Date of Award


Document Type



College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Andrew Doyle

Committee Member

Dr. Edward Lee

Committee Member

Dr. Christopher Van Aller


Combat, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Military Training


In his 1947 work Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command, historian S. L. A. Marshall convinced the U.S. government and military of the critical need for improved techniques in combat psychology. However, his more fundamental assertion that soldiers needed to be trained to overcome an innate psychological resistance to killing would prompt some in the military as well as scholars and medical experts to examine the heart and mind of the soldier in combat. As a result, an emergent science called killology became a critical component in the U.S. military’s quest to better train soldiers for the rigors of combat. This thesis will explore the development of sophisticated technology and training techniques used by the U.S. military to create soldiers that were more efficient at killing in combat.