Does this sound familiar?
"Years ago it was sufficient if the soldier gave a more or less rigid, unwavering, physical adherence to his leaders and comrades. Nowadays, however, his adherence must be mainly intellectual. Standing in line to meet the massed attacks of advancing battalions required another type of discipline--which we are not losing very fast. The absolute subordination of the man was the only criterion of those days. Individuality was ruthlessly suppressed, and if at times it did display itself, it was in spite of, and not because of, the system of training then in existence. Marching, shooting, and obedience were about the only things which a soldier of former days had to learn. To-day the soldier is, comparatively speaking, an intellectual giant. To-day, our soldiers are not only required to march, shoot and obey, but they actually dabble in the realms of science. They study physics, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry and what not. Men who are able to tackle such subjects cannot be disciplined by the old methods of constant soul-killing drill. Instead of instilling in the soldier the fear of punishment we must inculcate ideals of conduct and achievement; we must develop his mental faculties and we must encourage a display of reasonable judgment and initiative. There must be an appeal to the soldier's intelligence and our training must be moral training of the highest type."
We often hear such word spoken of our soldiers today, that they are smarter, better educated, and more aware of the word around them then their predecessors. Even as we demand more of our soldiers, for them to be the "Strategic Corporal," to learn and effectively employ ever more complex technologies for communicating, finding the enemy, and killing him, yet we still also find that some soldiers have always maintained a propensity to misbehave. Those unavoidable combinations of youth, immaturity, alcohol, testosterone and the predilection for males to head butt one another (physically or metaphorically) over everything from a woman's attention, a favoured sport's team's legacy, or even a perceived slight against one's cap badge, lead to the fact that the Discipline volume of Queen's Regulations and Orders is as important and useful as it ever was.
We may have better educated soldiers (on average) with each passing decade, but they are still soldiers. As much as some things change, others never really do. For some of those troops that keep landing on the sergeant-major's naughty list, some of that old school parade square discipline may not be a bad thing.
Oh, and that quote above … it was written in 1925. — Taken from "Discipline and Personality," by Sergt.-Major E.J. Simon, The RCR, Canadian Defence Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 3, April, 1925.