12 March 2009

Stormtrooper Fever

Greg in Mexico noted in a reply that American troops are increasingly looking like Imperial Stormtroopers from Star Wars.  It's a point not lost on me since, well, I live my life in Star Wars half the time.  Yes, you're looking at a person who adds "lock S-foils in attack position" in the before take-off check just for fun.

With our modern-day Soldiers wearing massive body armour kits which include throat, shoulder and groin protectors, as well as knee pads, elbow pads, helmets, night-vision goggles and the mandatory eye protection, they can look inhuman to the population of some Third World Countries.  Indeed, policing the streets of desert countries in this kit, one can certainly see the resemblance to Star Wars:  Episode IV where Imperial Stormtroopers can be seen walking through the streets of Mos Eisley, policing the population, looking for droids, stopping that ship and blasting them in Docking Bay 94...you get that picture.  

One of the key things to learn when dealing with either media interviews or with conferences with the local population is to take off the armour, the helmet and especially the sunglasses.  One of the reasons many people in power (think State Troopers) will wear sunglasses is to create a sense of intimidation--it's intimidating to not see a person's eyes when they're looking at you.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout out and may the Force be with you!

Taking off the Ray Bans is a detail that, like that video says, can make a huge difference. Another thing often overlooked by Americans (esp in Latin America) is greeting others properly. Taking a moment to greet someone establishes the relationship and if you don't greet then the other person is offended. I have to constantly apologize to the Mexicans when Americans come here and don't greet.

And how many youtube videos have I seen where U.S. soldiers touch Iraqis with their LEFT HANDS! Don't they instruct you guys in cultural basics before you deploy???! :-X

Greg in Mexico