The true difference between a Warrior and a Soldier

When we think of the word “warrior” what is the first thing that comes to mind. 

A muscular man wearing Greek armor with a double edge sword and a shield ready to dive into battle. Most likely. Thanks to movies, history books and of course good old fantasy novels have put this masculine imagine in our minds of what a warrior should look like. Captain American from Marvel is a good example. A tall figure in uniform holding a shield ready to fight for the country and protect the people.

warrior vs soldierWhen we think of a warrior we think of Gladiators fighting in the arena of ancient Rome. We think of king Arthur. We think of Lord of the Rings and the samurai. Most powerful symbol of a warrior is the sword. The weapon to take down his enemies. Historically all warriors wielded swords and yes their fist also counts as a weapon.

From whatever part of the world, all warriors have one thing in common. They fought for a purpose that they believed in.

So how are warriors and soldiers different?

Thank you for asking.

I will repeat. A warrior fights for a purpose that he believes in. Not only does a warrior believes in what he is fighting for but he is not forced into battle, he chose to fight by his own free will. Purpose and freedom are key to the warrior spirit.

A soldier on the other hand does what he is told.  A soldier blindly takes orders much like today’s military where men are dragged into another man’s wars. In today’s world soldiers don’t always know what they are fighting for. Their leader tells them to pull the trigger and they do it. It could easily be said that a soldier has no freedom, he is rather an automaton. 

I have friends who have been in the army. I know a man who is a New York City stand up comedian who was in the Vietnam war. He told me of his experience with the door gun on the helicopter. I asked him, “hey so how does it feel to kill someone?” his answer was, “once you pull that trigger, you have to live with it. You have to live with the fact that you have taken live.”

I remember I was in the fifth grade when 9/11 happened. I remember soldiers visiting my middle school. I was the only one bold enough to ask them uncomfortable questions (which I love to do). I asked a USA army soldier, “hey how does it feel when you have to shoot at someone?” their answer was, “you dont really have a choice. You just do what you are told. I was in the tank, that was my position and I always followed orders.”

So soldiers dont have free will. 

When warriors get together, even though they have a leader they all willingly fight for what they believe in. They with consciously not unconsciously unlike the soldier. While the presidents and rulers of countries need soldiers to form an army, those soldiers might be strong and smart but they are not warriors. They are automatons. 

Ghandi was a warrior. No he did not wield a sword but he fought for what he believed in and those with the same believes followed him. Martin Luther King was a warrior and those who followed him had the same believes. Malcom X was a warrior and those who followed him had the same believes. Abraham Lincoln was a warrior and those who followed him were not his soldiers but warriors fighting for their freedom. 

Spartacus is the greatest example of a warrior. He refused to be an automaton and fought for freedom. 

Because a warriors fights by his own will he also fights the negativity within and without, meaning that his believes are aligned with what he is fighting for. A soldier fights for his country but he might not like what he is fighting for. Soldiers in the time of the Roman empire might be asked to beat up slaves but deep down they don’t believe that people should be turned to slaves. Same in the US army. Soldiers might have fight for America but they dont believe what they are fighting for and are unable to withdraw. 

So I am not just talking about fighters here but rather the spirit of a warrior and a soldier. 

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