|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
differently. While concepts of masculinity and patriotism are not wholly irrelevant, the combat performance of professional soldiers is based primarily on drills which are inculcated through intense training regimes. Consequently, the infantry platoon has become a highly skilled team capable of collective virtuosity in combat. The increasing importance of training, competence, and drills to the professional infantry soldier has not only changed the character of cohesion in the twenty-first century platoon, but it has also allowed for a wider social membership of this group. Soldiers are no longer included or excluded into the platoon on the basis of their skin colour, ethnicity, social background, sexuality, or even sex (women are increasingly being included in the infantry) but their professional competence alone: can they do the job? In this way, the book traces a profound transformation in the western way of warfare to shed light on wider processes of change not only in the armed
forces but in civilian society as well. This book is a project of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War.