Thursday, 26 December 2013

Camaraderie - Brothers in Arms

Photo by Jayel Aheram.


Noun. Mid-19th century.
[French, from camarade COMRADE: see -ERY.]

The mutual trust and sociability of comrades.

Uniformed services, such as the military, police and fire service, often have a special camaraderie that is impossible for outsiders to properly understand. In deployment or action, that camaraderie manifests itself in bonding to face a common enemy; even at peace, a unit can enjoy the camaraderie of working against, or working despite of, their ignorant and incompetent superiors. Much is done to foster such mutual trust, from the uniforms and special insignia they wear, inculcation of pride in their unit's shared history, to extra-occupational activities such as having their own sports teams (which themselves have a special brand of camaraderie). Such camaraderie can be a two-edged sword, however, as while it is known to prompt great acts of valour and heroism on behalf of the respective service, misguided or manipulated camaraderie can also cause members of a unit to ignore, cover up or participate in bullying, corruption and even crimes against humanity.

45 Sqn RAF, Football team, RAF Tengah, Singapore. 1950-51 Season
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  1. My Dad fought in WW2. He always spoke of his friends from those days with a special reverence and longing. Camaraderie. In the best sense of the word.

    1. Despite the horrors of war, Beth, whenever you speak to former soldiers like that, there is something special, some connection in their camaraderie, that is never replaced.

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