Army morale and discipline: A framework with South African examples. (Chapter Six).
High morale and good discipline are basic essentials for a successful military. In spite of the satisfactory operations in Lesotho specially in the fire fights at the start of the 1998 military intervention The deliberate act of a nation or a group of nations to introduce its military forces into the course of an existing controversy. , morale and discipline in the South African National Defence Force The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is the name of the armed forces of South Africa. The military as it exists today was created in 1994, following South Africa's first post-apartheid national elections and the adoption of a new constitution. (SANDF SANDF South African National Defence Force ) show serious shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
Civilian political influence on the SANDF is at present both positive and negative. Unfortunately South African civil society and even the world at large is now in a cyclic cyclic /cyc·lic/ (sik´lik) pertaining to or occurring in a cycle or cycles; applied to chemical compounds containing a ring of atoms in the nucleus.
cy·clic or cy·cli·cal
1. depression as far as discipline is concerned. It is not in fashion to be disciplined although the military must be disciplined to protect the freedom of civil society.
This overview will attempt to elucidate e·lu·ci·date
v. e·lu·ci·dat·ed, e·lu·ci·dat·ing, e·lu·ci·dates
To make clear or plain, especially by explanation; clarify.
To give an explanation that serves to clarify. and clarify the concepts morale and discipline in the military, as well as to explain the ways in which they should be promoted.
Since its inception in 1994 the SANDF has, amongst other things, been involved in crime combating operations in support of the South African Police Service
The South African Police Service is the national police force of the Republic of South Africa. (SAPS), border patrol also in support of the police; Operation Boleas, the military intervention in Lesotho; and lately the very successful and well-reported operations in support of Mozambique during and after the recent floods.
The SANDF unexpectedly ran into shots fired in anger in Lesotho. It is common knowledge that the South African soldiers stood the trial by fire well. There is thus no reason to suspect their combat ability except for the fact that they probably do not receive enough realistic combat training. Realistic training is expensive and the defence budget has been cut drastically between 1991 and 2001. In 1984 a division exercise with live ammunition cost R20 million. Currently it would very likely cost R40 to R50 million. The budget has been halved halve
tr.v. halved, halv·ing, halves
1. To divide (something) into two equal portions or parts.
2. To lessen or reduce by half: halved the recipe to serve two.
3. and the training cost doubled. The result is that what can be afforded must be done right but it remains a difficult problem to maintain standards if training is handicapped.
There is little that lowers morale more than lack of training opportunities, munitions mu·ni·tion
War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition. Often used in the plural.
tr.v. mu·ni·tioned, mu·ni·tion·ing, mu·ni·tions
To supply with munitions. , adequate spare parts Spare parts, also referred to as Service Parts is a term used to indicate extra parts available and in proximity to the mechanical item, such as a automobile, boat, engine, for which they might be used.
Spare parts are also called “spares. and maintenance funds. (1) Operations in support of the police are also hardly a morale booster Noun 1. morale booster - anything that serves to increase morale; "the sight of flowers every morning was my morale builder"
boost, encouragement - the act of giving hope or support to someone . They are always tedious, usually away from home and usually under difficult living conditions living conditions npl → condiciones fpl de vida
living conditions npl → conditions fpl de vie
living conditions living . Morale thus requires special attention.
In spite of a lack of funds and a tendency towards national ill-discipline the Defence Force is instructed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa South Africa, Afrikaans Suid-Afrika, officially Republic of South Africa, republic (2005 est. pop. 44,344,000), 471,442 sq mi (1,221,037 sq km), S Africa. , 1996 "To defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity Territorial integrity is the principle under international law that nation-states should not attempt to promote secessionist movements or to promote border changes in other nation-states. Conversely it states that border changes imposed by force are acts of aggression. and its people". To do so "(t)he Defence Force must be structured and managed as a disciplined military force". (2) The SANDF can only carry out the above instructions if it has high morale and strict discipline.
2. DEFINITIONS AND MEANINGS
The arms of the service namely the army, air force, navy and military health service have different cultures, and rightly so. They consequently have different ways of inculcating morale and discipline. The various corps of the army, for example the infantry, armour and artillery, also have slightly different approaches to military culture. Since the modes of combat vary, the styles must vary. However, for purposes of a brief overview it is not possible to give attention to all the smaller differences.
