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"There is a time for peace, and time for war" -Ecclesiastes 3:8

Students at the US Army sniper schoolLeft: Students in the US Army sniper school in Ft. Benning GA. (Official Army photo courtesy US Army)
"I don't understand what you are doing over there, but thank you for keeping us safe here" -8 year old Brenda on a class assignment to write a soldier.

"...overall, it sucks over here, but I am still proud to stand on this wall and, like countless others before me, make sure it stands." -On one of my early letters from Iraq.

War is never a pretty thing, and it should be avoided, whenever other mediums exist, for settling diplomatic differences. Soldiers that have been to war, are rarely dying to go back. And no civilians, trapped in a conflict, enjoy being trapped between the two sides.
However, there comes a time, when force of arms becomes the practical, and often the only tool, to effetively deal with a specific threat. When military force becomes the only course of action, the United States calls upon it's military units. Military units spend their time either training or deploying to assignments overseas. Because of the nature of their work, a strong emphasis is placed on training for combat. It is important to note that although the military has many ceremonial customs and drills, the emphasis of the training is on what is really important, at the closest imitation of reality as possible. The same martial arts principle of training realisticly applies. Often times, there is a semi-friendly competition between branches and units, especially combat units with similar missions, but every grunt on the ground clearly understands that his life often depends on how much hell he can invoke from friendly units around him. Ultimately they are all on the same team, and nothing makes a soldier fight harder, than when his buddy is down. American units will never retreat to leave one of their own units. And although this can be a strategic disadvantage, it forsters a sense of fierce camradership among the men on the ground. "Leave no man behind" is in every soldier's creed.


"New American soldiers spend at least 14 weeks, and as much as 18 months, before joining their units."