"The first way to lose your state is to neglect the art of war" [1]. (Machiavelli)


In his ‘Battle Studies’ of 1868 Colonel Ardant du Picq wrote. “The art of war is subjected to many modifications by industrial and scientific progress. But one thing does not change, the heart of men. In the last analysis, success in battle is a matter of morale. In all matters which pertain to an army, organisation, discipline and tactics, the human heart in the supreme moment of battle is the basic factor".[2]

Similar to many military strategists before and after him Ardant Du Picq understood the supreme importance of the human element in battle. Throughout history, practitioners of numerous disciplines, from military strategists to sociologists have tried to discover those factors that differentiates performance on the battlefield. From the findings of their research, and from memoirs and battlefield studies it would appear that the importance of morale, and military cohesion in the motivation of men to perform their duties, to withstand stress, and to stand together cannot be over-emphasised. Therefore, during these times of change in the Defence Forces it is an opportune moment for us to reflect on the issue of cohesion and to discover if the Defence Forces have given enough consideration to these findings.

The essay begins by studying the issue of individualism which is considered to be the antithesis of cohesion. It shall be discovered that individualism or ‘looking out for oneself' has triumphed in western society during the past decade and has begun to manifest itself in military forces. The essay continues by clarifying that there is a distinction between individualism and individuality, the latter being a requirement for successful armies while the former is detrimental to military cohesion and needs to be constrained rather than encouraged. Accordingly, the military must take cognisance of this and counter it by promoting cohesion, and by leadership at all levels. The essay shall outline what is meant by military cohesion and before concluding shall argue that in the past the Defence Forces, for multifarious reasons, did not put cohesion building policies into practice. However, with the enactment of the recently published ‘Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan’ many of these difficulties can be overcome and an opportunity now exists for promoting a policy of military cohesion.


In November 1958, the Government under the leadership of Sean Lemass adopted Mr T. K. Whitaker's 'Programme for Economic Expansion'. The aim of the programme was to promote industrialisation, trade, and foreign investment. The implications of the report were to be revolutionary where "even today it can be seen as a watershed in the modern economic history of the country".[3] Industrial production grew with a commensurate rise in GDP per capita. Standards of living were transformed. Entry to the EEC in 1972 brought further economic growth and industrial prosperity. Increasing prosperity hastened a move to towns and cities which in turn brought new ideas and freedoms. As prosperity and education grew the means of communications changed. Television transformed news from parochial to national and international. Greater availability of cars allowed people to travel more. Foreign travel became the norm. Travel exposed people to new ideas and led to pressure for social policy reforms. Attitudes towards the Roman Catholic church went through fundamental revision after Vatican Council II (1962-65) and a general questioning of church doctrine and authority ensued.[4] A more open, independent attitude was adopted.

The State became obliged to adopt to the changing society. Ireland was transformed from an agrarian to a post-agrarian society, this led to the erosion of traditional boundaries and ideas. This can be understood by the fact that ‘in the agrarian society the individual is born into a particular rank in society, kinship group and village, and faces a fixed set of occupational options. Mobility prospects are restricted not just by society but also by the individual’s own acceptance of his or her existing role as inevitable and natural. In industrial society, by contrast, regardless of the position into which an individual is born the prospects for spatial and occupational mobility are much greater not just because society is open to this, but because the individual's own perspective allows him or her to freely contemplate such roles’[5].


Irish society adopted and has kept pace with the European norm. Throughout Europe in the early 1980s, but especially in Great Britain and in the USA new economic theories were adopted. By the end of the decade Western society had changed. As a generalisation it could be said that society no longer sought fellowship but instead demanded individual rights, even at the expense of the 'common good’[6] and, became caught up by a greed that was never satisfying.

