Proposal + 5-thecommonblackhawk

Respect for Results

The United States Military is arguably the most lethal and effective organization in the world, capable of completing a wide variety of tasks. Those who serve require unique skills that can only be forged through complete mental and physical breakdown which is crucial to mold an effective soldier.This breakdown is hell, with an abundance of harsh treatment and belittlement, yet through this experience, some of the most confident and prideful people within the United States are conceived. From outside, it looks as though the recruit is beat down until all emotion is gone. Only a soldier can understand that this is not the reality. A recruit is beat down to an extent that only those with a strong will can survive. A world of hate and negativity motivates the recruit to build extesnive positive emotions about the future to get through the seemingly hopeless present.

1. A study that I have conducted

I would like to conduct a study of several soldiers who have gone through basic training to assess their thoughts on the experience. The study will ask questions about their stress level, thoughts about the situation, their personal ways of coping with the stress, what it was that got them through the high stress situation, how positive/negative their mindset was throughout their training period, and a few more .

2. Bornmann, J. W. (2009). Becoming soldiers: Army basic training and the negotiation of identity (Order No. 3349632). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304880565). Retrieved from

It is hard for outsiders to grasp the challenge recruits face while going through Basic Combat Training. So to be able to accurately study it, John W. Bornmann joined the United States Army to get firsthand experience as a recruit.  While being able to witness everything with his own eyes, common misconceptions about the military’s training programs were clarified.

3. Davis, T. W. (2006). Effects of stress, coping style, and confidence on basic combat training performance, discipline, and attrition (Order No. 3207963). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (304960885). Retrieved from

A general survey was conducted to help better understand how recruits cope with problems they face. Between high stress levels, coping mechanisms and anxiety, recruits feel a wide variety of emotion. Getting to the bottom of it is crucial to understanding how military training works

4. Hayden, Joanna. “Self-Efficacy Theory.” Introduction to Health Behavior Theory. Second ed. Burlington: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2014. 14-21. Print.

The theory of self-efficacy is explained as the belief of one’s own ability to successfully accomplish something”. “Efficacious people set challenging goals and maintain strong commitment to them.”

5. Personal Experience

I would like to use my experience as a soldier in the United States Army to explain how the psychological distress that I went through during Basic Combat Training brought actually brought out the positive mindset needed to graduate as a Soldier.

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14 Responses to Proposal + 5-thecommonblackhawk

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is VERY intriguing, BlackHawk. It’s not clear yet exactly what you’re arguing, but we can start working on that right away. I see lots of potential in this notion.

    A common misconception in today’s society is that when someone messes up, he needs to be reprimanded for it.

    First, I’d like to know what you mean by “messing up.” We get reprimanded for moral failings, for ethical violations, for mistakes of judgment, for simple incompetence, for accidents not of our own making. You’ll want to distinguish, I think, when corrections are appropriate and when they’re not. Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you think it’s never appropriate to reprimand. Either way, you’ll want to be specific.

    I am here to argue that counterintuitive approach and to prove that the opposite is actually true.

    Of course, once we know your specific claim, we’ll be in a better position to accept or reject that “the opposite is true.” Right now we can’t be sure.

    Avoiding belittlement, complaining, and reprimanding while instead praising the good that was done and talking through the mistakes is guaranteed to show better results.

    We’ll also want to know your position on types of reprimand and belittlement. For example, is the same true for private reprimand and for public? Are you calling specifically for a moratorium on public shaming? I ask partly out of curiosity, but also strategically. Claims you might want to prove about the performance of private corrections will be very hard to quantify and support. Penalties and judgments made in public will be easier to support with academic evidence.

    A major aspect of this argument is morale and how crucial it is to the work environment.

    You’re probably right, but do beware. Anecdotal evidence of higher work morale or productivity can be weak and not persuasive. You want to avoid unquantifiable reports of the sort that purport to demonstrate that “people in the sales force felt better about their company and worked harder when their successes were applauded than when their failures were critiqued in sales meetings.” Not very persuasive to readers.

    I will prove how reprimanding decreases morale, and decreased morale decreases work output while also explaining how to undo this whirlwind of unaccomplished goals.

    You might very well make this case, and I encourage you to do something of the sort, but it’s a tough proof.

    Your sources suggest a trend. Two academic sources link low morale or low productivity and depression. They sound promising but also possibly misleading. People can feel bad at work, or feel bad about work, or feel bad about the way they’re treated at work, without being clinically depressed. (They can even be clinically depressed and still feel good about work.) They may still be very useful sources, but they make me a little nervous.

    Mostly, I trust your instincts, BlackHawk. My constant questioning is a goad, a spur, a little poke to keep you alert to possibilities you might not have considered.

    Your reactions, please? I too like feedback.

  2. thecommonblackhawk says:

    This is great feedback sir! I appreciate it!

    A direction I wanted to take this in is that those who receive a steady stream of reprimands tend to form negative feelings towards the person reprimanding them due to the fact that they “can do nothing correct.” This seems especially prevalent when people are reprimanded for every mistake but little is said when something is done correctly under the logic of “well it’s their job, they should be doing it correct.” Negative feelings towards a boss or employer decreases morale in the work place because the worker feels either uncomfortable around their boss or just simply wants to spite them. With that, it is equally difficult to motivate an employee to want to help their boss out if they spite them. Without that drive to want to help their boss, there is no reason for them to perform at an above average rate (sometimes even an average rate) simply because most people do not go out of their way for those who treat them poorly. So an employer reprimanding their employee to get better results or to prevent poor results from reoccurring will actually do the opposite.