2.1 The meaning of morale
Morale in the military context has been defined as "discipline and spirit pervading an army", and as a "(m)oral condition especially of troops as regards discipline and confidence". (3)
In the British Royal Navy's Naval War Manual, morale is described as follows: "Maintenance of morale. In the context of war, morale may be interpreted as the determination to achieve the aim. From this will spring courage, energy, skill and bold offensive spirit. Morale is encouraged by good leadership. sound training, good administration and the provision of first-class equipment. The existence of a high state of morale is essential if a commander is to get the best out of his men". (4)
The British Royal Air Force AP 3000 describes the maintenance of morale as follows: "Morale is a mental state, but it is very sensitive to material conditions. It is based on a clear understanding of the aim, on training and discipline and is immediately responsive to good leadership. It is adversely affected by inferior or inefficient equipment. It also depends to a marked degree on sound administration". Outstanding leadership will sustain high morale while success in operations is the best stimulant stimulant, any substance that causes an increase in activity in various parts of the nervous system or directly increases muscle activity. Cerebral, or psychic, stimulants act on the central nervous system and provide a temporary sense of alertness and well-being as for morale. (5)
The South African Army's military leadership manual describes morale as a state of mind. It is closely related to the satisfying of a person's basic human needs. If the training, administration and operations of a unit are conducted so as to satisfy basic needs, good morale will develop. High morale is a positive state of mind which gives a soldier a feeling of confidence and well-being which enables him to face hardship with courage, endurance and determination. (6)
It is clear how similar the above descriptions are, emphasising the same elements to ensure high morale. The definitions from the three services, not even from the same country, show many similarities. The importance of morale is best illustrated in the two descriptions which state that it will ensure courage, endurance, determination, and offensive spirit.
2.2 The meaning of discipline
Discipline is described as "(t)raining especially of the kind that produces self control, orderliness and obedience", and to "(b)ring under control, train to obedience and order". (7) It has also been defined as "(t)raining or conditions imposed for the improvement of physical powers, self control, etc". (8)
The South African Army's military leadership manual is more complete when it describes discipline as "(t)he individual or group attitude which ensures prompt obedience to orders", and states that "(s)ound discipline in a unit is a guarantee for stability under stress". It is the result of good training and good leadership. (9)
3. THE OFFICER CORPS
The officer corps plays a decisive role in ensuring morale and discipline. The term officer is defined as: "A person lawfully invested with military rank and authority by virtue of a commission issued to him by or in the name of the head of state of a country". (10) A South African commission reads as follows: "Whereas commissioned rank in South African National Defence Force was conferred upon you on ... 20..., I hereby commission you in the name of the Republic South Africa, to serve your country as an officer, with loyalty, courage, dignity and honour, to discharge your duties and responsibilities with zeal Zeal
crippled fiddler with intense feelings. [Br. Lit.: Pendennis]
Cedric of Rotherwood
zealous about restoring Saxon independence. [Br. and diligence and to set a good example to those placed under your control". The commission is signed by the head of state.
The profession of arms in which officers are appointed as leaders is a public, not a private vocation. The people maintain military forces for the preservation of their security. They thus have the right to expect the highest standards of personal and official conduct from their officers. Officers hold their commissions by choice and they accept them with all their hazards and responsibilities. Officers are often called "public" servants, but they can never be referred to as "civil" servants as they are not civilians. Civil servants are defined as the persons employed in the administrative branches of governmental service that are not military, legislative or judicial. (11) Officers serve under military law, and go where they are ordered to perform the tasks which duty requires. In peace they prepare themselves and their soldiers for war. In operations they lead troops against their nation's enemies.
In the service, authority must impose its weight by the professional competence of its leaders. Rank is a badge of responsibility, not a privilege. The officers must always accomplish their missions up to a standard and on time. Second only to accomplishing the mission, the duty of officers is to improve the morale and the physical and intellectual qualities of their subordinates. They must look after their subordinate's interests before their own and create for them an environment of decent clean living intolerant in·tol·er·ant
Not tolerant, especially:
a. Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions, practices, or beliefs, especially religious beliefs.
b. of vice and flabbiness flab·by
adj. flab·bi·er, flab·bi·est
1. Lacking firmness; flaccid: getting flabby around the waist. See Synonyms at limp.
2. . This is a service tradition but it does not include the pampering of their subordinates nor should officers close their eyes to disciplinary transgressions. (12) If they do not enforce high standards of discipline and competency COMPETENCY, evidence. The legal fitness or ability of a witness to be heard on the trial of a cause. This term is also applied to written or other evidence which may be legally given on such trial, as, depositions, letters, account-books, and the like.
2. the armed services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. will not be worth a cent of the tax payers tax payer n → contribuyente m/f
tax payer n → contribuable m/f
tax payer n → contribuente money.
