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Who gets to call themselves a ‘combat veteran’? - Task and Purpose

dapaterson

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Then there are the reverse, retired military fully convinced of their own brilliance that was so horribly undervalued by the CAF.

You can frequently find them hovering around the mess, a year or so later, looking for advice on rejoining.
 

Haggis

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It's because Military members are conditioned and trained to have abnormally high levels of conformity, obedience, humility, discipline, respect, etc.

Our "self-loathing" is actually a form of control that has been psychologically conditioned into us.
We have also been conditioned by the system to not reward e ceptional mlm performance and devotion to duty as those qualities are the minimum standard expected, wherein many civilian and OGD workplaces recognize and reqard mediocrity.
I'm really only discovering this now that I'm out and have transitioned to civilian life. I would say compared to some of my colleagues, I'm very polite and more disciplined in a lot of ways but this approach doesn't always pay off in a non-military context.
True. Sometimes "the RSM" makes an appearance.
In the CAF this would have immediate and severe consequences but outside the Military hierarchy, the consequences are way less severe.
Not everywhere. I've seen a few cases in my employer where behavoiur deemed acceptable in the CAF landed folks a seat outside rhe HR office or an escort the parking lot with their belongings in a box.
 

Infanteer

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So, all combat veterans are war veterans, while not all war veterans are combat veterans. The former is not superior in any way to the latter, nor does it deserve some sort of badge, but the categorization can be useful in defining one's experiences.

I'll revise my position. Someone can be a combat veteran without having served in a war. Law enforcement officers getting in a gun duel with criminals are also combat veterans, but not war veterans.

So, not all combat veterans are war veterans, and not all war veterans are combat veterans. "Who cares?" some say, but I still stand by my statement that it is a useful categorization for one's experiences (it's not useful in defining or valuing service to one's country or cause though).

There is a great video profile on James Vasquez, who is worth following on Twitter, which illustrates why this categorization is useful. Combat, as defined above, was a crucible that defines him.

 

KevinB

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LEO Shootings/Gunfights are not combat.
Not to diminish those as I’ve been in more than 1, but most LE situations are generally not multiple attacker firefights and again generally end after 1 set engagement period. It’s not a multi incident TIC.
 

Infanteer

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If I stick to the definition that combat is an action "that one is engaging in trying to kill someone while at risk of taking a killing shot back" then many cases should be - I'm thinking of things like the famous LA bank robbery. Just trying to stay logically consistent.
 

KevinB

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If I stick to the definition that combat is an action "that one is engaging in trying to kill someone while at risk of taking a killing shot back" then many cases should be - I'm thinking of things like the famous LA bank robbery. Just trying to stay logically consistent.
Understood.

My take is:
A shooting is where I shoot someone without taking fire.
A gunfight is where we exchange fire.
A gunfight in combat is where more than just gunfire is exchanged.

Shootings are better than Gunfights ;)
 

Infanteer

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That would eliminate 95% of the TICs in Afghanistan in being categorized as combat.
 

Haggis

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If I stick to the definition that combat is an action "that one is engaging in trying to kill someone while at risk of taking a killing shot back" then many cases should be - I'm thinking of things like the famous LA bank robbery. Just trying to stay logically consistent.
Victoria PD enters the chat.
 

Rifleman62

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Please join us for:

National Association of Federal Retirees presents
The Walrus Talks at Home: Veteran Identities

Going beyond the headlines to understand veterans’ experiences

What does it mean to be a veteran now? Nationally and individually, we have preconceived ideas and expectations of what a veteran should be. The actual lived experience of being a veteran is broad and shifting, and personal narratives are essential when considering how Canada’s military culture moves forward.

Through actions such as voting and paying taxes, all Canadians impact the shape of our military. As members of our communities serve to fight against local wildfires or are involved in global conflict, how are we advancing transparency, dignity and healing in these evolving systems?

