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Dan Crossy

Posts : 147
Join date : 2009-07-16
Age : 36
Location : United Kingdom

PostSubject: Clan Ethos   Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:58 am

Ethos - Why Bother?

There is much written about ethos and it is often wrongly conceived. However, far from being complex, ethos is actually straightforward; defined simply it is what a group does and how it does it. The ethos of the 359 refers to our role and the way we fulfil it. Since Socom 1, we have developed a specific function as a commando and amphibious force, undertaking operations in harsh environments be they mountain, jungle, cold weather or desert. This difficult and unique task requires certain personal characteristics, which are nurtured at the Training Centre during training and then maintained and developed during our subsequent service. It is because of these individual qualities that we are able to fulfil our collective role successfully; combined, these two key elements form our ethos. This post seeks to lay out what we mean by ethos and what sets us apart as a Clan.

359 History and the Clan Role

The Green Beret:
Whilst ethos is what we do and how we do it, it draws upon historical tradition. Clan history since 2002 gives us an identity, a collective pride and a host of great ‘dits’, not to mention countless victories! Our symbol of the Globe and Laurel remains appropriate because, like our forebears, we must be prepared to fight and win, on any console. The difference now is the way we fight – the Clan role – exemplified by the Commando dagger that is now our formation flash.

The Clan Spirit:
The four elements of Clan Spirit; courage, determination, unselfishness, and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, are well known to all recruits by the time they complete Clan training. But these constituents of the ‘Clan Spirit’ are what make us individual ‘359ers’. What shapes the way we then work as a team, giving 359 its special identity, the way we carry out our duties, is a second set of group values laid out below. They should seem quite familiar. It is the combination of individual Clan Spirit qualities, coupled with these group values, that together forms our Clan ethos.

359 Clan Ethos = Individual Clan Spirit + Collective Group Values

  • Courage
    Professional Standards
    Clan Humour
    Collective Values

There is a unity within the Clan that crosses all ranks and is unique to our organisation, and its outward sign is the Green Beret. Unity is bred into recruits and young officers at the Training Centre by the proximity of their training together and by the shared hardship of the Training Course; both not only share the same training and the same hardships but they see each other doing so. Unlike some other clan training courses, Clan training stresses the importance of the team. Different ranks, a variety of jobs, but the overriding factor is the unity we share because we all wear the Green Beret.

Unity and solidarity across the ranks allows the Clan to be adaptable; open to information and opinion from every available angle and able to adapt to this new knowledge. The Clan role demands an ability to adapt at short notice and to respond to new developments. An important principle during training is constant uncertainty, which breeds an ability to innovate and improvise and must be second nature to all members of 359 Assault Squadron. This ability to respond to ever changing situations was put to great effect time and time again at the tactical level during our time as a clan.

359 ASC is a Clan that is sometimes criticised for its understated approach. This is not just false modesty; arrogant clans believe they have little to learn from others, and arrogance leads to inflexibility and rigidity. In order to adapt and innovate it is essential that the Corps, while proud of its standards, remains sufficiently self critical – humble enough – to recognise and adopt the good practices of other clans. Humility also contributes to the essential bond between all ranks and on operations allows us to work with considerable success, from our clan matchs, to our friendlys.

Professional Standards
The three group values so far are shared by many other non-military clans; it is these, coupled with an adherence to the highest professional standards as gamers that ensures the success of 359 ASC as a clan. The environment in which clan members operate is complex, dangerous and uncertain, and successful action in this sphere requires the highest professional standards. In response to the unforeseen on operations, we must automatically fall back on the same core skills, knowing that our ‘oppos’ will be doing the same. Training, both at the Training Centre and thereafter, is intended to develop common procedures, which will be instantly and collectively followed. Professional standards generate an individual and collective response to any situation. 359 training standards guarantee a level of professionalism that contributes to operational success. Every man is 359 trained; every man is guaranteed to react, perform and deliver to a level that can be relied upon by his comrades and his superiors. It is only by the fierce adherence to the 359's professional standards that we will retain our operational utility as a Clan.

It is fortitude that underpins achievement, it will not, by itself, guarantee it. Our physical abilities must not be directed in one particular direction, we must be good ‘all rounders. We have to be as comfortable operating on all game types. It boils down to fortitude; an ability to carry on no matter what the conditions. Clan training is all about enduring. It is the mental stamina to continue, when everything is telling you its over.

Clan Humour
Ice Breaking matchs How better to ‘endure’ than with humour? One of the four individual Clan Spirit characteristics, cheerfulness in the face of adversity is made possible only by humour, which although apparently superfluous to operational effectiveness is actually fundamental to the way we operate within the Clan. A sense of humour allows ‘Royal’ to come to terms with demanding situations, whether it be the physical hardship or the fear and uncertainty of matchs. We have our own particular humour; no matter how grim the situation we manage to see the funny side. If an ‘oppo’ is injured we’ll immediately give help and assistance, but we’ll also be inclined to offer gentle ridicule rather than sympathy! This sort of humour can seem incomprehensible to an outsider but to us it is second nature; we’d expect nothing else! Our unique clan humour allows us not only to endure hardship, but actually to enjoy enduring!

Sustaining Ethos – ‘Dit’ Culture
Telling stories or ‘spinning dits’, so fundamental to life in the Clan, has become an important way of sustaining our ethos. 359 have a dit for every occasion and a good dit is precisely the one, which correctly reflects ‘Royal’s’ understanding of himself. Dits about operational experiences are also used to great effect during all stages of training, but particularly by the recruit troop instructors at the Training Centre where the currency of recent operational experience is invaluable. Dits are a crucial means by which members of 359 maintain their history, communicate to each other knowledge and skills, but most importantly the attitudes so necessary to the performance of our role.

Threats to Ethos
So that’s ethos, not quite so abstract after all. But ethos needs to be maintained and we must guard against those things that threaten it. We must beware of arrogance, of contempt for others, of a belief that we are special simply because of what we are. We are special because of what we do and the way that we do it, not what we are – that is our ethos, and we must guard it fiercely.


Clan Number: 45581994
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