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The Combat SoldierInfantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries$
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Anthony King

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658848.001.0001

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Battle Drills

Battle Drills

(p.208) 8 Battle Drills
The Combat Soldier

Anthony King

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins the discussion of the professional soldier, assessing the definitions of professionalism propounded by Huntington, Janowitz, and Moskos. It argues that in the professional force not only has infantry doctrine been refined so that specific actions at each point of an infantry assault are specified comprehensively but the professional soldier is also sufficiently well trained to execute these drills in practice. The chapter draws on interviews, observation of training, and recent published accounts of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the famous Gatigal ambush, to illustrate the inculcation and implementation of battle drills. The chapter concludes with a discussion of ‘close-quarters battle’, the most advanced urban combat techniques initially developed by Special Forces in the 1970s, to highlight contemporary developments in infantry drills.

Keywords:   scholarly definitions of military professionalism, infantry doctrine, the Gagital ambush, close-quarters battle, Royal Marines, special forces

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