'Asking soldiers to write farewell letters before Gaza war lowered morale'

Redheart

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'Asking soldiers to write farewell letters before Gaza war lowered morale' - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post


Requests by commanders for soldiers to write farewell letters before heading out to battle in Gaza last summer constituted an error of judgement that lowered fighting morale, the IDF Soldiers’ Complaints Commissioner, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, said Tuesday in a report.

The forty third annual Complaints Commissioner Report included criticism of the practice of farewell letter writing, which was encouraged by commanders. The letters "harmed the morale of combat soldiers and their ability to fight with all their heart and soul. It disrupted their faith and hope, and could have harmed their ability to function in the battlefield," Brick said.

The letters may have also disrupted the balance in the minds of combat soldier that exists between fear, and the need to carry out orders, he added.

"Writing farewell letters before danger squeezes enormous mental energies out of the soldiers, magnifies their fear, and causes them to lose concentration and focus in battle, out of a fear that what they write in the farewell letter will come true," Brick wrote.

Instead, soldiers should be directed towards determination, optimism, fostering a fighting spirit, and self confidence before heading onto the battlefield.
 

missbishi

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Oh my word, how stupid!

Those soldiers might as well have been told that death was certain and that they would never return home. What a way to ruin morale.

I get the impression that the majority of servicemen/women write their own farewell letters anyhow, in private, just in case anything does happen. To be told that this is something you NEED to do though is very grim indeed.
 

Psyche

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I think there is a time for soldier likely to be deployed to think about their family and make all the appropriate arrangements like choosing God parents, life insurance, making your wishes known bout funeral arrangements, and just thinking about the choice you are making not only for yourself but your family and dependents.

That said, that time is right back in basic training not right before you are being deployed. That's just stupid. It's far to late to make any kind of sensible arrangement or come up with a compassionate message for your families anyway.
 

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