Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and improve the capabilities of military personnel in their respective roles.
Military education can be voluntary or compulsory duty. Before any person gets authorization to operate technical equipment or be on the battlefield, they must take a medical and often a physical examination. If passed, they may begin primary training.
The primary training is recruit training. Recruit training attempts to teach the basic information and training in techniques necessary to be an effective service member.
To achieve this, service members are drilled physically, technically and psychologically. The drill instructor has the task of making the service members fit for military use.
After finishing basic training, many service members undergo advanced training more in line with their chosen or assigned specialties. In advanced training, military technology and equipment is often taught.
Many large countries have several military academies, one for each branch of the service, that offer college degrees in a variety of subjects, similar to other colleges. However, academy graduates usually rank as officers, and as such have many options besides civilian work in their major subject. Higher-ranking officers also have further educational opportunities.
Resocialization is an important aspect of inducting a civilian into a military. Resocialization is a sociological concept dealing with the process of mentally and emotionally “re-training” a person so they can operate in an environment other than what they are accustomed to. Successful resocialization into a total institution involves changes to an individual’s personality.
Key examples include the process of resocializing new recruits into the military so that they can operate as soldiers – or, in other words, as members of a cohesive unit. Another example is the reverse process, in which those who have become accustomed to such roles return to society after military discharge.
Resocialization from the life of a combat soldier to a civilian member of society is often difficult because of what that soldier saw and did in his/her military experience. In the transition from civilian to soldier, the individual is trained to solely follow the command of his superiors. In some cases commands would go against certain natural aversions (such as killing) of the individual based on one’s moral and ethical principles.
A leading expert in military training methods, Grossman(2001) gives four types of training techniques used:
- classical conditioning
- operant conditioning
- role modeling
According to Grossman (2001), these techniques were meant to break down barriers to embrace a new set of norms and way of life (brutalization), condition them to pair killing with something more enjoyable and pleasurable (Classical Conditioning), repeat the stimulus-response reaction to develop a reflex (Operant Conditioning), and finally the use of a role model of a superior to provide action by example.
While leaders effectively train their soldiers to accomplish the goal of battle preparedness, these techniques increase psychological trauma experienced in veterans post-combat. It is because of the evident psychological problems in post-combat situations (i.e. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that pose a threat to public safety because of the conditioning of the individual who might be made unstable because of his actions.