Never been in a war? Not a warrior. Get over it.
I know that there is a myth and an industry building up around the 'warrior identity' but there are parts of it that I really don't get. "Warriors" I am told, follow their own hearts. Whatever. Real warriors follow orders. Know what you call a bunch of individuals on a battlefield? Meat. They have the humility and the basic intelligence to know that other people have more information and trust the people with that information to make those decisions.
Can the decisions be wrong? Absolutely. And the people in the field, if they know it, will respond. That's not a warrior doing what a soldier wouldn't, it's just what any animal would do. Same with disobeying an unlawful order. That's what any decent person would do. Will do and have done.
There are top operators, mercenaries and kids who signed up to get money for college. Other kids from (specific country redacted) who will make enough money in two years to be set for life back home. Men who have been fighting for their homeland their entire life. Some are funny and some are clueless and some are wise. Some can't even fight and some are cold hell fury. Some read almost as much as me (and might well argue with me later) and some can't wait to get back to base and get their playstation or DVDs going. They're just people who have chosen a job that people who have never been exposed to feel a need to romanticize. Ignorantly, for the most part.
Have you ever read the Hagakure? Parts are pretty powerful. You can almost forget that it was written by a bureaucrat who had never been in a fight in his life trying to inspire his lazy son.
Warriors, I hear, deliberate carefully over each decision. Really? The top tier rely on their training to circumvent the thinking process in some situations. Deliberating is generally too slow to get your ass out of an ambush. Not just the top tier, either. An E3 gets something like $1650 a month (base pay, more for combat but not a lot more). What was the real decision behind taking the job? $1650 a month doesn't seem enough to kill or risk dying over.
"Know yourself and know your enemy and you will not be defeated in a hundred battles." This warrior-myth is also supposed to be omniscient or at least to strive for it. To work to always make the right decision, to be just and wise... when it gets bad enough that the dogs of war are let loose the right decision, even justice, is something that may take decades to sort out. What the people in the field see and hear is, I guarantee you, not what the people sitting at home watching the news will see and hear. What the actual warriors learn has very little to do with what the philosophers of the warrior myth teach.
I'm not a warrior. Technically, I'm in a war zone right now and I have the equipments, skills and will to fight if it comes up- but it's not what I'm being paid for. I'm being paid to teach. I'm not a warrior. I'll try to get over it.
But I have used force professionally. A lot, actually. And it's not some big, mystical, cosmic thing. Eight time out of ten I wasn't using 'warrior skills' to defend myself or family or even people I liked- I was keeping one bad guy from hurting another guy who was just as bad. There was no deep meditation on dangers of force and what was worth risking life for. I was paid to make bad things stop, so I did. Then I wrote the damn reports and had some coffee.
Why the need for the label, especially one that ties not just to conflict but specifically to war? Why isn't it enough to be a "good person" or 'Someone it would be good to have on your six'? What need is this myth industry fulfilling?
Sometimes I don't understand the human monkey at all.