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“The Warrior Ethos” by Steven Pressfield

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The book “The Warrior Ethos” written by Steven Pressfield is about what it means to be a warrior, in the present time, and also in ancient times. In the book it gives many examples such as the ancient Spartans as well as modern day war fighters such as the Marines. It also discusses the differences and similarities as to what the warrior ethos actually means to the individual, as well as to the unit. The author breaks the book into three parts, academies of war, the external war, and finally the last part, inner wars. These three parts essentially start from the ground and work their way up. The academies of war is basically giving examples of real stories where military members showed the meaning of the warrior ethos.

For example, Pressfield brings up that in ancient Greek times, when King Leonidas chose the three hundred Spartan warriors to march on Thermopylae based on their wives and mothers. He knew they were going to die and he chose the warriors based on how their families would react to the war effort. Positive reactions from the families of the fallen soldiers creates a positive reaction in the populous. The second part, the external war, is exactly that. How we implement the warrior ethos in an actual battle. The author elaborates on how militaries that are born and raised in harsh environments tend to thrive when they go to battle somewhere else that is less demanding of them. He also discusses how battles and struggles bring soldiers closer and create a brotherhood that is like none other, in the sense that they will die for each other without hesitation.

The third and final part, inner wars, is about what the warrior ethos means to each individual, and how it is almost always the same for each person. At first mentions that as warriors, we must always been mindful of consequences, because unlike civilians, consequences are very real in our world.And in turn, we must temper our “brute aggression” with self-restraint. I quote, “When an action is unjust, the warrior must not take it.”. To finish the book, he finally says, “The hardest thing in the world is to be ourselves.” And I think that is a very essential part of the warrior ethos. Being true to yourself. If we can’t be true to ourselves and be comfortable with being honest with ourselves, how can we truly be there for those around us. Simply put, if you cannot count on yourself, no one can count on you. All in all, the warrior ethos is about being there for those around you, and keeping your honor clean, no matter what.

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