In the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. (US) Army at the time of the Vietnam intervention, it was sometimes reported that soldiers shot and killed officers they would not follow in operations. It was described as "fragging" which was military slang Military slang, or informal military terms, is a set of colloquial terms used commonly by military personnel — often as abbreviations or derivations of the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, or otherwise incorporating aspects of formal military concepts and terms. meaning to kill or attempt to kill one's superior officer. (13) At the time the US had an army filled by draftees drafted to go to a war which much of the American public did not support. Morale and discipline in certain formations and units was thus bad. The US fought a war with many self-imposed restrictions making it impossible to win. This further caused morale and discipline to fail. The North Vietnamese North Vietnam
A former country of southeast Asia. It existed from 1954, after the fall of the French at Dien Bien Phu, to 1975, when the South Vietnamese government collapsed at the end of the Vietnam War. It is now part of the country of Vietnam. , however, imposed no restrictions on themselves and they maintained morale, discipline and combat efficiency by having little to distinguish their generals from their private soldiers except the stars they wore on their collars. Their colonels went on foot like their privates. There were no secretaries, no official cars and no. military bands. "But victory, damn it DAMN IT
acronym for a clinical investigation plan, based on probable pathophysiologic causes of the disease present. It consists of Degenerative, developmental; Allergic, autoimmune; Metabolic, mechanical; Nutritional, neoplastic; I , victory", (1 4)
Both French and US armies faced a Vietnamese enemy who insisted that, from the army commander to the cook, soldiers should enjoy freedom of assembly and speech. In training there had to be mutual instruction between officers and men. The soldiers were encouraged to discuss how to attack and capture enemy positions and how to fulfil combat tasks. In this way the army achieved greater discipline in a well led and orderly way. (15)
Having defined morale and having established that the officer corps is largely responsible for promoting it, the next question is how it should be evaluated as being good or bad, and then how it should be improved.
4.1 Evaluation of the level of morale
The late Job Seopa, an employee of the South African Department of Defence The Department of Defence is one of the ministries of the South African government. It oversees the South African National Defence Force, the armed forces responsible for defending South Africa. The current Minister of Defence is Mosiuoa Lekota. from 1947 to 1993, who worked at the Army College as a batman and became their chief in the years before his retirement, often said that one could see if morale in the unit was good by noting the standard of compliments and saluting. He said that if the soldiers did not greet each other as they went about their duties something was wrong. He was right. When soldiers do not salute their officers with pride and the officers answer salutes grudgingly grudg·ing
Adv. 1. , morale is a problem.
One can measure morale by observing officers and their subordinates in their daily activities. This can be done during inspections, whether formal or informal, and obviously by talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to subordinates and above all by listening to them. It is essential that this be done because the state of morale does not remain constant, and is forever changing. Some of the most obvious points to look for are the following:
-- Compliments and saluting as already pointed out;
-- dress and uniform smartness;
-- the cleanliness Cleanliness
See also Orderliness.
Cleverness (See CUNNING.)
unkempt herself, demands cleanliness from others, especially children. [Ger. Folklore: Leach, 137]
continually “washes” itself. of barracks bar·rack 1
tr.v. bar·racked, bar·rack·ing, bar·racks
To house (soldiers, for example) in quarters.
1. A building or group of buildings used to house military personnel. , messes and the recreational facilities Noun 1. recreational facility - a public facility for recreation
facility, installation - a building or place that provides a particular service or is used for a particular industry; "the assembly plant is an enormous facility" ;
-- care of combat equipment which includes personal as well as crew-served weaponry;
-- the speed and diligence with which orders and instructions are carried out;
-- an absence of excessive quarrelling among members of the unit, harmful rumours; and negative complaining. (16)
In operational conditions most of the above measurements are still valid, but during operations in the field the following negative indicators are warning signs:
-- Damage to equipment through carelessness;
-- self-inflicted wounds This article should not be confused with Self-Injury, which can include this general term but self-inflicted wound is more specific to self wounds inflicted during a war
A self-inflicted wound (SIW), was the act of harming one's self during military combat. ;
-- a high number of sick reports and malingering Malingering Definition
In the context of medicine, malingering is the act of intentionally feigning or exaggerating physical or psychological symptoms for personal gain. ;
-- a lack of cleanliness of the soldiers and their equipment;
-- a lack of pride in achieving the mission;
-- ill-discipline; and
-- attacks on seniors.
There are many more indicators than those mentioned above, which experienced officers and warrant officers can read instinctively in·stinc·tive
1. Of, relating to, or prompted by instinct.
2. Arising from impulse; spontaneous and unthinking: an instinctive mistrust of bureaucrats. .
4.2 Maintenance and improvement of morale
An army will not move into the field unless it feels it has a good cause and should it arrive there feeling the contrary, the officers will have great difficulty in maintaining morale. Motivation on high level is based on how the army feels and thinks. It is the whole complex body of an army's thoughts: The way it feels about its country's cause and politics as compared with the enemy's cause and politics. Having said that, it depends also on how it feels about its commanders, about food and shelter, duty and leisure, weapons and comradeship com·rade
1. A person who shares one's interests or activities; a friend or companion.
2. often Comrade A fellow member of a group, especially a fellow member of the Communist Party. , fatigue and drill, discipline and disorder, life and death and God and the devil. (17)
Having satisfied the patriotic needs of the army and seeing to it that pride in country and cause is maintained, it is also necessary to satisfy the soldier's spiritual needs. There must be a consistent presence of the ministers of religion or chaplains who are there to talk about life and death and God and the devil, and who administer religion in dangerous times when soldiers need to feel close to their maker. No commander must ever doubt the influence on morale of a good caring chaplain CHAPLAIN. A clergyman appointed to say prayers and perform divine service. Each house of congress usually appoints it own chaplain. .