Evidence now suggests that there has been a consistent trend towards fragmentation and individualism. It has been stated that ‘the cultural revolution of the late 20th century can best be understood as the triumph of the individual over society, or rather the breaking of the threads which in the past had woven human beings into social textures.[7] For example, the managerial middle-classes up to the 1980s saw the company as an important source not just for employment but also for identification; a phenomenon that was generalised across society. By 1993 however in a national survey in the USA, more than ten years after the cultural revolution had begun, almost two-thirds of managers felt less loyalty to their company than they did five years earlier. At the same time 57% of middle managers felt less loyalty to their employees.[8] The new societal values had been eroding the bonds of human community and had fostered anomie, aggressive self-centredness and individualism. However, it is important that a distinction be made between individualism and individuality.

Individuals are the most important component of the military machine. In war, while remaining part of a group, individuals continue to feel and fear as humans and act according to their individual strengths and weaknesses. Armies in democratic states encourage individuality because it “is often the spark that creates victory from the potential defeat that every battle starts out to as being.[9] Independent thought helps individuals to react wisely when things go wrong. For that reason, soldiers in progressive armies are regarded as 'ends in themselves' and not just as a means to an end. In this way each soldier feels that his individual effort counts toward the whole. On the other hand, individualism and self-centredness weakens the bonds that are a prerequisite if soldiers are to succeed in conflict. And because individualism has manifested itself in modern society, and society reflects itself in the military, it is necessary to discover what impact, if any, it might have upon military life.

Anthony Beevor, the author of ‘Inside the British Army' has written a very informative article on this subject and many of his observations in relation to individualism can as a generalisation be recognised within the Defence Forces.


During the second half of the 1980s the British Army recognised that a new breed of individuals was joining the army. The new inductees were considered to have very little understanding or sympathy for many of the Army's most cherished traditions and values. For them, mess-life which heretofore was at the core of army life, "was seen to be dull and out-of-date”.[10] Instead, young single officers and soldiers wanted permission without delay to live out of the barracks with their civilian friends. Spending time in barracks playing rugby or military socialising did not interest them. Then, when they got married, they tended to marry women who unlike their predecessors had careers and would not put up with the constant change of station, schools and houses traditionally associated with military life. Wives also decided that they would remain at home with the children while their husbands would commute home at weekends; as a result barracks became deserted at weekends. However, according to Beevor one characteristic above all others stood out. This he described as a sort of rootless ambition and career-consciousness.

Societal values had imposed on this generation a sharp distinction between success and failure. Success was now more than ever before measured in monetary terms. Therefore, it was obligatory for them to be seen as progressive and 'upwardly mobile'. Certainly ‘in the view of most young officers, the army was just like any other career. The regiment was no longer a surrogate family, and the Army no longer a vocation, it was just another career. And like any other career, it had to deliver. No longer did a subaltern dream simply of commanding his regiment in some hazy, distant future; he startled generals by wanting to discuss career prospects right the way up. Commanding the regiment was, in most cases, little more than a step on the way".[11]

For the Defence Forces it is worth noting, that according to Beevor since 'Options for Change' (the British Army's equivalent to our Efficiency Audit Group Report) was introduced the threat of redundancy had, ‘in the view of some officers considerably increased the attitude of looking out for yourself’.[12] Looking out for oneself, as already stated, is anathema to military cohesion. To understand how this is so it is necessary to have a fuller understanding of what is meant by military cohesion.


Results of studies into the successes of armies from various social, cultural and political backgrounds have demonstrated the central importance of comradeship among soldiers in small combat units. Investigations have shown that the most central important factor for soldiers to continue in combat is the presence by their sides of fellow soldiers who have shared with them experiences and sufferings. This in short is the essence of military cohesion. However, research has demonstrated that the nature of military cohesion is multi-dimensional, demanding bonds that are qualitatively and quantitatively very different from those of civilian life. Military cohesion requires horizontal or peer bonding, that is to say comrade friendship; vertical bonding, the mutual loyalty between leaders and soldiers; organisational or hierarchical bonding, that is soldiers’ self-identification with their: regiment or division; and finally, a favourable attitude by society towards the military. In order to understand the importance of these concepts to successful armies each of them shall now be examined in turn.


