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An American soldier contrasts the U.S. Army with the Israeli army

Discussion in 'Military Forum' started by AUz, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. AUz

    AUz ELITE MEMBER

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    Daniel Houten is in basic training to become an infantryman in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Ga. Nothing unusual about another 11 Bravo – except that he recently finished an 18-month tour with the Israeli Defence Forces. The heck with generals and colonels weighing each army’s pluses and minuses – let’s talk to someone who really knows the differences between two of the world’s finest fighting forces.

    He may be singing to the choir here, but Private Houten, 20, says the U.S. Army has better food, boots and uniforms than the Israel army he left in June. “The food is better here,” he says. “Americans in general have better equipment, newer equipment.” And he says the Israeli army is a more relaxed, less disciplined outfit than his new employer.

    “One of the biggest differences is the Israeli military is less focused on discipline – things are more relaxed over there,” Houten says. “Rank structure absolutely exists, but at the same time all enlisted ranks are more of less equal 90% of the time…when you’re on a base and you’re dealing with your commanders – up to a lieutenant, or even sometimes a captain – as long as you’re not in a frontline combat unit where everything is a little more rigid – there’s a good chance that within a few months you’re going to be addressing him on a first name basis.”

    Such slack, he thinks, wouldn’t work in the U.S. Army. “The U.S. is a very different system,” Houten says, adding diplomatically: “Each system works better for the military that they are a part of.”

    Israel, he adds, is a compact country where many soldiers know one another’s families or friends. “The mentality in Israel is that they’ve been fighting for their survival since day one,” he says. “Service is compulsory, so the average soldier by the end of his service is kind of ticking off the days on his calendar.”

    The Israeli army’s smaller size makes it less institutional than the far larger U.S. Army. “With a small population like that, there’s a good chance that someone in your family is going to know someone on your base – and when everything’s less formal it sort of gives them a chance to connect in a certain way,” Houten says. “The disadvantages of having a system like that over here would be — because everyone doesn’t have a certain degree of familiarity outside of the military — I think it would just lead to insubordination. Because people would feel: well, I know this officer, and I can speak to him on a first-name basis so when he tells me to do something why should I listen to him?”

    Houten doesn’t hesitate when asked who fields the world’s best army. “All in all, at the end of the day, it’s going to be the U.S.,” he says. “We have the technology, we have the size, and we have our Army values to live by.”

    Like most 20-year old soldiers, Houten is familiar with the creature comforts valued by every grunt since Hannibal. Although there are exceptions, he likes the variety of the U.S. Army’s Meals-Ready-to-Eat. “In general, they’re pretty good,” he says. “In Israel, they have Manot Krav — a cardboard box, you get one per squad — and it’s a bunch of cans of tuna, a can of corn, they used to have something Loof, which is kind of like kosher Spam but now its all tuna – and you get a loaf of bread, a couple of vegetables and that’s it. You get really tired of tuna – really, really tired of tuna.”

    He recalls his assignments at forward posts: “In general, it was tuna and bread, tuna and bread.”

    Houten says he was impressed when he got his U.S. Army footwear. “The boots over there are kind of an older style,” he says. Although there are some newer models, “the boots I was issued when I was there were sort of like the older combat boots – you’re supposed to polish them and shine them and everything. That was something that stuck in my mind: the boots.”

    His U.S. Army boots with their suede uppers don’t need such high maintenance. And they grab better: “My old Israeli boots had Brill soles, which were good, but they don’t have the traction that these Vibram ones do – I can already tell I’m going to have them for awhile – they’re tough.”

    Houten laughs when asked which army has the cooler uniform. “All right – define cooler.” When told coolness is in the eyes of the wearer, he thinks for a moment. “The American uniform is kind of a little bit cooler – I’m not going to lie – it’s sort of a better material” he says. And the Israeli uniforms don’t sport a camouflage pattern, which means another layer is needed to blend in. “So if you’re operating in the desert, you need to have a second camo suit over that,” Houten says. “Which I think, personally, is a little bit ridiculous.”

    Houten was born to an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn, N.Y. His father, John, is a neurosurgeon. “I thought about being a doctor like my dad,” he concedes, “but I always came back to being a soldier.” While in high school, his motivation waned, and he dropped out. He couldn’t get into the U.S. Army without a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Degree. He basically stumbled into the Israeli army when someone told him a Jew could serve without Israeli citizenship or a high-school diploma.

    Read more

    An American soldier contrasts the U.S. Army with the Israeli army he recently left | TIME.com

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    Very interesting!

    I don't think you can call your officers by their first name in Pakistan Army. But being a little more 'homey' with your military leadership/command can be a great motivator to fight for them with great courage...no? Interesting insights...
     