An efficient medical system has an important effect on morale. If the soldiers know that the wounded are evacuated e·vac·u·ate
v. e·vac·u·at·ed, e·vac·u·at·ing, e·vac·u·ates
a. To empty or remove the contents of.
b. To create a vacuum in.
2. quickly to efficient medical installations they feel cared for. Should the system be slack, leading to wounded soldiers suffering prolonged pro·long
tr.v. pro·longed, pro·long·ing, pro·longs
1. To lengthen in duration; protract.
2. To lengthen in extent. extreme pain and even losing life and limbs, commanders will find them loath loath also loth
Unwilling or reluctant; disinclined: I am loath to go on such short notice.
[Middle English loth, displeasing, loath to be truly aggressive.
If the cause is good, the spiritual needs are cared for, and the medical system is sound, then the rest depends on the commanders who must lead and care for their subordinate's physical needs. The senior commanders must be seen to lead and they need to see, to be able to lead. In the rear areas, commanders at all levels win the loyalty of the soldiers and boost morale by zealous interest in their general welfare. At the front they command respect when it is proved to the subordinates that they are experts in operations, they understand the tactical problems and will do everything possible to solve them and that they are at front themselves to do so. In fact it may be set forth as a mathematical rule that the values which derive from inspection, personal reconnaissance and leading from the front, have a direct influence on solving the difficulties of a war situation. (18)
Commanders at platoon platoon
Principal subdivision of a military company, battery, or troop. Usually commanded by a lieutenant, it consists of 25–50 soldiers organized into two or more squads led by noncommissioned officers. , company and battalion or regimental level are by the nature of their work and their proximity, members of the regimental family. They feel the same physical dangers as the other ranks 24 hours a day. To maintain morale in operations they must have their missions succeed. Nothing boosts morale more than success. A further fact that needs to be stressed is that while they must be scrupulous scru·pu·lous
1. Conscientious and exact; painstaking. See Synonyms at meticulous.
2. Having scruples; principled. in the care of their subordinates, they must treat them as mature people, not as adolescents and they must not employ a classroom manner in their dealings with them. The officers must develop and maintain real kinship with their subordinates. (19)
One important aspect of this kinship is that officers must make the time to explain why things are done. If the other ranks know that their officers will always honestly do this when possible, they will accept orders without explanation in times of crisis. After orders are carried out and operations allow it, it is necessary to debrief de·brief
tr.v. de·briefed, de·brief·ing, de·briefs
1. To question to obtain knowledge or intelligence gathered especially on a military mission.
2. together with the other ranks using their intelligence and experience to bring out valuable lessons for future missions. As part of this process the officers develop their kinship with their junior commanders after operations. Junior commanders need moral support specially when they have lost soldiers in action. The seniors should give them time to unload To remove a program from memory or take a tape or disk out of its drive. and tell their stories.
Should a soldier think that he or she is in danger or suffers hardship because of the indiscipline of his or her superiors, he or she will also be ill-disciplined. It is one-sided to think that morale is only determined by good discipline. The reverse relationship is equally valid. "True discipline is the product of morale". (20)
General George Patton, the Commanding General of the Third US Army during the invasion of Europe in the Second World War, was famous for his aggressive style and his insistence on a very high standard of discipline and physical fitness. He wrote: "(t)o be a good soldier a man must have discipline, self respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to his comrades and his superiors and self confidence born of demonstrated ability". (21) He knew this to be true because of his experience in two world wars.
5.1 Disciplinary lessons from wars
The Yom Kippur War Yom Kippur War: see Arab-Israeli Wars. (October 1973) caught the Israeli Defence Force unawares to a large extent. It took very hard fighting, many lives, and much material before Israel could gain the initiative and repel re·pel
v. re·pelled, re·pel·ling, re·pels
1. To ward off or keep away; drive back: repel insects.
2. her enemies. At the end of the war, the Israeli government appointed a Commission of Enquiry to make recommendations as to how such a crisis could be avoided in future. Only excerpts from the report were allowed to be made public. The Jerusalem Post Weekly of 4 February 1975 did so and the gist regarding discipline was the following:
-- There is a strong link between the level of discipline in the army and the quality of performance during war.