The first concept is what is known as ‘primary group’ or ‘horizontal bonding’. The pioneering work on this was conducted by Edward A. Shils and Morris Janowitz who carried out hundreds of interviews with German prisoners of war, during and immediately after the Second World War. The Wehrmacht - despite being strategically and quantitatively outnumbered, despite having to fight on many fronts simultaneously, having to retreat under appalling conditions near the end of the war - continued to fight with extraordinary tenacity and remained an effective army until near the end of the war. Shils et al, in their research concluded that the political convictions of these soldiers contributed only slightly to their success, what was important to them and what determined their resistance was the satisfaction of certain psychological demands that were met by the organisation of the Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht leadership had identified the importance of cohesion and had fostered it throughout the war. For them the essential element of cohesion was the maintenance of the integrity of the primary group, that is to say keeping the same members of a squad or section together throughout. To cultivate cohesion from the beginning, members of the primary group had a reasonable expectation that they would remain together for a prolonged period.  By these means soldiers become integrated into a primary group and became bound by affections shown, and to the expectations and demands of fellow group members. This is exactly what the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have done since birth. The IDF keep the same group of soldiers together in the same unit during and after training. ‘In the intimacy that develops in such close-knit groups, each man knows his role and worth".[13] As a consequence, IDF military achievements have remained high.

Central to the notion is that as soldiers become bonded together they become firmly embedded in a 'network of mutual obligation'. Thus, they contribute their share willingly, helping one another without being asked, developing a strong sense of mutual identification and taking pride in displaying membership of that group. Group pride ensures that those who do not pull their weight are scorned not by the organisation but by the group itself.[14] Other research has established that soldiers keep on fighting for their comrades because they are afraid to let them down, to do so would result in feelings of shame and guilt.[15]

Stewart in her study concluded that "friendship ties men to each other; during a firefight with imminent death a possibility, men fight, and kill so that each one may live.[16] Wehrmacht measures to develop cohesion also included a rotation system which ensured that when a division was depleted by casualties it was withdrawn to the rear for rest and replacement. Replacements were given enough time to assimilate into the unit before the unit was sent back to the front. Contrary to the Wehrmacht and Israeli systems, the Americans in Vietnam replaced soldiers individually. Thereby they maintained a constant rotation of personnel through units. As a consequence, Moskos concluded that while the individual rotation policy enhanced individual soldier's morale it detracted from unit cohesion because ‘it was more individualistic and self-centred’.[17] In the 1980s the Americans rediscovered the concept of military cohesion and introduced a unit training and rotation program called COHORT (cohesion, operational readiness, and training) aimed at stabilising soldiers in units. While that program has now being abandoned[18] one of the lessons learnt was that focusing on primary interpersonal relationships was not sufficient. Cohesion is much more than that, it is multifactorial and includes among other requirements - vertical bonding.


Vertical cohesion can be described as the bonding between soldiers and the leaders whom they see every day. For it to develop there is a requirement that the leader and the group must expect to remain together for some considerable time. Even then the growth of vertical cohesion is not assured. In a study conducted in the IDF, and confirmed by other research, Kalay concluded that the leaders must possess certain qualities if they are to gain and maintain the loyalty and trust of their men.[19] The first quality is professional proficiency: this is important to soldiers, if they are to willingly risk their lives. The second quality is that the leader must be a credible source of information. It is better for a leader as an authoritative source to pass on bad news rather than allow rumours and mistrust to develop[20]. The third quality is the amount of care and attention that a leader pays to his men. In this regard the basic essential is integrity of character.

