT and the like is a SUPLEMENT for real boots on the ground training. You can't hurt your people to train them. What is the point you are going for here?
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  #67  
Old 04 May 10, 01:07
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Video training definitely has it's place, just like physical boots on the ground exercises do. IMHO, all training is going to have it's limitations, but that's no reason to not train as hard as possible at every opportunity using multiple training models. It pays dividends in the real world which are undeniable. As far as eliminating PTSD, I'm not sure how that's possible with any kind of training but I'm no psychologist. Real combat is different, no two ways about it. Everyone deals with it differently and individually, that's also a fact. If you ramp up training to the level of actual combat, and I'm not sure how that's possible but I certainly consider it unwise, you're going to have a lot of burned out troops who have PTSD before they ever set foot on a real battle field. In short, you'd be injuring them to no good purpose because the only way to truly simulate combat is actual combat itself, with all the associated risks and trauma. At this point treatment is all there is, I'm not aware of any 100% effective preventive measures out there, and the ones that might help already being applied.
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Old 05 May 10, 16:38
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Come on MM, that's not fair...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
Video training and simulators are no substitute for the real thing.
Right, that's what I said.

Simulation + Physical Training = Improved Combat Ability.

Or we could say f*** it, and give them 3 days of basic and drop them on the Taliban. Whatever...

I know if I was going, I'd take all of the training I could get. Even video games.

And, as I said, real combat veterans have noted the usefulness of simulated training. You can't argue with results... Or can you?
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  #69  
Old 05 May 10, 22:09
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Quote:
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If you've never degraded the present day military then my quarrel isn't with you. While I am sure there are some who served before who would acquit themselves admirably in today's military I'm just as confident that there are some who wouldn't even get in under today's standards or who wouldn't be as successful if they did get in. This is a common misunderstanding, that the US military takes all comers because it's just looking for warm bodies. This is not true.

This is not to say that those who served in the past were just warm bodies because of course they were more than that. But what was expected of them was very different than what is expected in the modern military. Which, to bring this back to PTSD, means that the effect of those expectations should differ as well, or at least our understanding of those effects should be as sophisticated as the modern war fighting methods now are.

Of course as I've already written, I think past warriors suffered from PTSD just like modern ones do. You only have to read memoirs such as Sledge's With The Old Breed to know that.
Hi Lawler, must say though mate, I was not speaking regarding the US military particularly, the point I was trying to make is, the 'oldtimers' bought forward to today would have the same updated knowledge as the present troops have wouldn't they? so why couldn't they be just as good as the present day ones? It is like saying that an old time warrior that in his day fought with a battleaxe and a shield would not be as good as the 2nd WW troops, yes he could be because bought forward to the 1940s he would be using modern equipment!!
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Old 10 May 10, 17:59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mann III View Post
Right, that's what I said.

Simulation + Physical Training = Improved Combat Ability.

Or we could say f*** it, and give them 3 days of basic and drop them on the Taliban. Whatever...

I know if I was going, I'd take all of the training I could get. Even video games.

And, as I said, real combat veterans have noted the usefulness of simulated training. You can't argue with results... Or can you?
I don't think the service academies are an example of the training needed for regular troops. I never met a West Point 2Lt who was actually prepared to "do" anything until he had been in the real army for a while.

Again, we are not talking abut "simulated training" but about being the victim of actual combat violence, which produces PTSD victims in very large numbers. Therefore, we are not "prepared", nor can we boast of "results".

We know we have a major problem; therefore, the system isn't working after all.
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Old 10 May 10, 23:51
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I don't think the service academies are an example of the training needed for regular troops. I never met a West Point 2Lt who was actually prepared to "do" anything until he had been in the real army for a while.
At the risk of being punished for this continued straying from the topic, I didn't just mention the academies.

I've met a couple of actual soldiers, not officers, who can testify to the benefits of the simulated, video game-style training.

In fact, we a letter in this week's newspaper from a soldier who just returned from Iraq who mentions video games as part of the training that helped.

But hey, you're right that it doesn't help any with the mental problem of killing and seeing death.

But it does help in other areas, according to some...
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Old 12 May 10, 22:25
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Originally Posted by Paul Mann III View Post
At the risk of being punished for this continued straying from the topic, I didn't just mention the academies.

I've met a couple of actual soldiers, not officers, who can testify to the benefits of the simulated, video game-style training.

In fact, we a letter in this week's newspaper from a soldier who just returned from Iraq who mentions video games as part of the training that helped.

But hey, you're right that it doesn't help any with the mental problem of killing and seeing death.

But it does help in other areas, according to some...
I must confess that I play some of these games and also have watched my grandson play quite updated ones (House to house fighting etc) and also must admit there is very little reality in any of the ones that I have seen, in actual fact the players would have been 'Long dead' in real life,so what good as far as training is concerned is there in them?
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Old 13 May 10, 14:25
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I witnessed first-hand the drop in the quality of troops during my career. I saw people get promoted into positions of power that should have never even been allowed to lead a sing-a-long at a Cub Scout campfire, and still more who were woefully inadequate in terms of mental and physical toughness. All of these were factors in my decision to end my career at 20 years.

Solely based on my personal experiences, and not attributable to any meaningful research, I have concluded that there are more cases of PTSD today due to a lack of will, determination, and mental toughness in today's troops. I would also venture to say that today's kids are seeing things they never expected to see, and will never want to see again.

It all goes back to mental toughness. Our society has been coddling and stroking the egos of the kids who are now today's soldiers, and we are seeing those effects. When you take soldiers who are mentally weak and pit them against an enemy, women and children included, who have no problem at all strapping on a vest of C4 and killing as many people as possible, well, you have a recipe for mental disaster.

I could go on, but I think you get my meaning...
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Old 13 May 10, 14:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcm1 View Post

in actual fact the players would have been 'Long dead' in real life,so what good as far as training is concerned is there in them?
Some games are more "realistic" than others. Some games use a more dynamic and unforgiving "damage system."

But you're right, some games are designed for playability, which leads to a seemingly indestructible character chopping their way through hundreds of foes while shrugging-off explosions and gunshot wounds.

They are limited, but there are some games with a "zero-margin" for error or damage. These are the games that best for learning, in my opinion, because one mistake ends the gameplay experience, and sends the player back to square-one searching for a tactical solution to a series of what troops would call "field problems" and such.

When combined with something like the Laser-Tag style or simunition exercises, there are benefits to gaming-based simulations, according to both combat troops and our training establishments...
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Old 13 May 10, 18:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Mann III View Post
Some games are more "realistic" than others. Some games use a more dynamic and unforgiving "damage system."

But you're right, some games are designed for playability, which leads to a seemingly indestructible character chopping their way through hundreds of foes while shrugging-off explosions and gunshot wounds.

They are limited, but there are some games with a "zero-margin" for error or damage. These are the games that best for learning, in my opinion, because one mistake ends the gameplay experience, and sends the player back to square-one searching for a tactical solution to a series of what troops would call "field problems" and such.

When combined with something like the Laser-Tag style or simunition exercises, there are benefits to gaming-based simulations, according to both combat troops and our training establishments...
Then what do you see as the root cause of all this PTSD?
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