In wartime, how do they determine kills for each soldier?

The title says it all… in wartime with all going on, how does one determine kills?


Sorry, I had the idea in my head, but not on paper… I should say “How many kills” a soldier has, etc.


Why? Except for tanks and aircraft, why would anybody want that information? I mean, anybody in a position of authority. Aircraft kills can make you an ace, so they keep gun camera footage. Tanks do the same. Snipers may keep a count. But regular grunts? No way.

It is not done. First off it is offensive as all heck, second it serves no military purpose.

Certainly ground troops are not officially scored by the number of people they kill. Tankers do seem to like to count their vehicle kills, and decorate their tanks with rings around the gun tube for each. Even more, aviators have a long history of counting coup.

All that being said, I know of no incidence of a modern military trying (or bothering) to adjudicate kills.

I meant for military counts, etc.

Notning nefarious.

I didn’t mean to offend, I’m sorry. It really was just a question.

Again…why? Number of enemy dead - count the bodies. Number of our dead - do the same. Who did what to who is meaningless.

Do you mean “how do they figure out how many of the enemy are killed in a given encounter?” As in “there were three thousand enemy casualties in yesterday’s fighting”?

I’m not great with words, but yes

A lot of estimates are done by BDA - Battle Damage Assessment, which typically comes from “gun camera” footage analyzed in debriefs. Sometimes, it’s done by testimony by those actually involved in firefights in those debriefs. But keep in mind that without actual footage, everything is done with an estimation.

Even gun cameras don’t capture all of the carnage: i.e. collateral enemy personnel damage. Sometimes it’s done by multiple fly-overs of reconaissance aircraft taking before-and-after pictures. . .

But this is just one means of estimation.

Unless someone physically counts the dead, it is all an estimate.

I worked with a guy that had served in an artillery crew during Gulf War 1.

He said, after much annoying prodding on my part, that he was granted 8 kills. The people that decide that stuff, after they did a night of barraging before the ground war started, went forward after the position they had been hitting and counted Iraqi dead and split the total up amongst the guns.

It’s not done? Maybe not officially. I agree it’s rather morbid and inapproriate, but I know it is done–just not sure how.

For example, my friend who is in the Army is always bragging how he was the first person in his unit to get a confirmed kill. He also has the highest number of confirmed kills.

Like I said, morbid- yeah. Inappropriate- yeah. It happens, though.

If it’s appropriate to be killing men, why is it inappropriate to be keeping track of who does it?

I would imagine it is because we as civilians understand that the soldiers are doing what they have to, but they shouldn’t enjoy it.

Not my pov, just playing devil’s advocate.

I must say I would feel very uneased next to such a person…

I’ll admit it is weird to even imagine my friends are capable of thinking like that, but that is what they are trained to do. Surely someone in the military would have more knowledge on this then me, but they are taught that the enemy is subhuman (which makes sense, because it would really screw someone up to think they are killing someone’s mom, dad, brother, sister, etc.) Not to mention, they are usually shooting at people who shot at them first.

That said, I can confidently say that I doubt he would ever take an M16 to my chest :).

My grandfather was a gunner for a B52 in WWII and got a certificate for a confirmed kill from the military. I believe I recall him saying that this was a matter of others saying in a debriefing that it was indeed him who caused the other plane to go down. In truth, he might have taken out more, but between other planes also shooting at the same target and flack, generally it was impossible to tell–but that one they were sure of.

Why is it permissible for tankers, pilots, etc. to count up their kills and yet the idea is nauseatingly inappropriate for an infantryman?

Wait, don’t all the grunts get a count in the upper left hand corner of the screen? Rigth below the minimap, next to the health meter?

Because pilots and tankers count vehicles destroyed, not actual deaths. If the enemy pilot bails out, it still counts as a kill. It’s a very slight difference (after all, prople still die) but it’s enough.

Besides, aerial combat - and to a lesser degree, tank combat - is much “purer”, more orderly than infantry combat. With airplanes you can usually tell who shot who, but foot combat combat is a chaotic mess of shouting, automatic fire, explosions and people running back and forth. It’s impossible to tell exactly what’s going on untill the smoke settles, and by then, who knows who threw what granade where?