The leader must be honest, straight, concerned and approachable, but ruthless enough in battle to force men to do things they don't want to do.[21] Incompetent, indifferent, self-serving and uncommitted leaders generate resentment not loyalty. Leaders who fail to tell things as they really are to their superiors, in order to protect their own careers, are easily recognised by the soldiers - it is a truism that 'nobody fools the troops for long'.  Leaders get what they give, no more and no less. The important goal for the leader therefore must be to "create an atmosphere of team spirit, born of mutual affection, understanding and respect".[22]

Once vertical cohesion has been established it has an added beneficial effect of playing a vital role in overcoming combat stress reaction (CSR). It has been known for some time that there is a connection between unit cohesion and the number of psychiatric casualties in battle.[23] "Group cohesion and leadership can explain the covariance between direct casualties and non-battle casualties". [24] Leaders reduce long term CSR by inculcating in their CSR casualties the believe that they have the ability to return to combat. However, for this to be possible research has found that mutual trust must have been established prior to battle. Combat therefore is not just fire and movement, but fire and movement and mental preparation for action.[25] In this regard it should be noted that one of the lessons of recent wars, the Yom Kippur, Falklands and Gulf War for example, is that conflicts nowadays more often than not occur without warning resulting in soldiers and leaders being transferred abruptly from routine duties to combat. Therefore, an army that idly awaits conflict is not just risking unnecessary casualties but also probable defeat.[26]


In the process of vertical cohesion building soldiers come to identify with their leaders and in turn accept their leaders’ goals and values as their own. The leaders by virtue of being members of a secondary group such as the regiment, brigade, or division, link the primary group with the values and expectations of the secondary group. Thus, while soldiers' identification with the secondary group is impersonal, their self-esteem and worth becomes linked to the reputation of the secondary group.[27] That link is invaluable. This can be understood by the fact that in conflict as friends are killed or wounded, soldiers continue to need a raison d'etre to continue fighting. The regimental system is designed to provide that focus. Regiments, often by continuity of family membership, provides a continuum between the past, present and future generations. The regiment may therefore be understood as an ‘imagined community of generations’ that requires absolute and complete loyalty, even unto death. One need only think of the sacrifices made over the centuries by regiments in foreign armies to understand that concept.[28] The British Army, for example, has a well-established strong tradition of regimental pride and loyalty predicated on a ‘mythical memory’ of past glory and sacrifice. In this regard Stewart found that soldiers in the Falklands were reluctant to let their regimental ancestors down and continued fighting in their name.[29] Most European armies have for a long time understood "the need for men from a particular geographical area to enlist, train, and fight together as their fathers and grandfathers"[30] had done before them.

Other measures devised by armies to develop secondary group bonding include: identifying units with local or regional districts;[31] inculcating in recruits an identification with their regiments from the day of their induction; and, making every effort to identify officers with their regiments by returning them to their regiments after courses and staff or foreign assignments.[32] The provision of regimental museums, bands, veterans’ associations, honorary ranks and publications ensures that regimental glory remains visible and real.


The three previously highly inter-related elements of military cohesion are to a large extent dependent on this the fourth element - society's attitude to the military.[33] It is a truism that most societies view the military profession with some disdain and on armies as an unnecessary expense on scarce resources,[34] that is until there is an emergency. It is only when disaster strikes that the benefit of taking out insurance is realised.[35] This is not a new phenomenon but is as old as history. It wasn't today or yesterday that Kipling wrote ‘its Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy go away; But its 'Thank you Mister Atkins', when the band begins to play’.[36]

However, some societies, for example the British and Israeli, continue to hold their military in high esteem.[37] While the major reason for this is due to both armies saving their countries and peoples from conquest and subjugation, it should be realised that both armies have made it their business to portray a positive professional image of themselves to the public. The British Army astutely identify regiments with local districts, thus when the local regiment is threatened there is a corresponding threat to the local community. High public esteem makes it easier to attract members and for governments to provide budget support for training and armaments procurement. Conversely in a society that has never been to war it is difficult for civilians, civil servants, politicians or governments not alone to understand the wisdom of defence expenditure but makes the importance of military morale and esprit de corps incomprehensible.[38] Society's values therefore play an important element in determining soldier's behaviour.[39]