-- Army discipline expresses itself in the fact that the soldiers accept their superior's authority, which is based on army regulations which stipulate stip·u·late 1
v. stip·u·lat·ed, stip·u·lat·ing, stip·u·lates
a. To lay down as a condition of an agreement; require by contract.
b. how military tasks are to be carried out, whether they be routine or operational.
-- Army drills aim to make the soldiers' duties in battle second nature despite the pressures of the situation. They must be implemented diligently dil·i·gent
Marked by persevering, painstaking effort. See Synonyms at busy.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin d .
-- Discipline, commands and obedience are the basis of the military profession. Without discipline an army becomes an armed mass unable to perform.
-- Soldiers who in time of peace do not observe minor rules, such as smartness without being corrected by their superiors, will be negligent negligent adj., adv. careless in not fulfilling responsibility. (See: negligence) in carrying out orders in operations.
-- Soldiers can not be expected to carry out orders if they see that their commanding officer does not do the same thing.
-- Dirty soldiers will not be scrupulous about the cleanliness of their weapons.
-- One can conclude that good habits good habit Healthy habit Clinical medicine A behavior that is beneficial to one's physical or mental health, often linked to a high level of discipline and self-control Examples Regular exercise, consumption of alcohol in moderation–if at all, a properly of discipline in small matters, as in large, lead to the preservation of life, limb and equipment during operations. (22)
The Chinese communist leader who conquered mainland China, Mao Tsetung, is said to have laid down what was called "The Mass Line" to stipulate how leadership should inculcate in·cul·cate
tr.v. in·cul·cat·ed, in·cul·cat·ing, in·cul·cates
1. To impress (something) upon the mind of another by frequent instruction or repetition; instill: inculcating sound principles. good discipline and efficiency. Summed up he required the following:
-- Two-way communication Two-way communication is a form of transmission in which both parties involved transmit information. Common forms of two-way communication are:
-- Leaders persuade their subordinates, while receiving ideas and criticism from their troops.
-- Leaders admit errors and welcome criticism from below rather than suppressing complaints.
-- The key to good leadership is the mobilisation n. 1. Mobilization.
Noun 1. mobilisation - act of marshaling and organizing and making ready for use or action; "mobilization of the country's economic resources"
mobilization of energies and enthusiasm of subordinates. (23)
Brigadier General S L A Marshall of the US Army, following a detailed study of the matter, wrote that minor commanders needed the following characteristics to prepare soldiers for, and lead them through, the shock of combat.
-- Diligence in the care of soldiers.
-- Good administration of all organisational affairs such as punishments and promotions.
-- Military bearing.
-- Courage, intelligence and physical fitness.
-- Understanding of the fact that soldiers wish to think of themselves as soldiers and that they need all the military information they can get to boost their morale.
-- Respect for the dignity of the position and the work of others. (24)
5.2 Development and maintenance of military discipline
To maintain military discipline at all, it is necessary to accept that the military cannot live like civilian society. The military is different from all other social institutions. Its prime function is that of organised social violence in which it demands the sacrifice of the lives of its members in pursuit of the community's right to self defence. (25)
Soldiers should be subjected to a system of military law. Fragging is murder and as such it should be tried in the highest courts in the country. There are specific high level military felonies such as cowardice Cowardice
See also Boastfulness, Timidity.
a swaggerer lacking in courage. [Br. Lit.: The Rivals]
vainglorious braggart, vaunts achievements while rationalizing faintheartedness. [Br. Lit. in the face of the enemy which occur during operations and which should be tried by court martial COURT MARTIAL. A court authorized by the articles of war, for the trial of all offenders in the army or navy, for military offences. Article 64, directs that general courts martial may consist of any number of commissioned officers, from five to thirteen, inclusively; but they shall not . During barrack BARRACK. By this term, as used in Pennsylvania, is understood an erection of upright posts supporting a sliding roof, usually of thatch. 5 Whart. R. 429. and field training routine discipline is developed by instituting a fair sound system for the distribution of privileges and rewards. This must be carried through into operations. (26)
Breaches of discipline such as absence without leave, desertion, and the occurrence of repeated insubordination in·sub·or·di·nate
Not submissive to authority: has a history of insubordinate behavior.
in and refusal to carry out orders, are cases for military courts. These courts should be manned by legal officers as judges, prosecutors and defenders. This ensures a high standard of justice and legal procedures. It also allows combat officers in command positions to concentrate on their roles and puts a stop to one or two problem cases delaying the training of a whole subunit sub·u·nit
A subdivision of a larger unit.
Noun 1. subunit - a monetary unit that is valued at a fraction (usually one hundredth) of the basic monetary unit
fractional monetary unit whilst they are being attended to.
For operational military mistakes, which are not breaches of the law, such as dropping a rifle; forgetting to collect all the bullets after an exercise; throwing a half burnt cigarette on the trail whilst patrolling; and for being sluggish to move whilst advancing with fire-and-movement, a range of punishments or reminders should be instituted. These punishments should be given to all ranks for the same mistakes. That applies to officers as well.
