It is interesting to see the observation that both David Simon and Nancy Franklin make of the unification of the soldiers into one ‘nameless, faceless’ pact. Evan Wright also makes note of this a couple of times in the book, like on page 24, where he states that
What unites them is the almost reckless desire to test themselves in the most extreme circumstances,in many respects the life they have chosen is a complete rejection of the hyped, consumerist American dream as it is dished out…Instead of celebrating their individualism, they’ve subjugated theirs to the collective will of an institution. Their highest aspiration is self-sacrifice over self—preservation.
And again on page 26, where he makes note of Reyes words when he says that “You are lucky to be here brother. We are the baddest most tight-knit niggas in the battalion”. Simon notes it in his interview with Richard Beck that
“It’s the same reason that soldiers fought in the trenches at Petersburg or Gettysburg or Roman centurions fought on the Rhine. You fought for the guy next to you. You fight for the camaraderie. You are the warrior elite, and it comes down to not embarrassing yourself and asserting for your unit and asserting for the guys who have your back”
It’s as if these men used this notion of a ‘tight-knit’ pact to create as sense of security. I would think that going to a war, a war that you are not even sure what is over, would get you a bit scared, and forming that pact I’m sure is a good sense of security. It could also be viewed as the governmental institutionalization of the soldiers, into one ‘nameless faceless’ mass of a killing machine. The articles by both Beck and Franklin make a lot of reference to The Wire, which we know mostly tackled issues of failed governmental institutions, and maybe that’s what the implication that these writers above, as well Simon are trying to say about the war and the soldiers