Our Generation?

After exploring Generation Kill, I wonder if it really does represent our generation (or “the greatest generation”) as Wright claims that it does. When watching the miniseries and reading the book, I couldn’t help but wonder if this generation is significantly different from past ones. While there were more glorified portrayals of soldiers from World War II or Vietnam, I cannot imagine that they were any less crass than the soldiers of First Recon in reality. I would guess that they had similar humor and repetoire within the troops, it was just never shown. They were just as sexually deprived, homophobic, and ready to kill. I realized through Generation Kill that there is a certain attitude that soldiers must develop to fight a war. I feel that Generation Kill is really about that attitude and how different people react to it. I believe, however, that past generations had to adapt in the same way in order to fight.

I do see how our generation is different in terms of technology and media influence. Sure, no one in World War II compared the war to a video game or Black Hawk Down. Yet, while in Iraq, the soldiers are completely detached from the technology that defines our generation. There are no cell phones, computers, or ipods. The only prevalent technology is the video camera, which does turn out to play a big role in the series. Yet, is this enough to really distinguish generation kill from past generations? While I think the miniseries and novel are interesting, I feel that they are flawed in attempting to portray a new generation. Really, this generation’s wartime attitudes are not drastically different from those of the soldiers in the past.

One response to “Our Generation?

  1. While I agree what we must obviate the bifurcation between past soldiers and our present soldiers, I contend that the current marine organization is inundated with technological innovation. In fact most innovations that are brought into the public market are created and tested in the private sphere. The military has created a military industrial complex that pervades foreign, domestic, private, and public spheres.