Punishments can range from a number of press-ups to extra drill parades and fatigues. Where possible they should suit the mistake. If a soldier's rifle is dirty, he or she can for example clean rifles at the store to learn to do it well.
The best thing to do is for combat level commanders of platoons and companies and even battalions to be super fit. They can then subject themselves to drill chase parades together with the troops on the assumption that the troops are slack because the officers were slack. They can control the pace from inside the squads being drilled and no senior commanders or outsiders will complain that the troops are subjected to excesses. The soldiers themselves will certainly follow officers who set such examples willingly. The value of long forced marches in which the officers take part must never be doubted. They are good for discipline and for preparing soldiers for the physical rigours of operations and they build team spirit.
By subjecting themselves to hard physical discipline the officers will win respect and stay operationally effective themselves. After World War II General Marshall wrote that in his opinion -- and he did not say it lightly -- the fault in the American disciplinary levels was not that the discipline of the ranks needed to be more relaxed but that the discipline of a considerable percentage of their officers needed to be tightened. (27) This is very likely true of the South African Army today.
6. MORALE AND DISCIPLINE IN THE SANDF
Unfortunately "fragging" has occurred in the South African Army in the worst circumstances. In both cases the murderers were in fact commissioned officers. In both Tempe and Phalaborwa it happened in the base with no combat pressure involved. The insistence on very quick integration combined with lack of job opportunities has resulted in officers unsuitable for military life becoming political appointees. There are officers poorly qualified or not qualified at all for the badges of rank and the qualification badges they wear on their uniforms. Even good qualified officers were rushed through course after course at a speed that no person can be expected to learn military values and retain knowledge. To get rid of defence personnel not suited to military life was difficult in the South African Defence Force The South African Defence Force (SADF) were the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. The former Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force in the Defence Act (No. 44) of 1957. (SADF SADF South African Defence Force (South Africa)
SADF Semi-Automatic Document Feeder ), in the SANDF it is much more difficult. Of course there are excellent officers in the SANDF both from statutory and non-statutory forces, but carrying bad apples affects morale and discipline very ne gatively.
Under the banner of "affirmative action affirmative action, in the United States, programs to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. ", an American term, political appointments have been made on grand scale. In the US military affirmative action is implemented to help disadvantaged personnel to become officers and progress in rank They are coached and given special training but they must qualify for their ranks and mustering. In the SANDF, the skewed skewed
curve of a usually unimodal distribution with one tail drawn out more than the other and the median will lie above or below the mean.
skewed Epidemiology adjective Referring to an asymmetrical distribution of a population or of data system has led to the appointment of officers who think like politicians and have become political bureaucrats rather than military officers. However, the idea of an "armed bureaucrat" is in itself filled with contradictions. (28) The mindset mind·set or mind-set
1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations.
2. An inclination or a habit. of a politician and that of a combat officer are worlds apart. Former President Nelson Mandela Noun 1. Nelson Mandela - South African statesman who was released from prison to become the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 (born in 1918)
Mandela, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela wrote in Long Walk To Freedom that after he had subjected himself to six months of military training in Addis Ababa Addis Ababa (ăd`ĭs ăb`əbə) [Amharic,=new flower], city (1994 pop. 2,112,737), capital of Ethiopia. It is situated at c.8,000 ft (2,440 m) on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains. , "I felt myself being moulded into a soldier and began to think as a soldier thinks -- a far cry from the way a politician thinks" (29)
It is easy to find fault, but the need for a smooth transition in 1994 indeed led to political considerations being given priority over military requirements. The Minister of Defence himself aware of poor morale and discipline reported at a parliamentary media briefing that "there had been weak management of the transition process". (30) The media is full of statements such as "indications are that a variety of factors ... have all contributed to low morale amongst certain SANDF members". (31) The instruction in the Constitution that "the Defence Force must be structured and managed as a disciplined military force" (32) has not been carried out.
The SANDF has written much and communicated widely in, for example, the South African White Paper on Defence, 1996, and the South African Defence Review, 1998, as well as its own magazine, Salut. Prominence is given to factors such as "national security shall be sought primarily through efforts to meet political, economic, social and cultural rights and needs of South Africa's people, and through efforts to promote and maintain regional security". (33) Also that high morale and retention of expertise will be sought by improvement in "(e)ffective transformation management; practised practised
expert or skilled because of long experience in a skill or field: the doctor answered with a practised smoothness
Adj. 1. transformational leadership; timeous time·ous
timeous·ly adv. , professional, credible and effective personnel service; effective SANDF ops capacity and capability". (34)
The drive to communicate is good and the strategy may be sound but badly managed, as the Minister says, but there is little mention of high officer standards in the staff corps of the army; cohesion cohesion: see adhesion and cohesion.
