Military life is a completely different realm to civilian life. For one thing, military life is constantly subject to the value of efficiency. It governs everything from the basic chain of command to the systematic division of all combatant personnel. As far as dealing with the casualties of a modern armed force is concerned, there is good reason to choose basic cremation over ceremonial burial. Here are a number of key advantages that any military establishment can reap from choosing cremation as their standard funeral practice:
Just as it has been beneficial for medieval armies to incinerate a wholesale population of felled comrades, the same principle still applies in modern warfare. Cremating corpses provides easy disposal of deceased personnel and significantly reduce labor percentage. Soldiers can have more time on their hands to prepare for contingencies instead of having the brunt of their energies relegated to massive grave digging. In today’s context, cremated bodies are easier to transport and does not cripple overall transit payload (especially for overseas conflicts).
Apart from the efficiency of cremation costs in terms of labor and resources spending, there is also a very practical advantage in burning the bodies of recovered comrades. In today’s context, belligerents apply strategies that were otherwise abominable even in previous generations’ standards. A concrete example includes contaminating enemy corpses and using them as smuggled biological arsenal during recovery and rescue missions. Burning bodies has always been a foolproof procedure in preventing the spread of lethal contagions in the enemy camp.
Effective Morale Security
Furthermore on combat leverage, cremation is also a more appropriate funeral system for overseas (invading) army. Burying the dead in a hostile foreign land is symbolically damaging. In today’s context, the corpses of brothers-in-arms are vulnerable to desecration by belligerent locals. Given the power of contemporary social media, the damage to the morale for broadcasting the violation of enemy graveyards hits all the way home. Sowing great discontent among enemy civilians is a very potent form of assault.
This type of demoralization scenario was very prevalent during the Vietnam War, when the American public has completely lost faith in the government’s war policy. It became one of the key reasons for such hegemonic powerhouse to be defeated by a poorly-equipped but extremely desperate underdog nation.