Excerpt from The British Army From Within
At the best, there is much in the work that a soldier is called on to do which is beyond his under standing, in the first years of his service. One consequence of this is that he learns to do things without questioning their meaning, ... and thus acquires a habit of obeying; this, up to a few years ago, was the object of military training to instil into the soldier unquestioning Obedience to orders, and the sentence obedience is the first duty of the soldier, gained currency and labelled the soldier as a mere cog in a great machine, one whose duty lay in obeying as did that Roman sentinel at Pompeii. One of the chief lessons of the South African war, however, was that such obedience was no longer the first duty of the soldier he must obey, no less than before, but scientific warfare demands an understanding obedience, and not the unquestioning, die-at-his post fidelity of old time. The recruit 'of to-day must be taught not only to obey, but to understand, and by that fact the work of his instructors, and his own work as well, are largely increased. Obedience was the watchword of yesterday. Obedience and initiative is the phrase of to-day.
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