  2. krash

    krash SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm no expert on this but my understanding is that comradery would serve better than 'homey-ship' in any military. The hierarchy is their for a reason and must be followed, every military's structure depends on it. Comradery and 'one for all and all for one' can be encouraged in other ways. For example officers and NCOs on the field and in training sleeping in the same place, eating the same thing, cycling through the duties together, high rank officers dropping in on the front lines, etc. (This is done in the Pakistani military).

    I might be far off but maybe the Israeli military's lesser focus on discipline might be attributed to the fact that they are a conscriptional force and not every person there would want to be there. Furthermore, you don't want all your citizens to be conditioned into the stereotypical rigid military families that we see in Pakistan or the US, they are supposed to leave the army and then serve very different roles.
     
  3. Zarvan

    Zarvan ELITE MEMBER

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    @AUz in pak army they call each other with sir even after retirement when ever they. meet same protocol is followed
     
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  4. jaibi

    jaibi SENIOR MODERATOR

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    Each military is a product of its society the culture of the military reflects the social forces acting in and on the society.
     
  5. livingdead

    livingdead ELITE MEMBER

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    yeah, I think you are right, a conscript force is better off being less rigid... people dont like to be conscript anyway ... @Neptune
    our armies are based on british indian army, and probably much more hirarchial than US army.
     
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  6. Neptune

    Neptune SENIOR MEMBER

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    In deed, the chain-of-command in US, Australia, Canada and maybe todays UK are the less in the world. They do this like a 8 to 5 job. Sure it's not like we saw at hollywood but That's the truth...It's just a brother-at-arms term for them. But for us (Turkey, Pakistan, China, India, S. and N. Korea, Asian militaries...etc.) there's very strong hierarchical structure that even in Turkey, during PKK clashes, Turkish officers were controlling their soldiers shaves&boot, uniform order...etc. even when they were standing watch over the heighs of south eastern mountains...etc. It's a "should be" for the militaries, but not as sharp as the one applied at Turkey and China.
     
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  7. Umair Nawaz

    Umair Nawaz ELITE MEMBER

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    Thing is simple, discipline is must! u dont wanna end up like Israeli Army do u?
     
  8. AUz

    AUz ELITE MEMBER

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    What do you mean by this? They are one of the best militaries..

    Best trained, highly experienced, remarkably mobile, and with very sophisticated weapons...
     
  9. krash

    krash SENIOR MEMBER

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    Not really. Militaries usually work hard at breaking the prevalent social and cultural forces on the new recruits and then reconditioning and reforging them into new molds more suitable to the military's structure. This is a complete scientific process, I just can't remember its name and the names of the steps. You basically bring them over, force them out of habits, old loyalties and values (no phones, no contact with friends and family, etc. They are even conditioned into despising the civilians and the civil structure) then you instill your own values in them and then fortify them over and over again.

    The Pakistan military is a good example of the disparity between the civil structure and the military. The discipline, the loyalty and the respect for authority are no where to be seen in the civil populace.
     
  10. Umair Nawaz

    Umair Nawaz ELITE MEMBER

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    Wake up Mr.

    and why r they like that?

    3 billion American aide since 2001/02.

    All technical staff of Military/civil studies in top US universities like Stamford University where average american cant even think of admission because of high expenses of such universities. But a Jew specially Israeli can easily get admission because of Jew priority and Uni owner of top American Institutions r Jews themselves.


    A best trained Officer or Soldier is well disciplined as well.

    Here is the discipline of ''best trained'' and ''highly experienced''.







     
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  11. Umair Nawaz

    Umair Nawaz ELITE MEMBER

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    @AUz



    Just because, CNN, Fox News, BBC etc etc dont show the ground reality, it doesnt mean it dont exist.
     
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  12. Falcon29

    Falcon29 ELITE MEMBER

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    LOL! :lol: Little Satan and Big Satan. :rofl:
     
  13. KingMamba

    KingMamba ELITE MEMBER

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    I think the differences in social behavior of the militaries may have something to do with the fact that Israeli army is conscription based while US army is a volunteer force.
     
  14. jbgt90

    jbgt90 ELITE MEMBER

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    Any yet they managed to defeat every single arab army combined in every war they fought. Makes you think doesn't it?
     
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  15. jaibi

    jaibi SENIOR MODERATOR

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    As a social scientist I would like to disagree. Yes, many organisations do try to counter societal and cultural norms but mostly these forces become more subtle rather than disappear. An example of this would be the treatment of women in the US armed forces, the treatment of women in the work force and the play of ethnicities in hiring practices.