    I do not know how effective this will be, but I wanted to speak of a personal encounter. Once while at Chic-Fil-A, the line to order the food was out the door and the drive through wasn’t any better. While waiting in line, I could hear people cursing and becoming very impatient with the shorthanded staff. When it was finally my time to order, the cashier apologized for the wait explaining how they were shorthanded. I responded by explaining that I understand how difficult a stressful situation can be and that they were handling the swarm of (rude) people quite well so there was no need to apologize. I then carried on with my order with the basic manners most people use but when I went to pay, the cashier told me the food was on the house because the company likes to reward nice people . She then (genuinely) thanked me for making her day a little easier and then moved on to the next customer.

    That is where it hit me that Chic-Fil-A works on the same belief that I have. Arguably one of the best run fast-food chains in our area, it not only rewards its employees for good work but also its customers! The experience made my week and opened me up to a new way of thinking.

    When it comes to sources, I have a source to show how important relationships are while at the workplace and how poor relationships can lead to depression. More research on the topic is necessary, but what I want to show is that if reprimanding employees leads to poor relationships with their boss, and poor relationships lead to depression, depression could than lead to poor productivity which is the opposite of what the employer was trying to do.

    • davidbdale says:

      The very nature of academic writing demands a synthesis of your own understanding and life experiences with material and ideas you acquire through reading the work of others. So yes, your Chik-Fil-A anecdote is perfectly appropriate as a source. Use it just as you have here, as an indication of how a single exposure to a particular company’s behavior can offer insight into their corporate culture’s effectiveness. Don’t push it further than that.

      And do remain cautious about your use of the term depression. It has a specific though misunderstood clinical meaning and a more casual meaning. Mixing them up is perilous. The casual meaning in particular is very subjective, which will make proving any claims that depend on it difficult.

      Thank you very much for keeping the conversation going, BlackHawk. I want to be as much help as you’ll permit me.

      • thecommonblackhawk says:

        Awesome, I am glad I am able to incorporate personal experience!

        I appreciate the advice about the term depression. I will take a very serious look into how I can apply that point to my writing and if it seems to sketchy, I may look for another avenue of approach.

        Should I update this actual post or should I save the information here for our next submission?

  3. thecommonblackhawk says:

    Need to find 5 sources and complete purposeful summaries about them!

    • davidbdale says:

      Can’t wait to see them! 🙂

    • davidbdale says:

      Let me help with tone as indicated by your choice of voice and identity, BlackHawk.

      The United States Military is arguably the most lethal and effective organization in the world, capable of completing a wide variety of tasks. Those who serve require unique skills that can only be forged through complete mental and physical breakdown which is crucial to mold an effective soldier.

      So far, there is no observer, no author, no reader. We are all on the same page.

      Most would agree that this breakdown and reconstruction is the result of harsh treatment, belittlement, and negative psychology, but there may be more to the story.

      Here you make the first divide. The majority who see harshness, belittlement, and negativity, opposed by those who see: what is not clear; something else.

      Can it be true that some of the most confident and prideful people within the United States were spawned through negativity and deprecation?

      Yes, it might be true. But if it is true, that knowledgeable minority didn’t dispute the negativity and deprecation. You hinted that they did. Instead, they see the danger? brutality? harshness? of the system, but justify it by its outcome, so your original divide was a false one.

      While most assume that harsh treatment rids the recruit of emotion therefore strengthening them, a select few argue that an overflow of emotion is where strength is found.

      Here’s your actual majority/minority divide. EVERYBODY AGREES that the treatment is harsh, but the knowing minority understand the value of the psychological and emotional breakdown.

      This eye-opening claim could forever change how society views the service members of our country.

      And now you adopt a superiority attitude that might cost you most of your readers.

      Suppose instead you started from common ground and credited your reader with openness, receptivity, and a desire to know? You might begin:

      Boot camp is hell. It attacks the self-worth of vulnerable youth by isolating them from their customary support structures and overloading them with criticism and belittlement. It breaks them down, or most of them. Those who never break are the sort the service wants. Those who crumble under the negativity wash themselves out and don’t get their comrades killed. Either way, the service wins, and that serves us all.

      Notice I have not belittled the point of view of anyone at all. We can all agree that military training is brutal. You’re under no obligation to refute objections you never raise. If you can make a strong case for the value of the harsh training, do so strenuously, unapologetically.

      When a truly legitimate refutation arises in your research, meet it head-on. Match its evidence with your own. Demonstrate its weaknesses and let your readers see the strength of your logic.

      Questions? Feedback is a conversation.

      • thecommonblackhawk says:

        The difference between my opening and your example is as clear as day. I see exactly what you mean about belittlement and I definitely have some changes to make. I will get on it right now.

      • thecommonblackhawk says:

        I rewrote my introduction and I think that I improved it substantially but I want to make sure I did not put my foot in my mouth again.

  4. davidbdale says:

    I need a link for Source 4.
    For source 1, create yourself a shadow Citation.
    Title your Survey, credit yourself as Author, and indicate as the publisher. Create a post at this blog now that will be the publication you cite, and update is as you collect, organize, and analyze the data you gather.

  5. thecommonblackhawk says:


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