Helmet cams and training

The introduction of cameras to police cars had delivered lots of video evidence for courts, and occasionally hilarious youtube videos, too.

The introduction of helmet cameras to infantrymen (or people supposed to be the same) has delivered lots of raw footage of firefights. This YouTube account has published several examples.

Sadly, my most regular reaction to what I see on such videos is to doubt that these people received basic training, switch off and then ask someone else for a second opinion (which is usually as harsh, but I may have a selection bias towards selecting like-minded people for these questions).
I suppose there are also videos of good examples.

The training value of good examples videos has to be great if employed well. The training value of poor example videos with clear marking of what was done incorrectly is likely not negligible either.

It looks as if this development has added another tool for the tool set of infantry and more generally soldier training; field manuals, instruction charts and staged instruction movies look like 18th century parading by comparison - at least in regard to preparation training for the specific conflict.

These very same videos might on the other hand be an equalising factor between different nations' combat troops: Countries with no substantial participation in conflict could benefit, and even paramilitary forces could with a small budget.

This looks similar to the development of laser-based training systems such as MILES or AGDUS, which added realistic direct fire lethality to training. Same in regard to training projectiles such as for gotcha or the official army training munitions such as FX Simunition which follow the same approach with actual combat weapons.

We might see effects of such equalising training aids in the long term; sooner or later some foreign infantry force without remarkable reputation is bound to surprise us with competence. This happens occasionally anyway, but the next time it might be because of such equalisers.
We better pay attention to pushing the envelope with continued improvement of our forces. That's the way to go anyway, for we want the required bang for minimum bucks, right?

S Ortmann

Clarification: I don't mean videos as substitute for outdoor training. I meant these actual combat videos in the (widened) niche that staged training videos have in military training already. Troops need to be trained prior to combat experience, so the more close their approximation to actual combat is, the better.


  1. The ability to learn becomes a factor of defence, interesting. You could spin that story.

    1. ?
      I stated the obvious because I saw nobody else doing so.