Character Traits of Soldiers Though a whole list can be made of all of the physical traits that make up a strong soldier, the list of mental traits is perhaps more important. Three of the key traits that comprise a soldier: bravery, determination, and selflessness. These qualities are vital during wartime since soldiers need to be not only physically strong but also mentally strong. Mental strength is how soldiers get through wars. It is essential for soldiers to put all of their personal troubles aside in order for them to put everything they have into their mission to get their job done.
True acts of bravery are shown by soldiers every day, but one example of a courageous soldier is Tibor Rubin in “Feats of Valor”. After surviving the Holocaust, Rubin came to America to become a “G. I. Joe”. He strongly believed in fighting for America after they had contributed to ending the Holocaust. While fighting overseas during the Korean War, Tibor was asked by his commander to hold a post by himself while the rest of the troop escaped to a safer position.
No one, as well as Rubin, expected him to make it out alive.
Rubin did as he was told and completed his mission. He was fighting back so well that the enemy thought there was a whole troop of men fighting. The American troop successfully escaped, and Rubin returned a hero. Not just anyone can walk into a situation knowing that no one expects you to return. Tibor Rubin was awarded a medal of honor for his courageous acts. Another example of a brave soldier was George Olsen. Olsen fought in the Vietnam War in his early twenties. Even though Olsen was very young, only twenty-two, he demonstrated true acts of courage while overseas.
In “Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam”, he wrote, “You’re scared, really scared, but there is not thinking about it. ” Olsen understood that no matter how scared he was, he would have to do his job as a soldier. Everyone gets scared sometimes, but it takes true bravery to be able to work through it. Bravery is useless without the determination to carry on when the fight gets tough. In the movie U-571, a German is held prisoner after a group of American soldiers take over a German ship. The man lied to the crew to trick them into keeping him aboard.
He then sabotaged the ship and used Morse code to contact another German ship to give away the Americans location before he was killed. The fact that he never gave up on his cause and he gave his life in order to ruin the Americans’ mission is a true example of determination. Another man who was very determined was Sammy L. Davis in “Feats of Valor”. Davis served in the army during the Vietnam War. After being shot multiple times, having shards of metal penetrate his back, and breaking his ribs, he kept fighting.
Not only did he finish his mission but he also went back into the line of fire to save multiple men. Sammy knew that if he did not do his job that night then neither would the rest of his troop and they might not be here today. A soldier’s determination and will to carry out a mission is how battles are won. Above all, selflessness may be the most important character trait. Soldiers need to be able to put their home life and personal issues aside to complete their mission and fight for the cause.
Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, in “The Things They Carried”, was unable to separate his home life from his career as a soldier. Rather than focusing on his mission, he was only concerned with a woman named Martha back home. After one of Cross’s troop members was shot and killed, he could not help but feel he was responsible for it. Thankfully, after this incident Cross changed his way of thinking about the war and took his role as a soldier more seriously. This is an example of why selflessness is important during war. Soldiers are fighting for something bigger than themselves.
The smallest actions can affect the outcome of a war so every man’s actions counts. A soldier who lets his or her personal problems get in the way of their job can consequently end in a tragedy. In contrast to Lieutenant cross, Tibor Rubin was a very selfless man during the Korean War. Along with other American soldiers, Rubin was captured during this war. In order to keep himself and other captured soldiers from starving, he would sneak out at night and steal food from the gardens. Knowing he would be killed if he was caught did not stop him.
Because of Tibor Rubin’s selfless and resourceful acts, he is credited for having saved forty lives in the prisoner of war camp. Putting other men before oneself is a very admirable attribute and a sign of a true hero. Though there are many traits that make up an admirable soldier, the few mentioned here are by far the most important. Without men like these, our nation would not be as great as it is today. Fortunately, there are numerous amounts of these soldiers protecting and fighting for our country everyday.
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Character Traits of Soldiers. (2016, Oct 22). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/character-traits-of-soldiers/