An essay on the identity of soldiers.


The action and environment of war, and the emotional impact of combat and death on soldiers at war, result in the formation of the soldier’s identity. Some elements are common to all soldiers; some are idiosyncratic (peculiar) to individual soldiers.

From O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” the excerpt from Marlantes’ Matterhorn, and at least three of the poems, construct the soldier’s identity. Include O’Brien’s important insight into why soldiers fight. Find appropriate scholarly and popular-sourced articles about soldiers’ identities and/or the long term effect of war on vets (such as PTSD), or use the articles by Moran, McGirk, and Press, and include the ideas in your paper. Make sure to cite the articles properly. Remember: you must construct “the soldier’s identity.” That might mean a composite: some-time warrior and some-time next door neighbor.

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