What makes an exceptional soldier?

mrar32

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Quick question lads. High levels of fitness and mental resilience are obvious pre-requisites of an exceptional Marine, but I'm curious about the soldiering side of things. What in your opinion makes a great soldier? Is it the attention to detail? The ability to perform under immense pressure? Do any of the trained ranks have any examples of exceptional soldiering that they've witnessed? I'm curious as I don't think I've seen it been mentioned as a topic on this forum. Cheers.
 

Rob20

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Really tough one to answer to those without military experience.

But tactical awareness is a huge one. Automatically getting into a firing position when stopping, taking up all round defence without being prompted. Knowing who's left and right of you during a contact. The whole "you 4 are charlie, you 4 are delta" is great on paper but if you're in vehicles or working in whacky formations which we've started doing you need the awareness and flexibility to look left and right and identify where you are and react accordingly. Being able to provide ammo states rapidly when in a reorg. Being able to step up into a 2IC/IC role etc. Having the confidence to communicate during a contact with target indications/locations for cover/break points etc.

Probably a load of waffle there. But basically, be fit, good at nav, tactically aware, good at shooting and confident in your skills and drills. You'll do fine.
 

Advocado

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As Rob says its hard to give examples of outstanding bootnecks and what they have done to stand out to people who are still in the joining process and haven't quite developed a mindset for tactics yet.

I'll try get a couple of points across which hopeful recruits can apply immediately.

The way any form of physical fitness works these days especially with social media is people sharing their PBs which could by all means be a very impressive feat, say a 5 minute mile or a sub 3 hour marathon. What they won't necessarily disclose is that they performed at this standard, their best standard after months of training eating correctly and resting well.

In the corps you are expected to perform physically and mentally at your best, when your body is degraded to its worst. This is what sets us apart from other branches of the miltary in my opinion. So hopeful marines can start getting into the mindset early on, say for example they have a 6 mile run to do, if they haven't had their perfect 8 hours sleep, and if they don't feel they have hydrated or eaten correctly, don't hide behind your excuses and wrap, get out there and just work harder. Yes you might hang out more, nobody cares! Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Another thing which is the difference between a good soldier and an excellent soldier. Doing the right thing, all the time. Not just when you know you're being watched.

And finally don't be jack. You might be all swept up in your personal drills but if you're not helping others out around you it defeats the purpose completely because there are certainly no individuals in military. The best soldier I know is also the least jack bloke I know.
 

Tegridy_terry

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Quick question lads. High levels of fitness and mental resilience are obvious pre-requisites of an exceptional Marine, but I'm curious about the soldiering side of things. What in your opinion makes a great soldier? Is it the attention to detail? The ability to perform under immense pressure? Do any of the trained ranks have any examples of exceptional soldiering that they've witnessed? I'm curious as I don't think I've seen it been mentioned as a topic on this forum. Cheers.
The ability to do the basics well, not crack under pressure keeping a cool head. Also being able to understand what you are doing, and why you’re doing it. Once that’s understood you can formulate plans, and potentially end up saving lives... or just make things easier.
 
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