The tendency of atoms or molecules to coalesce into extended condensed states. This tendency is practically universal. and pride in the officer corps; a regimental system where unit cohesion is paramount; and individual discipline as a basic requirement. The latter is so bad that officers of senior rank get wide media coverage because they go absent without leave. All that seems to matter is being politically correct politically correct Politically sensitive adjective Referring to language reflecting awareness and sensitivity to another person's physical, mental, cultural, or other disadvantages or deviations from a norm; a person is not mentally retarded, but and astute as·tute
Having or showing shrewdness and discernment, especially with respect to one's own concerns. See Synonyms at shrewd.
[Latin ast .
6.1 Influences of the previous era
The South African armed forces, called the SADF until 1994, prided itself on being an a-political defence force. To a large degree it was true and it was proved when the military, which was very much SADF dominated, passed the test of the societal transformation to the new South Africa in 1994. No one should ever doubt the influence the SADF and later the SANDF had on a smooth transition.
The SADF had become a reasonably efficient operational organisation by the end of the 1980's. Many musterings of it such as the paratroopers, the sub-mariners and the pilots in the air force, to name but a few at random, could vie with the best military establishments in the world. It received most of its army manpower from a national service system. The national service men it received were mostly excellent soldier material. They came from a schooling system with good discipline and a lot of sport and the officer and leader material amongst them was enough to fill two armies. By 1989 the army had hundreds of African and coloured soldiers. They were volunteers, well-selected and young men who adapted well to military life. There were no signs of fragging and racism was not a factor of any great importance. In any case there were many white officers and NCOs who volunteered to serve in nonwhite non·white
A person who is not white.
nonwhite adj. units and who preferred working with African or coloured troops.
All was not perfect in terms of discipline, however. There was far too much leadership by distancing as if the officers were on another planet. There was also a strong tendency to mess soldiers about, which might have been based on the idea that they had to go through a type of initiation process to become soldiers. This initiation and humiliation system went on from leader-group to leader-group on the assumption that the new intake had to learn to take it as the old groups had done.
There was a strong rank culture in the regular element of the SADF which was not always healthy. The result was that subordinates were not handled with the dignity due to them, not even in the officer corps. Another weakness was the extent of professional jealousy within the service which was a major factor preventing it from being a truly efficient military force. (35)
It is unfortunate for the military but good for the private sector, that many of the very best SADF officers left the service. This began in 1989 when many junior officers began to leave as boredom set in due to operations having come to an end. The junior drain continued and later many seniors left early, taking packages offered to down-size the military. The resulting decline in effectiveness, was predictable. The weaknesses and strengths of the old SADF, the old Bantustan forces and the non-statutory forces, are reflected in the SANDF today.
6.2 The future
In spite of the fragging and the dishonesty dis·hon·es·ty
n. pl. dis·hon·es·ties
1. Lack of honesty or integrity; improbity.
2. A dishonest act or statement.
Noun 1. during qualification courses in the SANDF, so widely reported in the media, there are points of excellence on which morale and discipline can be built. The helicopter squadrons of the air force have received very positive media coverage for their operations in Mozambique. The services of the military health service have been reported on positively as has the training of the army leader group in the Army Gymnasium gymnasium
In Germany, a state-maintained secondary school that prepares pupils for higher academic education. This type of nine-year school originated in Strasbourg in 1537. in Heidelberg. The armoured corps showed up well on the SANDF's birthday parade in Bloemfontein where the President unveiled the new South African Coat of Arms coat of arms: see blazonry and heraldry.
coat of arms
or shield of arms
Heraldic device dating to the 12th century in Europe. It was originally a cloth tunic worn over or in place of armour to establish identity in battle. .
Fortunately soldiering is young people's work, and within 10 to 15 years a new crop of officers will be filling the senior posts in the units. That is the level at which the renaissance in the officer corps should begin and where morale and discipline will be raised.
Civilian influence in the South African Army, is probably affecting morale, discipline and combat efficiency negatively. Although politicians have every right to ensure that a defence force is loyal to the government of the day and above all to the country, the basis of a sound defence forces lies in a militarily competent officer corps which has a sound understanding of the constitution and swears loyalty to it.
To obtain a good officer corps, a healthy space between civilian and military life must be developed. People wanting to follow a military career should be allowed to live in a warrior society, disciplined and trained to defend the country. Officer training has to be tough in every sense of the word. Officer candidates who do not fit into military life should be so advised and leave the defence force.
Morale will rise sharply when candidate officers who have succeeded by receiving their commissions and joining the corps, are taught to have real kinship within the corps and with the soldiers serving under them. The separation or space between the officers and the other ranks varies from culture to culture. In South Africa, a young developing country, it should not be too great.
