EQI.org Home | 911 | Peace

Emotionally Intelligent Soldiers
S. Hein

In 2006 I decided to start this new page to bring together all my writing on this.

By the way, the first time I thought of this term was when Daniel Goelman's assistant asked if I had any questions for Goleman. I asked how he would define an emotionally intelligent soldier. Not surprisingly, he didn't address my question.

Steve Hein

Recent updates -

Atheist / Flying Spaghetti Monster as religious preference

Noah Pierce Suicide

“It sounds like you guys in the states are for the war. All the soldiers I know including me think it is a bunch of bullshit. We came in and invaded this country and murdered a lot of innocent people. So tell me how we are heros.” Noah Pierce

Positve Psychology is Killing Me, Daniel Somers Suicide

Recent Items:

Howard Zinn - Howard is someone who I would call an emotionally intelligent former soldier. He was a pilot woring for the American government in the second world war and bombed many places, killing many people. He later became a strong peace advocate. He is best known for his book The People's History of the United States.

Here is one video clip of him talking about the military records of presidents.

Writing by Lorraine Day

Smedley Butler


Note from Steve: Please learn about Brandon Neely if you don't know him already. I have the highest respect and admiration for him. Here is one video and article. Please also watch his own two statements on his video channel.

(When I made a short entry on him, I hadn't seen him speak or learned much about him..)

A possible definition of a successful military leader

The difference between the emotionally intelligent soldier and former soldier

Conscience or Obedience to Authority?

Emotional Intelligence of Nations

Ron Ridenhour

Hugh Thompson and Brian Wizard | Brandon Neely Terry Holdbrooks - former guard at guantanamo

American Vietnam War Veteran Oppses US Military

No Holding Hands

Emotionally Enlightened Soldier

EI, War, Peace

The Guilt Free Soldier

Google Search Results

Core Components of EQI.org

Respect | Empathy
Caring | Listening

Other EQI.org Topics:

Emotional Literacy
Invalidation | Hugs
Emotional Abuse |
Feeling Words
Depression |Education
Emotional Intelligence
Parenting | Personal Growth

Search EQI.org | Support EQI.org

EQI.org Library and Bookstore

This page was created March 27, 2006 in Salta, Argentina by S. Hein  
A possible definition of a successful military leader . S. Hein

Here is something I wrote today when I was writing about sports, schools and soldier preparation:

Maybe a "successful" military leader is actually one who leads his troops away from a battlefield and opens up an international institute on non-violent conflict resolution and "successfully" invites the enemy to participate in his workshops, and then persuades them to give up fighting and killing forever.

Another teen tells me she doesn't like sports - S. Hein

Here is part of an email I got from another sensitive teenager.

Recv'd March 27, 2006

i dont like sports, i never have

With all the pressure to perform in not only academics but sports, combined with emotionally unsupportive parents, these are the kinds of teens who self-harm. I firmly believe they are the among the most innately emotionally intelligent among us. They simply are not valued for their gifts in our competitive, violent world. They don't fit in. They are not understood. They feel alone.

I feel somewhat encouraged that with the Internet they can now begin to meet each other and find out that there are other intelligent, sensitive people who don't like violence and who care about others so they will feel less alone and less suicidal. I hope that they will be able to form friendships and support groups and eventually make a positive difference in the world as adults.

I am putting this under the emotionally intelligent soldier page because I want to show the link between the sports/competition mentality and the war mentality. I want to highlight that truly emotionally intelligent people, who have lived in emotionally supportive and validating environments, would be opposed to war and would work to stop it, not participate in it. Therefore the emotionally intelligent soldier cannot exist. If he or she found himself in the military, they would leave at the first opportunity. If all humans followed this model, there would be no one left to fight the wars that the government leaders talk the people into

The difference between the emotionally intelligent soldier and former soldier

As I was writing editorial 62, I said something about the different kinds of education. This led me to start thinking about the difference between what we might call an emotionally intelligent soldier and an emotionally intelligent former soldier.

I would say that the emotionally intelligent soldier cannot exist. It is a contradiction in terms. Yet a person who is emotionally intelligent and then leaves the military and tries to prevent wars could be called an emotionally intelligent former soldier.

To summarize we might say that some people might say that an emotionally intelligent solider is successful at winning wars, but I would say that an emotionally intelligent former soldier is successful in preventing them.

Steve Hein
March 28, 2006
Salta, Argentina

Cutting grass with a pocket knife

A friend told me when he was in the Bulgarian army they ordered the new trainess to cut grass with a pocket knife. This evidently was to help teach them to be obedient, no matter how they felt about the command. Of course, they would be punished if they disobeyed.

In the recent past, all men in Bulgaria had to "serve" in the army. (It might be more accurate to say had to "obey" in the army.) Since my friend was a university student he had to obey army commanders for six months rather than a year.

How would an emotionally intelligent person respond to this at the time and then once they were no longer afraid of disobeying?

S. Hein
Feb 4, 2008
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

In my editorial number 62 I said "I am really just waiting now to see how many people will claim that emotional intelligence also helps someone be a better soldier." Well, I found this article about emotional intelligence that says just that.

