It is much more complex than for sure. Group think is on of the biggest problems we have today in the military. We need a culture that is less about following and doing what is popular and more about doing what is right, which is some times the hard thing to do.
What I have always found interesting is how closely current codified military values are with the values of bud. Selflessness, courage, candor...stuff like that.
There is always a balance between leading and following. Thetr have been many, many situation in which I was in charge I was the law and the enforcer...judge and jury and what did determined the outcome of the situation. It was not about following or taking orders at all. This requires you to have a very strong character to make the right and moral decisions.
Very interesting subject. I apologize for steering it off course, however I think when it gets down to helping or not helping at the core you have to make a decision to act or not act. Our choices or better what informs us to make choices is our past experiences and training. as budoka, I think we tend to look much harder (or should) at the things that go into such acts or non acts.
Good points. You find yourself in such positions and at that point you are as you say judge and jury so hopefully wise. Funny thing is that in the military it's generally all about following orders. Thus the ones following the orders are sheep and yet if they are courageous in action you could say they are like lions.
Looking into such things instead of blindly following is indeed what we should do in order to learn more I agree. What is help? is a good question all of it's own.