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Mar-18-2012 00:29printcomments

Combat Private, The Most Important Man in Battle

Combat Infantry Badge: The shield and spear for all behind him.

Combat Infantry Badge
Combat Infantry Badge: The most honorable infantry badge.

(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Most readers won’t believe this but the bemedaled colonels and generals far behind the front lines have virtually no concept of what it’s like to live, sleep and survive in the mud or a muddy foxhole with little sleep, usually little food or water, and virtually none of the small mercies of normal life.

I am writing this because of an email I received from an article I posted, “Military Psychiatrists with Personality Disorder”. The latter is the new military term for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in which case the military takes “normal” recruits, trains them to be psychopathic killers with hair triggers for survival, works them beyond normal limits, restricts their sleep, gives them inadequate food and water and constantly badgers them that they are not performing up to the standards of a “good soldier or Marine”.

The email came from a comment about my story about from Charlene Young, otherwise not identified, it smells funny.

She writes: Dr. Leveque have you ever worked in military personnel test design and evaluation recently or even at anytime? Are you trained and certified in psychiatry? And finally, are you qualified to be a professional/expert in judicial proceedings? If not, then your opinions in this matter are just that, opinions that have no weight.

I have an idea that Miss Charlene may be a psychologist with a Doctor of jurisprudence (an attorney) working at the Pentagon or some similar place protecting the brass from Congressional inquiries. There’s a lot of that going around.

Phil "Dogface" Leveque in WWII

To Charlene Young:
After two years of pre-Army Psychology to figue out what commanders think and do (it didn't help), and two courses of Medical Psychiatry (that didn't help either); I was a subject and victim of military test design which seems to be command by terror and fear. Based on your comment, I will be posting Combat Private the Most Important Man in Battle. It will be coming soon (former Private, Battalion Scout, Pointman, and Forward Observer and SURVIVOR).

She has tossed her gauntlet down so here is mine: I may be one of the few Army veterans who have survived front line combat as a scout, pointman and forward observer. And I captured 26 Nazi officers one day. Check it out: 26 Nazi prisoners. (search for yourself)

I saw men fall apart in the front lines, I have PTSD myself, and I was doctor for about 1000 combat veterans from WWII up to the present conflicts whom I treated successfully. I was also a pharmacology professor for 25 years and I know of the military doctors’ medicinal treatment of these PTSD veterans. I have had hundreds of thank you letters from PTSD veterans or their spouses or families.

To infer in any way that I may not know what is going on between basic infantry training, frontline combat and the human detritus of battle is beyond absurd. I have lived it all for some 65 years.

To finally find out that the military has a military test design and evaluation is beyond my belief. I have been asked by many “why do you call combat infantry dogfaces?” I will explain:

We lived in "pup tents" and foxholes. We were treated like dogs in training. We had dog tags for identification. The basic story is that wounded soldiers in the Civil War had tags tied to them with a string indicating the nature of their wounds. The tags were like those put on a pet dog. Correctly speaking, only Combat Infantrymen are called dogfaces. Much of the time we were filthy, cold and wet as a duck-hunting dog and we were ordered around sternly and loudly like a half-trained dog. (See also:

Infantry combat is not only the most physically and psychology the most dangerous profession, it is also the most degrading. Just being an infantry Private without combat is bad enough. Combat itself is at least 10 times worst. During WWII about 300,000 combat infantry were killed, and about 700,000 were wounded. This represented 70% of the total killed and wounded. Air crew were second, with about 10%.

There were 10-15 people in support for each combat infantryman. What little there may have been, they got it first, and in most cases they got it all. I do not know of anybody - Brass or otherwise - who tried to make our lives easier or better. In fact it seems the other way- to make us tougher.

(It didn’t work. Dogfaces were the most miserable people in the Army with no recourse whatsoever.)



Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
Email him:

More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole".
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier

If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.

Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.

Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on

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Bob Gallagher March 18, 2012 8:54 pm (Pacific time)

Capturing 26 Nazi's in one day is certainly not the sort of thing that would go unrecognized or undocumented. What sort of medal were you awarded? Broze Star? Silver Star?

Editor: Why don't you buy his book and read about it.

Anonymous March 18, 2012 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

My father, uncles and many childhood neighbors were World War Two veterans. There were millions just like them. They on occasion discussed their experiences during the war, but they seemed to play it down in front of us kids, in my opinion, not to expose us to the horrible terror they went through. I lived in an a comfortable community in the west hills of Portland oregon, and this was an area of essentially very successful people who managed to handle, at least superficially, the no doubt PTSD they were dealing with. Several had also been shot down and spent time as POW's. I recall how my father, who was in his 30's when the war broke out, told how towards the end times of the war how the Germans were surrendering in mass groups, and how dealing with the logistics of setting up POW camps was putting huge pressures on supplying his men as the onward march into Berlin continued. People who have been in the military understand how the officers are spread out within the enlisted and NCO's. When the Germans surrendered, it was usually groupings of enlisted only, and officers only. So if you captured (actually most surrendered), you had to make sure they were unarmed, just in case it was a ruse. Not unusual at all for a few American soldiers to get several hundred Germans at a time to surrender to them. Note: The Germans did the same thing, surrender enmass, during WWI. Eventually hundreds of thousands, that's right, hundreds of thousands surrendered. My father was an officer, a Ltc. who ran a battalion of infantry. He has 3 purple hearts, and many other awards. Pretty sure he shared the same hardships as the privates, while also doing his best to fight for their needs. Commanding officers of infantry line units was not some easy task, which knowledgeable and experienced warriors understand. When I was in I met my share of bad officers, but very few in the field with us were bad, for pretty obvious reasons. Pretty rare for our enemy to surrender during my war, like the Japanese, they were falsely told we would do terrible things to them. So it caused casualties to be higher as they continued to fight a hopeless situation. I know one thing for sure, if I was in the current conflict, I would not surrender. We have a current enemy that is going to be impossible to negotiate/ compromise with. We may see some peaceful periods ahead, but they will be short in duration. I expect there will be many battlefields within our own borders if we continue to be complacent and vote for impotent leaders who care more about handicapping basketball games than assisting our warriors in harms way with appropriate policies. There will be very few POW's if any in the coming domestic war.

ANWAR March 18, 2012 2:25 am (Pacific time)


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