The officers corps and in fact the whole defence force, particularly the army, needs to be physically fit. Built on this fitness, officers must cultivate morale and discipline by personal example and by leading from the front. This includes the officers who serve in higher headquarters. It is they who manage the defence force and it is they who communicate with civilian society. However, they are officers and not civil servants and should thus spend some of their time soldiering and leading.
There is no more harmful doctrine than that the military establishments should duplicate the ways of civilian life in every way. That an army should have exactly the same social customs and ways in regard to its legal system, rights and comforts as civil society is preposterous. It is not clear whether the public senses the danger to itself in a lack of discipline in a national defence force. (36)
Discipline requires a healthy space between civil and military life. The military must live in a world of regimentation as all successful militaries throughout history have done. Whether one studies the Romans, the Prussians, the Zulus or the French under Napoleon, the principles remain the same. All young people from all elements of society will have to adapt the same way when they join the military. If they cannot adapt they should not subject themselves to life in a combat arm.
(1.) Evans, D, War. A Matter of Principles, Macmillan Press Ltd. London, 1997, p 28.
(2.) RSA (1) (Rural Service Area) See MSA.
(2) (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) A highly secure cryptography method by RSA Security, Inc., Bedford, MA (www.rsa.com), a division of EMC Corporation since 2006. It uses a two-part key. , The Constitution of The Republic of South Africa, 1996, chapter 11, Security Services Security services are state institutions for the provision of intelligence, primarily of a strategic nature, but also including protective security intelligence. Examples include the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) in the United Kingdom, and the , Defence, Section 200.
(3.) The Little Oxford Dictionary and the Concise Oxford Dictionary Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964, alphabetical.
(4.) Evans, D, op cit Op Cit Opere Citato (Latin: In the Work Mentioned) . p 23.
(5.) Ibid, p 24.
(6.) RSA, Military Leadership, Published by Chief of the Army, Pretoria 1985, pp 128-130
(7.) Oxford Dictionaries, op cit.
(8.) The Collins Dictionary, Collins, London and Glasgow 1986, alphabetical.
(9.) Military Leadership. SA Army, op cit, p 134.
(10.) RSA, The Code of the Army, issued by the SA Army College 1976 as adapted from a publication by that name from the US Army, p 7.
(11.) Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary, Lippincott and Crowell Publishers, New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , 1980, alphabetical.
(12.) The Code of the Army, op cit, pp 4-5.
(13.) Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary, op cit, alphabetical.
(14.) Townsend, R, The Battle of Dienbienphu, New York, Harper and Row, 1965, p 304.
(15.) Bateman, M E, Defeat in the East, Oxford University Press, London, 1967, p 126.
(16.) Military Leadership, SA Army, op cit, p 130.
(17.) Marshall, S L A, Men Against Fire, Peter Smith Gloucester Mass, 1978, p 158.
(18.) Ibid, p 105.
(19.) Ibid, p 163.
(20.) Ibid, pp 158-159.
(21.) Farago, L, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, Mayflower Mayflower, ship
Mayflower, ship that in 1620 brought the Pilgrims from England to New England. She set out from Southampton in company with the Speedwell, Books Ltd, London, 1969, p 88.
(22.) Jerusalem Post Weekly, 4 February 1975, Excerpts from the Agranat Report.
(23.) Hsuing, J C, The logic of "Maoism": Critiques and Explanation, Praeger Publishers, New York, Washington, London, 1974, p 25.
(24.) Marshall, S L A, op cit, pp 163-164.
(25.) Gabriel, R A, To serve with honour, Greenwood Press, Westpoint, Connecticut, 1982, p 19.
(26.) Military Leadership SA Army, op cit, p 142
(27.) Marshall, S L A, op cit, p 168.
(28.) Gabriel, R A, op cit, p 39.
(29.) Mandela, N, Long Walk to Freedom, Macdonald Purnell (Pty) Ltd, 1995, p 293.
(30.) Lakota, M, "Remarks by Defence Minister at Parliamentary Media Briefing", Cape Town Cape Town or Capetown, city (1991 pop. 854,616), legislative capital of South Africa and capital of Western Cape, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. It was the capital of Cape Province before that province's subdivision in 1994. , 18 September 2000. http://www.mil An Internet address domain name for a military agency. See Internet address.
(networking) mil - The top-level domain for entities affiliated with US armed forces. .za/news_and_events/ news/med...2000/Statementveid-19-September_2000.htm.
(31.) Pienaar, N, "The moral of the story", Salut, Vol 7, No 5, May 2000, p 40.
(32.) RSA, The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, op cit, Section 200.
(33.) RSA, South African White Paper on Defence, 1996, p 4.
(34.) Pienaar, N, op cit. p 41
(35.) Els, P, We Fear Naught but God, Covos-Day Books, Roodepoort, 2000, p 79.
(36.) Marshall, S L A, op cit p 166.