In a society that under-values the soldier or where there are poor civil-military relations the soldier will doubt his worth to his society. This will be reflected in lower morale and enthusiasm to perform well. Accordingly, the need for good national/military cohesion cannot be overstated. Improved relations facilitate the enhancement of self-respect and contributes greatly to military cohesion.[40]


Having researched the four elements of military cohesion and understanding the vital role that military cohesion has to contribute to successful armies, it is fitting that our focus should now be turned towards the Defence Forces. It will be found that there are two contrasting experiences, one from overseas service which is a success, and the other from home service which is not. Since 1978, when the Defence Forces began to send troops to the Lebanon positive military cohesion has been observed among our U.N.I.F.I.L battalions. Unit and sub-unit identification has remained very high; sections, platoons and companies remain together for six months in their respective geographical sectors. There, soldiers and leaders share experiences and depend upon each other to stay alive. By the end of the six months there is visible evidence that mutual trust and loyalty has been established among the soldiers, and between the soldiers and their leaders. Morale is enhanced by the many laudatory words expressed concerning their role in relation to peacekeeping; public knowledge of this role at home has sustained a positive societal attitude. Thus, an example exists as to how a minimum attempt at cohesion can succeed in sustaining high morale and achieving success even during difficult times.

In contrast to our experience overseas, the Defence Forces at home have been weak in the development and maintenance of military cohesion. While there are many reasons for this it is possible, without the requirement for an in-depth investigation, to state that the wide geographical dispersion of the Defence Forces has had a major responsibility. This is due to no small measure to the relatively large number of posts and barracks throughout the country, each of which must be manned and protected. As a result of the manning requirement, soldiers who train together cannot be kept together but must be scattered to keep manning levels in each of these locations at an acceptable level. Then because of the individual nature and number of duties to be performed it has been difficult for soldiers to become identified with particular sections or platoons. These factors which also have had an adverse effect upon unit collective training, which is the type of training required for military cohesion to flourish. In its place the Defence Forces have often had to make do with 'company exercises which are only possible by making-up the numbers on an ad-hoc basis and so these ‘company’ exercises amount to individual training albeit in a collective environment. Accordingly, the prospects for primary cohesion development throughout the Defence Forces have continued to be minimal. For similar reasons vertical cohesion has also been difficult to achieve; a difficulty which is compounded by other factors such as overseas commitments and a promotional requirement for officers to have served in a broad range of appointments both at home and abroad. The resulting flow of officers through key appointments at platoon, company and unit levels has mitigated against soldiers knowing their officers and with the development of vertical cohesion. This seriously restricts the growth of hierarchical or secondary cohesion. Finally, in contrast to public knowledge of our role overseas, public ignorance of the role and functions of the Defence Forces at home is minimal. This has resulted in little appreciation of military requirements for resources including military equipment and material. While these factors were accepted and endured by past generations of soldiers this is not the case with recent generations who have been reared in modern society (which I described earlier). Self-questioning, by these soldiers of their value to society and to the Defence Forces in particular, has occurred and has in in this writer’s opinion contributed to the difficulties experienced by the Defence Forces during the past number of years.

These difficulties were compounded by the most fundamental policy change for the individual soldier in the recent years, the introduction of the 'Five Year Contract'.[41] This policy forced soldiers to see each other as rivals for promotion rather than loyal and trusted friends. It encouraged rather than discouraged individualism; and, above all it fostered the notion of transient rather than lifelong loyalty to the Force. While this policy has now come under review it nevertheless has left a stigma that must be purged. The recently published Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan[42] provides an opportunity to take account of these difficulties and to address them positively through a unit cohesion-building policies similar to those that have worked for effective armies and for the Defence Forces in Lebanon.


The Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan provides the Defence Forces with the framework for the creation of a 'unit cohesion building policies'. The recommendation in the Plan to rationalise the number of barracks would reduce the number of personnel committed to garrison administrative and housekeeping duties.[43] The promise of an annual induction of recruits would permit Defence Forces planners to structure recruitment on a geographical or unit basis and would facilitate a policy of keeping the same members of a section, and in time platoons and companies, together for a prolonged period.

