Technology’s Negative Impact on the Military
We live in an era that’s surrounded by technology. For most people, they can’t get five feet away from their phone. As for the youth today, they can’t spend a few minutes away from their Xbox or some other computer game. It’s my honest belief that this is what has weakened our military as a whole.
It doesn’t matter whether your training out in the field, at the range, or in a classroom, it’s all filled with cell phones and chargers. And our military leaders have had to change the way they communicate with their company, platoon, and squad.
It’s ridiculous that a lot of the leader’s soldiers can only communicate by text or instant message getting them to answer their phones is difficult. But you can send them a text and they’re right there to answer. The technology of today continues to weaken our military and it will weaken it even more tomorrow.
Where Did the Command Go?
It was recently that I was a platoon sergeant and we had a 3-day field exercise training for a deployment. I asked each member of my platoon to turn in their phones until the last day of the training at which point they’d get them back. Wow, you would’ve thought I’d broken some sort of law!
This is where some of our military’s weakness comes from. We have to sit back and ask for everybody’s permission or opinion before making a decision. And in turn, the military continues to accept mediocrity due to laziness.
Now our younger soldiers get to dictate how our commands are run. The decisions that are needed to be made are voted on rather than having a company commander, a first sergeant, or a platoon sergeant making the decisions for their own commands.
Then we become even more weak when the technology is down. You realize that people don’t know how to do things manually anymore.
Gain It Back
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, or company commander, it’s time to gain back your command. If not, you’re only going to continue to weaken it.
Test the Waters
I urge all military leaders to see if their companies can be successful simply by taking away cell phones, Xboxes, instant messages, and all other technology for the day and see if you and your soldiers can do their jobs. I think you’ll realize that your company has become weakened by technology.
Look at it this way. There isn’t an enemy out there that cares if you had time to answer a message or if you had time to play Call of Duty before they ambush your company during a patrol. It’s pure and simple, technology continues to weaken our military in many different ways.
If a deployment is coming up, do the test now, and see how your leaders communicate with their commands without cell phones or laptops. I can assure you, I’ve been overseas and I’ve witnessed the lack of motivation when the wifi is down or the cell service is bad.
Try to Get Rid of the Burden
Take the time to strengthen your unit. Each month, take away cell phones and other forms of technology for a period of time and teach your leaders how to truly train, teach, and communicate with their commands.
You’re going to be surprised at what you see. I know I was, and so was our company commander when he witnessed this negativity.
The military ran a lot better and had less distractions when the phones were on the walls and the computers were at a desk.