Courage in an age of technology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Throughout history, developments in weapon technology have consistently prompted new ways of war: from the longbow to the rifle; from the cannon to the long-range bomber. In the twenty-first century, advanced air forces have deployed weaponised Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) – ‘drones’ in popular terminology – in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond. This chapter will consider two examples from Afghanistan that address both conventional battlefield courage, with moral courage in the operation of the RPA. The first incident examines physical courage and occurred in a routine ground patrol by a squad of US Marines from Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (2/8) and ultimately cost the life of Corporal Matthew Richard. The second incident considers the moral courage of a newly-qualified Senior Mission Intelligence Coordinator on 39 Squadron, the Royal Air Force’s Reaper Squadron.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMilitary Virtues
EditorsMichael Skerker, David Whetham, Don Carrick
Place of PublicationHavant
PublisherHowgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912440-10-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-912440-00-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • courage
  • drone
  • battlefield
  • moral courage
  • Afghanistan


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