I will be posting my comments about it later...

Emotional Intelligence - Implications for All United States Air Force Leaders


Emotional Intelligence of Nations

Posted by Lorelei Kelly

March 18, 2005

Remember Emotional Intelligence? Ten years ago, Dan Goleman's bestseller shifted our thinking about effective leadership. His book declared that a high IQ is only part of the picture, and that understanding and relating well with others is often more important than run of the mill smarts because self-awareness and the ability to build lasting meaningful relationships are fundamental keys to success.

Apparently nobody in the Bush Administration read the book.  By nominating  John Bolton for Ambassador to the UN and Paul Wolfowitz to head the World Bank, the administration has signaled round two of "talk to the hand" policy making.

Both men are indeed smart and understand the need for international cooperation. Bolton was behind the innovative Proliferation Security Initiative and Wolfowitz was by all accounts a knowledgeable and effective Ambassador to Indonesia.  But these attributes do not make up for the diplomatic failure--on the whole--of this administration. This is made evident by their tendency to view the world as one of Darwinian self-help. As a British friend put it to me  "America seems to see itself AS the scheme of things rather than IN the scheme of things."   A sure sign of low emotional intelligence.

International attitudes bear this out.  A 2003 Global Scan poll of 19 countries found that when asked if the US had a positive influence on the world, only 37% of respondents agreed. Distressingly, 55% disagreed.  Pre-emptive war, championed by Wolfowitz in Iraq and the regular dissing of the UN by Bolton have taken their toll on our prestige. Sure, only a small number of individuals beyond our borders have both the hatred and the sophistication to harm us, but it really doesn't help matters when nearly the entire population of Germany is repelled by our leadership.

The actual impact or "blowback" of these negative attitudes on the United States is difficult to measure.  But security in the age of globalization demands that we begin to appreciate the importance of such intangibles to our own well-being.  The United States, in its short history, has set the gold standard for problem-solving, cooperation and  mutually beneficial relationships.  It has taken only four years for that legacy to become frayed and fragile. We're slowly losing one of our most powerful tools of national interest: being exemplary.

It is unlikely that the rest of the world will forgive and forget easily. Collective amnesia aside, Bolton and Wolfowitz threaten to make our situation worse.

from democracyarsenal.org/2005/03/emotional_intel.html

Below is part of a thread which has a comment saying:

"Being an emotionally intelligent soldier is a contradiction in terms..."

Being an emotionally intelligent soldier is a contradiction in terms, and we could talk about emotionally-enlightened soldiers, but Google didn't find any on January 31, 2008. Maybe the CIA is looking for some of them with satellite technology, though the optic resolution probably isn't sharp enough yet.

I am aware of theory written in the past; Leaders and Battles: The Art of Military Leadership, Lt. Col. William Wood, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA was a treatise on the Six Dynamic Factors of Leadership in a Combative Setting. I'm familiar with Nideffer's work on the four types of attention. I've sampled the literature on situation awareness and tactical decision-making under stress, and I understand something of the interplay between 1) uncertainty, 2) time, 3) space, 4) force, 5) the psyche of the self, and 6) the psyche of the opponent, or the concept of dynamic situational awareness in four dimensions. I've dipped my toe into the waters of 4GW and 5GW, and have twice attended lectures by a performance enhancement instructor then employed at West Point. There was an effort in the past to teach soldiers about awareness disciplines by one of the nation's foremost performance psychologists, but I don't think the Pentagon liked what was being taught.

I would also want our soldiers to have wisdom.

"To recognize the flow of energy between ourselves and another person or event is the wisdom known in Japanese as zanshin. Mitsugi Saotome, in Aikido and the Harmony of Nature (Shambhala, Boston, 1993), tells us that zanshin is the ability to extend our energy outward, to blend flexibly and fluidly with the energies around us to create harmony. Ma-ai is the distance in time and space between two people, two events, or two energies. Fluid and flexible movement relies on the interval between an action and a response, between one person's energy and another's. When we are in touch with ma-ai, the larger pattern, we know when to move, when to pause, and when to blend. There are rhythms of ma-ai throughout our daily lives, and in the differences between society and solitude, between action and contemplation, in pacing and momentum, in knowing when enough is enough."


Google Search Results - April 26, 2010

These results say a lot for themselves:


4 Results for "emotionally intelligent soldiers".



3,160 Results for "intelligent soldiers"



222,000 Results for "christian soldiers"



274,000 Results for "dead soldiers".

Note: The fact that people around the world are not using the term "emotionally intelligent soldier" says a lot. It strongly implies that people just "know" that it is contradictory and simply doesn't make sense. This is encouraging. What would be more encouraging is if there were such a low number of results for "Christian soldiers." This seems to be another contradiction in terms.

Smedley Butler

Here is part of a speech made by Butler, a former American soldier:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

From the wikipedia page on him






My original writing about an emotionally intelligent soldier - ei_ed26.htm

Editorial about schools, sports, soldiers and emotional intelligence ei_ed61.htm

Another teen tells me she doesn't like sports

US Marine Throws Puppy Off Cliff puppy.htm