‘Warfighter’ Is The Wrong Way To Define The American Service Member | Task & Purpose

Using the term “warfighter” destroys our capacity for reason at a time when it’s desperately needed.

Sometime in the mid 2000s, a strange new word started to get popular: “warfighter.” It catapulted out of obscurity from the military, quickly becoming the de facto label for all active-duty and reserve personnel. This word is seriously misleading; it presents the exact opposite of military reality at a time when Americans need to be questioning our role in global security more than ever before.

via ‘Warfighter’ Is The Wrong Way To Define The American Service Member | Task & Purpose.

The rest of his post is something of a rant, and not really worth reading.

But he does have a point. Warfighter is one of those terms that has become overly used, and overly broad in its definition.

When it first entered the military lexicon sometime in the 1990s, it was clearly meant to distinguish between those actually engaged in combat, and the (still critical) enabling forces that helped make successful combat possible. Warfighter was a handy term in that it could encompass more than one arm or service. For instance, while the Army is organized along the combat arms, combat support, and combat service support, the other branches are a little less structured. But the term could clearly delineate those who support  and enable, and those who actually delivered pain upon the enemy.

Sadly, like most jargon, it soon devolved into a buzzword that every program and powerpoint presentation had to use. And when a word comes to mean everything, it ceases to mean anything.

2 thoughts on “‘Warfighter’ Is The Wrong Way To Define The American Service Member | Task & Purpose”

  1. Much like the earlier version of it, which had “green tab” leaders versus just the regular folks….

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