“The ICE” is a term we use to describe the effect of the military culture identity on the service member’s ability to separate their individual needs, wants, feelings and thoughts from the duty imposed by the military. It is put in place by the military so they learn to ignore innate forces of their own humanity that could deter them from performing their duty and accomplishing the mission. The idea is represented in the picture to the right, showing the service member walking across the ice to complete the mission of getting to the other side of the frozen water, while his humanity screams at him to let himself out as he is drowning under the ice, ignored by the service member for the sake of the mission. To ignore this part of themselves, a recruit denies their individual self, and forms a new part. This is the part of the service member. It is trained and programmed to be in agreement with the military identity: that who they are, what they need and what they want comes after the mission is accomplished, and that their team has what they need and what they want before they do. Since there is always a new mission once one has ended, there will never be a time where the part that carries the needs and wants of the individual gets to take precedent. The part of the service member must exist to do their duty while enlisted in the military. It is an absolute necessity. A block gets put in place that separates the two parts of the individual which co-exist.
The ICE is the root of the military identity that needs to be recalibrated after a service member becomes a veteran or the veteran can have difficulty thriving in the civilian culture. It is what blocks veterans from having the access to develop self-awareness, experience vulnerability, connect with others and possibly living a fully thriving successful life. We feel that having the ICE in place can be a key contributing factor as to the reason there is a higher rate of veteran suicide than civilian suicide, and why veterans often have difficulty connecting with themselves and others on an emotional and vulnerable level.
"They Made Us Warriors" is a 36 page booklet that is meant for veterans and civilians. It briefly explains the differences between military and civilian culture, the military identity of veterans, and the issues that can come up if it is not recalibrated after entering back into the civilian culture.
A downloadable link is below.
There is also an option to purchase a physical copy of the booklet for $5 (this is the price of the booklet with shipping). If you would like to purchase more than one booklet, the booklet at cost is $2 and we would add whatever the shipping costs).