Friday, December 28, 2007

Promotion after death?

According to Marwan Hamadeh, the government has approved the promotion of soldiers who died in action, also known as 'martyrs'. Besides the obvious point that the term martyr shouldn't be used for people who are simply doing their jobs, it is interesting to note that it seems that when you die in the line of duty, you get promoted.

One wonders why this is, perhaps to ensure a higher pension for the surviving family members? Let there be no misunderstanding: they sure deserve every penny they get and more. It's just that I never heard of this. I wonder what the rules are for this, like what are the criteria for a soldier to die a martyr's death? Would accidents/incidents also be covered? And accidents outside combat, say, during training? Would you get a smaller promotion if you become handicapped or is the promotion only valid for those soldiers who died?

Granted, these are not the most pressing questions right now, it's just a strange motivational instrument to have you promoted once you die.


Super Dude said...
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Super Dude said...

I would argue, and would love to be proven inaccurate, the following:

Using the following definition of martyr, "One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle" makes you no less of a martyr if you are paid to do it.

The word martyr has a slightly broader meaning in the Arabic language AND Arab/Lebanese psyche.
Martyr in English, as defined AND indicated in your Wikipedia reference, is not necessarily the exact same thing as shahid (martyr), or istish-had (martyrdom).

Close but no cigar.

As for the other question about the promotions, I guess it all depends on the customs of the country and it's military.

How does it work in the Netherlands? Purple heart? A medal of some sorts?

Ultimately, recognition is the word, and intention.

edit to discuss second point

M Bashir said...
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M Bashir said...

perhaps to ensure a higher pension for the surviving family members?

this is the main reason for the promotion, and it is also the reason for granting them the title: martyrs. The families get special compensations because of this.

A martyr (shaheed) in most of our organizations, if not all, is simply s/he who loses her/his life in the line of duty. The reasons for this are many and can be discussed of course, but basically this is it.

Riemer Brouwer said...

@Super dude & M Bashir
Thanks for the clarification. As for the situation in the Netherlands, I don't know. Medals itself will not give you a higher pension, but I would like to think the Dutch army also compensates soldiers who die in action.