The Male Warrior
by Andy Joppa
I wrote extensively on my Vietnam experience, especially the first night of the TET offensive in1968. Those became the defining hours of my life. My writing focused on my stark terror, believing as we all did, that two NVA (North Vietnamese Army) divisions were marching toward our poorly defended air base at Binh Thuy. We were told that the NVA had just over run the Can Tho Army Airfield. Our inadequately armed, and limited numbered troops, were sent to the outer perimeter to try to do what we could to stop the pending assault on our base…BUT…we all thought we were going to die. No…we all knew we were going to die. I had been in contact by radio with Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa and I could hear small arms fire hitting their radio station. I was told we were basically on our own.
Here is an extract from a much longer piece that I will use here for a specific purpose:
“Several hours later, while still lying in the elephant grass on my side of the road, an unpredictable and baffling thing occurred. It felt like a curtain was being pulled open and something was straightening out the crooked and distorted pathways of my mind. Beyond my volition I was changing. I didn’t will it, nor did I participate in it. It was of me but happening without me. It was a physical process…I felt it unfolding, but it was so unique I had no way of interpreting what was going on…then, I waited. In a relatively short space of time (it might have been longer) I knew that the, “I” that I knew was different.
The most profound thing that I could identify was that I was no longer afraid. I wasn’t overwhelmed by what lay just ahead. Perhaps not being afraid is not quite correct. It felt more like I just didn’t care. I was oblivious. It didn’t matter. My personal need to live no longer existed. I tried to find my terror, but it wasn’t there. I almost lived out the cliché…I looked to my right and saw one of my buddies in the crazy yellow light thrown by parachute flares about twenty-five yards down the road and then to my left and there was another “troop” who made up my entire existence. I lived for the man to my right and the man to my left. They were my family… I loved them and what they meant to me….and now I finally felt something…my commitment to them was absolute.”
“Before this I could never understand how men were able to deal with those environments. I now thought I understood… men were designed to deal with them. It’s part of our human nature. We could debate forever whether that’s a good thing. The debate about its existence, however, is over. My “design” had wiped out my fear and replaced it with something that was beyond heroism. Something that is inherent in the word “warrior.” My fear was replaced with a willingness to fulfill a defense of my “village” independently of the potential of the loss of my own life.”
As you can surmise, that attack never happened. That, in itself, is another long story. If it had happened, I wouldn’t be writing now. But the sun came up, and I returned to being a “normal” troop. However, for a few long hours I was a warrior. I’ve never forgotten what that felt like. I still can invoke remnants of that warrior when my current life demands. I hope I never lose that part of me.
My original writing concluded with these words…
“Once the ‘warrior’ left, many were embarrassed to describe what they became. Not because it made them less, but because it made them so much more. I have spent over 50 years evaluating my modest experience. I hoped that it offered former warriors some closure as to what they experienced and why they acted with such incredible commitment to do what those they loved asked them to do.”
Why write about this now? I believe in 2021 there is a profound need to understand the role of the combat warrior and the requirements needed to fulfill that role successfully. Toward the effective fulfillment of that action I would make the case that there is a genetic, in born capacity, that enables the warrior to do what must be done. It is a capacity that is activated only in the moment when it is needed to accomplish the, often, very violent end result.
Derived from the above, I will offer a controversial statement (only controversial in 2021 America). What I’ve described is a male genetic characteristic. While it is normal in men, it is extremely rare, and cannot be anticipated, in women combat troops. This comment doesn’t insult women and it is certainly not its intent. Women have a far greater capacity for the nurturing of the young. While men are capable of nurturing, in general, this is a genetic attribute of women.
Over the thousands of years of human evolution, the successful male defended the village and the successful female defended the lives inside that village. If they were successful, these became characteristics that allowed for evolutionary markings in the design of both men and women. To sum up this point…Only men should be field combat troops because they are genetically designed to be field combat troops. Women (in general) cannot function as successfully in that role as they can never achieve the mental oblivion that makes the most violent and life-threatening circumstances “acceptable.”
The larger size of the male puts additional emphasis on this point. Larger males, in hand to hand combat exchanges with an enemy, and presuming equal skills, the larger male would win and live to reproduce. Females had no compelling need for size for evolutionary success. Women also increased the evolutionary size of the male by choosing as a mate, the larger male, who they thought would be the most able warrior. That most able warrior often became the chief of the tribe and reproduced in greater numbers than others. The successful nurturing female helped ensure these offspring would live. The large warrior male became the dominant male and the nurturing female the dominant female.
This was the success formula through thousands of years of human history. My conclusion…and you’ll only read it here because it has basically become a “forbidden thought”…women can serve in many military roles but the role of the combat troop, where direct interaction with an enemy can be anticipated, in a life threatening circumstance…must be left to the male warriors. Only males are designed, by evolution, to fulfill this role.
We live in a culture that is totally ignoring the innate attributes of men and women. In fact, we have rejected science, especially evolutionary biology, and attempted to create a world where there are no differences between the sexes…or that the “sexes” even exist. Most of us know, because we’re rational, that this concept is demonstrably absurd. This has deeply affected the U.S. military where the erasing of any sexual identities is being carried to extreme applications.
Nowhere is this more apparent, and dangerous, than in the area of the field combat troop. It is my worry, that should we enter into a traditional warfare environment, with life immediately on the line, and survival dubious, that female combat troops will not have the genetic capacity to do what they must do for their own safety, the safety of the soldiers to their left and their right and…the very success of the mission.
The dilemma is…you won’t know the problem exists till it’s too late to do anything about it. This is something that must be understood and acted on before the fact. If not, we may pay a high price in American lives because of our absurd commitment to political correctness.
NOTE: To compliment and expand my theme I would recommend reading in American Thinker (April 11, 2021):
“The high school girls continue to be in charge of the military,” by Andrea Widburg