The Plan's recommendation to increase the training activity profile and to place greater emphasis on collective training[44] would in time demand the creation of homogenous sub-units with greater stability in officer's appointments. These recommendations therefore are very positive and would in time foster higher morale, however, there is a fear, a mistrust, that important elements of the plan will be shelved.

If this should and result in a reduction in the number of personnel (which has already happened)[45] without a rationalisation in the number of barracks with the concomitant reduction in garrison, administrative and housekeeping duties; or, if annual recruiting should continue on a haphazard basis; then instead of the Plan providing an opportunity to redress current problems and assist cohesion and morale, it will exacerbate and prolong existing problems.

To confirm that the concepts of morale and cohesion are a priority and are viewed as an integral part of the Plan it is essential, they be enshrined in Defence Forces doctrine. This can be understood by the fact that doctrine has been defined as the ‘fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of objectives’.[46]

As an aside I note that while the present draft 'Defence Forces Doctrinal Manual - Operations'[47] attempts to address the subject of cohesion under 'leadership as an essential element of combat power' the exclusion of 'Maintenance of Morale' from the list of 'Principles of War' weakens the manual's attempt to develop a cohesion policy. Accordingly, it is recommended to Defence Forces Policy leaders that the doctrinal manual be amended to include 'Maintenance of Morale' and reflect the priority that must be given to the important concepts of morale and cohesion.


Like their civilian counterparts soldiers nowadays demand greater individual freedoms, have higher career aspirations than their predecessors. While this is commendable, because it encourages individuality and is beneficial to progressive military forces, if left undirected it can lead to a selfish individualism.

But giving direction is much more difficult than heretofore because of the greater scepticism about authority, scepticism about those in authority. To overcome these difficulties mutual trust between all ranks must be fostered. The historical route to developing this trust has been through the process of military cohesion.

While it may be argued that in modern times cohesion is not possible, that can be countered by the fact that while humans appreciate change, the requirement to feel secure and to have a sense of belonging has not changed since earliest times. Historical research has shown that for the military these feelings are nourished through military cohesion. It is important then that the Defence Forces do not ignore this research but to develop cohesion-building policies similar to those used by effective armies. These policies include: recruiting for specific units; maintaining the integrity of the primary group; ensuring less turbulence in officers’ appointments; developing some kind regimental system; and above all, projecting to the public the image of a well-trained, disciplined, efficient, effective and professional conventional military force. Obstacles which hindered such policies in the past can be eliminated by the full implementation of the Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan.

In order to overcome scepticism and disillusionment it will be necessary to ensure that high ethical standards are demanded from all ranks. This can be achieved by ensuring that integrity, moral courage, and the subordination of individual needs to those of the unit, are encouraged and rewarded through a balanced system of career management. Commanders, at all ranks, must bear in mind constantly the fact that while rank and position are conferred from above, leadership is confirmed from below. Finally, the Defence Forces must continue to have the capacity to adapt to the values and norms of contemporary society while retaining those military values and traditions that have proven beneficial throughout history.

[1] Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Penguin Books, Middlesex, England.1984. p87.

[2] du Picq, Ardant. Three Military Classics Book II. ‘Battle Studies - Ancient and Modern Battle’. Stackpole Books, P.O. Box 1831, Harrisburg, PA 17105, USA.1987. p135 (The other two books being Clauswitz's Principles of War,and Jomini's Art of War.

[3] Lyons, F.S.L. Ireland Since the Famine. Fontana Press. 1973. p 628.

[4] Inglis, P. Moral Monopoly: The Catholic Church in Modern Irish Society pp 221-2. Religious attitudes are changing, with an increasing number of Catholics prepared to take a more analytical, ‘principled ethical’ approach, entailing a greater degree of independence from clerical guidance.

[5] Coakley & Gallagher. Politics in the Republic of Ireland. Folens, Tallaght, Dublin.1993. p29.