The Walrus Talks at Home: Veteran Identities is a rare opportunity to hear directly from veterans as they share powerful insights and consider complex questions on ideas of leadership, belonging, vulnerability and strength. Join us for this important and timely conversation.

Date and time
Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

7:00 p.m. ET — The Walrus Talks at Home begins
7:30 p.m. ET — Moderated Q&A
8:00 p.m. ET — The Walrus Talks at Home ends

Welcome by
Jennifer Hollett
, executive director, The Walrus
Anthony Pizzino, CEO, National Association of Federal Retirees

Moderated by
Dr. Maya Eichler
, director, Centre for Social Innovation and Community Engagement in Military Affairs, Mount Saint Vincent University

Featuring

Michelle Douglas, executive director, LGBT Purge FundWendy Jocko, chief of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
Jessica Lynn Wiebe, interdisciplinary artist and former artillery soldierChristine Wood, retired RCAF logistics officer and veteran advocate

How to Join
This Zoom webinar is free with registration.
You will be emailed your Zoom login information upon registration.

Click on the following link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-walrus-talks-at-home-veteran-identities-registration-400301641987?aff=NAFR

Presenting sponsor:

 

Pieman

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I personally consider a "combat veteran" as someone serving who has deployed to a war zone. I suspect that is how the vast majority of the public would define it and this is how it is currently defined by VA and VAC, from what I understand. Why change that perspective?

In conversations, I find the distinction of having actually experienced combat is found when soldiers say someone has "seen combat".

I've heard soldiers say something like:

"That's Joe, he did a tour in Afghanistan." (Deployed but no direct combat )

vs.

"That's Joe, he was in Afghanistan and has seen combat." (Deployed and actively engaged the enemy)

vs.

"That's Joe, he went to the sand box then got fat and ate ice cream all day." (Deployed and likes ice cream)

They are all combat veterans. The one who actually fought gets the "seen combat" designation by his peers.

Perhaps there is a need to recognize having "seen combat" more formally rather than changing the definition of "Combat Veteran"?
 

daftandbarmy

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I personally consider a "combat veteran" as someone serving who has deployed to a war zone. I suspect that is how the vast majority of the public would define it and this is how it is currently defined by VA and VAC, from what I understand. Why change that perspective?

In conversations, I find the distinction of having actually experienced combat is found when soldiers say someone has "seen combat".

I've heard soldiers say something like:

"That's Joe, he did a tour in Afghanistan." (Deployed but no direct combat )

vs.

"That's Joe, he was in Afghanistan and has seen combat." (Deployed and actively engaged the enemy)

vs.

"That's Joe, he went to the sand box then got fat and ate ice cream all day." (Deployed and likes ice cream)

They are all combat veterans. The one who actually fought gets the "seen combat" designation by his peers.

Perhaps there is a need to recognize having "seen combat" more formally rather than changing the definition of "Combat Veteran"?

My grandfather, a survivor of many WW1 Infantry battles with the CEF, said: You weren't really at the front unless you got a 'whiff of gas'. Which he had.

I'm kind of glad the criteria have loosened up somewhat since then ;)
 

Pieman

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My grandfather, a survivor of many WW1 Infantry battles with the CEF, said: You weren't really at the front unless you got a 'whiff of gas'. Which he had.
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Yea, that's a stiff requirement and he must have been one tough man.

Having been to "the front" seems to be the equivalent to today's "seen combat" or another term "outside the wire".
 

GK .Dundas

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Yea, that's a stiff requirement and he must have been one tough man.

Having been to "the front" seems to be the equivalent to today's "seen combat" or another term "outside the wire".
During the American civil war it was referred to as "seeing the elephant"
I sometimes wonder what Roman Legionaries used to refer to it as?
I can all too easily recall my Maternal Grandfather trying to sleep/breathe what I suspect what was 1 &1/6th of lungs.yeah, I think the he qualifies as a tough guy he lived with that and his nightmares until 1980- 81
 
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