As rifles replaced muskets and the minié ball replaced round shot, the odds of being killed or wounded by a shot fired at a distance increased exponentially. Still, generals sent massed formations into battle and I believe that the fortitude of these soldiers must have been raised to heroic proportions. How could they march shoulder-to-shoulder when their comrades were falling all around them? Yes, there was the fear that their own officers would kill them if they turned and ran. But, I learned there was an even greater fear that kept them rooted to the ranks. The fear of abandoning their buddies.
Even though individual riflemen in modern Armies fight from pits and behind cover, the Army must continue to instill that sense of comradery that is needed to maintain the cohesiveness of every fighting unit. Almost everything we did in Basic Combat Training contributed to that bond.
There were some who just couldn't get along with the other recruits. They tried to survive training on their own. It was a strategy for failure. No one had to tell us. It became more and more apparent with every passing day of Basic Combat Training.
A forced march was the perfect demonstration of this concept. Hiking in formation while carrying forty or fifty pounds of gear in a rucksack on your back and a nineteen pound rifle slung over your shoulder gets pretty tiring after the first couple of miles, especially when you're walking on soft dirt. Army training centers had dirt roads that paralleled paved ones. These were used by tracked vehicles. The treads on tanks and armored personnel carriers would quickly tear up macadam roads, so those types of vehicles drove the dirt roads called tank trails. That's were we hiked, on the tank trails.