[6] Jones, P. Rights, Issues in Political Theory. Macmillan Press Ltd, Hampshire. 1994 p 209. ‘A society of right-holders can begin to look like one whose members are invited to retreat to their individual moral territories and to live essentially private lives, rather than characterised by a rich and closely integrated common life.’

[7] Hobsbawn, E. Ages of Extremes, The Short Twentieth Century, 1914-1991. Abacus, Lancaster Place, London. p334.

[8] Jacques, M. Caste Down -The Cultural Essay. Sunday Times, 12 June 1994.

[9] McManners, H. The Scars of War. (Harper Collins Publishers, London.1993. p8.

[10] Beevor, A. The Implications of Social Change on the British Army. British Army Review. 1994. p15 See also John Davison (Sunday Times, 12 February 1995). The past year, has seen a series of high-profile examples of misdemeanours, which suggest that something has changed - either in the way the forces are operating or in the way the rest of the country views them. .... The problem is increased by the breakdown of traditional cultures and rejection of figures of authority. Society, in short is moving in a different direction in terms of discipline to that required by the forces, including notions of greater individual freedom of choice.’

[11] Ibid. p16.

[12] Ibid. p16.

[13] McManners, H. Op cit. p19.

[14] Shibutani quoted by Manning in Handbook of Military Psychology. Gal, R. & Mangelsdoff. Handbook of Military Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England.1991. p455.

[15] See Spiegel referenced by Noy in Handbook of Military Psychology. p513.

[16] Stewart, NK. Mates and Muchachos. Brassey's (US) Inc., Virginia 22102, USA. 1991. p18.

[17] Vaughn, TB. Morale, The 10th Principle of War. Military Review. May 1983. p29. See also Stewart, Op cit. p16. ‘Groups were more often than not single units of individuals who counted months, then days, then hours until their rotation date.’

[18] Stewart, NK Op cit. pIX. Also, maintenance of morale is not a principle of war in American doctrine, thus COHORT was easily terminated.

[19] Manning in Handbook of Military Psychology. p464. The last of these qualities ‘need not imply a popularity contest, nor is it incompatible with fair but firm discipline’.

[20] Noy in Handbook of Military Psychology. p521. ‘Information should be encouraged even if it is bad. Lack of knowledge may lead to rumours and mistrust in the commander. He is perceived then as interested and caring and in control of the sinister events. Knowledge blocks the circulation of the worst, wildest imagination and mistrust. Therefore, it is better for bad news to come from an authoritative source i.e., the direct commander, rather than be spread as rumours.’

[21] McManners, Op cit. p46.

[22] Lempke, Lt Col DA. Ridgway's Leadership Legacy. Military Review. November 1988. p69.

[23] Stewart, NK Op cit. pp19 to 24. See also Noy in Handbook of Military Psychology. Chapter 26.

[24] Belenky G.L. Noy, S. Solomon, Z. Battle Stress: The Israeli Experience. Military Review, July 1985. p32. ‘On the Golan Heights in 1973, members of IDF tank crews who were well-acquainted with one another and had trained together were more combat-effective and, despite equally intense battle, had fewer psychiatric casualties than members of tank crews who were not well-acquainted and though equally well-trained had not trained together.’ See also Stewart, NK. Op Cit p22. ‘Noy, Nardi, and Soloman, feel that their work shows it is feasible to predict a unit's susceptibility to psychiatric casualties by knowing a unit’s cohesiveness, leadership styles, and the anticipated battle conditions.’

[25] English, JA. On Infantry. Preger Publishers, New York, USA. 1981.  p192.

[26] Stewart, NK Op cit. pp134-135. ‘The most salient deficits of the Argentine Army in the South Atlantic conflict of 1982 were decided lacks in vertical and horizontal bonding combined with lacunae in societal factors such as training, doctrine, intelligence medical care, and logistics... The Argentine loss is a repetition of errors made by other peacetime armies in other wars and other battles.’

