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Recommended military procedure when dealing with seriously injured/ill group member

Discussion in 'Research' started by Amanita, May 21, 2015.

  1. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    I've seen a few people on here mention that they've been members of the military so I'd like to ask your help. US or some western country would both work, it's a modern setting.

    At the moment, my story has reached a situation where three people have escaped a hostage situation in a civil war zone: A soldier who has been on an observer mission, a male aid worker from his country and a young woman. She is from a country the others are on relatively bad terms with but they grew close during their captivity and she saved them once during the cause of their escape. At the point where I'm now, she's also seriously ill (non-contagious) and would definitely hinder the group. Without competent help, her death is a likely outcome and it's unlikely that they find such help.
    Would the soldier feel obliged/be expected to save her despite of this or would he leave her behind to improve his own and his country man's chances?
  2. Russ

    Russ Istar

    Many of the better western units and soldiers have firstly a belief in their ability to achieve goals against high odds, as well as a tradition of leaving no one behind.

    My gut reaction is to say they make the effort to save her. Especially since it does not sound like it would compromise a specific mission.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
    Amanita likes this.
  3. His only obligation would be his own personal obligation. I doubt the military would Court Martial him if he didn't save the girl, but his conscience certainly would. Especially if he believes in the ideals Russ mentioned above.
    Amanita likes this.
  4. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

    I'd say it depends more on the character as a person than it does as a soldier.

    Russ is correct that the U.S. Military preaches "Leave no one behind." As a Marine for 7 years, I understood that concept as a staple across the services, regardless of branch. That's why our services run rescue ops for downed pilots. Those missions are exceedingly dangerous for everyone, but servicemen and women volunteer for those units to such a high degree that there is fearsome competition for selection.

    The difference here is that your third character is not a fellow serviceman, nor are they a fellow countryman. However, that doesn't mean that the camaraderie developed in captivity wouldn't impose powerful feelings of obligation on the other two.

    In short, it depends on the psychological makeup of your characters & how you present them in your story. A character could just as easily be an "I don't owe you shit" type, or the "We all make it or no one does" type.

    All depends on your execution. If you want to make that pull stronger in your servicemen, have him be a member of one of those special units that volunteer for extremely hazardous duty. There's a certain kind of individual who is successful in that selfless role. Make it a part of who he is.....
    Reaver and Amanita like this.
  5. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    Thank you.
    This has been really helpful.
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    Semper Fi brother!!!
    T.Allen.Smith likes this.

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