[27] Manning in Handbook of Military Psychology. p458. ‘A regiment (or a brigade, or a division etc.) which does this successfully is said to have esprit. Esprit then is a higher order concept, paralleling cohesion at the primary group level, implying above all pride in and devotion to the reputation of a formal organisation beyond the primary group, and along with cohesion, necessary for sustained effective performance of soldiers in combat.’

[28] Keegan, J. & Holmes, R." Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle. Sphere Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London.1985. Chapter 2.

[29] Stewart, NK Op cit. p87. Every Para knows that 2 Para fought at Arnhem, everyone felt pride in his regiment. In the Falklands, one solder said to me, I'll be damned if I'm going to let down those chaps who fought at Arnhem.’

[30] Stewart, NK Op cit. p100.

[31] Newland, Major S.J. ‘Manning the Force German Style.’ Military Review, May 1987.p 38.

[32] Stewart, NK Op cit. p35. ‘A particular salient factor in the regimental system and the British Army as a whole is a lack of personnel turbulence. Men train, work and fight together for years and years.’

[33] Stewart, NK Op cit. p29-30. ‘Important societal factors contributing to military cohesion and effectiveness are the following: Culture, norms, values, and organisation of the military; Size of defence budget; Doctrine and strategy; Training; Tactics; Command control, communications, and intelligence; Logistics and supply and technology; Medical care and facilities.’

[34] For discussion on this see Dunnigan, J F. How to Make War, A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare. Quill, William Morrow, New York.1988 p306.

[35] Hackett, J. The Profession of Arms. The Garden City Press Ltd. Hertfordshire. 1983, p169. ‘In considering desirable national force levels in the 1960s Whitehall's attitude was that you need hardly do more than provide for the predictable, though it must be clear that armed forces, like insurance policies are chiefly of value as provisions against the unknown’.

[36] Davidson, J. ‘Soldier, Soldier, On a Route March out of Control.’ Sunday Times. 12 February 1995.

[37] McManners, Op cit. p41. ‘Society in Israel accords a very high status to IDF officers, which is a significant motivating factor in becoming one.’

[38] Manning in Handbook of Military Psychology. p465. "The psychologist should ... thus be a knowledgeable and vocal opponent to the ever more frequent attempts to replace old-fashioned customs with more modern centralise and less expensive practices borrowed from contemporary business which mistakenly trade off peacetime economy for combat effectiveness.’

[39] Hackett, J. Op cit. pp 158 and 179.

[40] Gabriel and Savage. Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army. McGraw-Hill, Ryerson Ltd, Toronto, Canada.1978. p226.

[41] Under this policy, soldiers who are not promoted before their five-year contracts are completed are to be discharged from the Force.

[42] Department of Defence, Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan, February 1996.

[43] Ibid. Para 7.18. ‘The reduction in the number of brigades to three and the consequent reduction in units allows for increases in unit strengths. However, without a rationalisation of unit and barracks deployment far too many personnel will remain committed to garrison administrative and housekeeping duties. While any rationalisation of barracks deployment has been ruled out in Phase One, this will be addressed by a special study’

[44] Ibid. Para 7.11 ‘Price Waterhouse analysis offers a serious indictment of the levels of collective training, which they rightly identified as the key to operational capability in the Defence Forces. The consultants concluded that: no effective training takes place at company, battalion or brigade level and this in one of the most serious deficiencies which requires to be addressed; ability to exercise effectively is seriously constrained by the large multiplicity of small units and the widespread geographic dispersal.’ Ibid. Para 1.19. A training plan would be developed for the PDF which would increase the training activity profile and would place greater emphasis on collective training

[45] The Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) process was confined to those who volunteered to be retired from the Defence Forces, however the process also affected those left behind. This can be understood by the fact that similar to most redundancy packages those who are left behind can also perceive themselves as being devalued and with feelings of guilt and insecurity.

[46] NATO definition

[47] Defence Forces. Draft Doctrinal Manual - Operations. 1996.