Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Delta perspective: intro

Perhaps no other series or show exemplifies the nature of the Delta man like Band of Brothers. Men of various strengths and weaknesses, from all walks of life are brought together to train, fight, and ultimately go back to whatever normalcy is possible after overseas combat in a horrific conflict. While it is fair to praise the show for the technical and artistic merits I believe the lasting appeal is that millions of regular guys can relate to the characters and know that they could have been right there with them. If you haven’t seen the series, I highly recommend it. You’ll start to understand the life of a Delta just from that series, especially the last few which detail the lives of the soldiers after the war.

The Delta is the average guy. He’s the person who makes the world go around. Neither a leader of men nor a doormat he does what is needed in his family, work, church, and community. During times of conflict a few will rise to great heroism but most will just do their jobs and efficiently and quietly. For every great leader of men there are numerous Deltas behind him in support. They come from literally every background and ethnicity imaginable and are around us every day, all day.

Deltas marry average looking women most of the time, and are average in looks as well. Many will carry a few too many pounds (their wives too) and could definitely use a bit more Game in their lives to make things better. What they lack in style they make up for in quiet confidence, level headedness, and the ability to get things done when needed.

Deltas can be praised as the “common man” and given the openly hostility towards manhood and men in culture today they deserve a small pat on the back for doing a mostly thankless job in difficult times. Deltas should not be romanticized though as for all of their strengths they have just as many weaknesses as well and are too ready to bend when the wind blows, or become irresponsible.

If you are a Gamma or even an Omega your realistic goal in life is to live as a Delta. It’s possible through supreme effort you might rise to the rank of Alpha, but it’s not a realistic goal and the life of a Delta is not only obtainable, but pretty damn good. So set your sites here Gammas, and if you are on your way up take heed of the advice given by other regular guys.

My goal with this regular column is to try to help men become better Deltas and ease the transition for Gammas into the being an effective Delta. You can’t train men by telling them about landmines alone so I’m going to focus less on what not to do and instead on how to make good decisions and live a better life. So Deltas and men who want to become one, raise a drink this weekend to the common man and then come along for the journey.


En-sigma said...

AKA cannon fodder. Still regarded as expendable by everyone.

CarpeOro said...

Comment got eaten because I wasn't signed in already. Good series showing masculine virtues that are needed to progress from Omega or Gamma to Delta. You will seldom see them in the general media assembled together but if you watch the series, you will see men at their best and worst with examples of those who conquer and those who fail to face their fears.

En-sigma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CarpeOro said...

While they are treated as cannon fodder, not everyone regards them as something to simply burn through or expend.

Anchorman said...

"The road's cut off. You're about to be surrounded."

"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded."

All the Way.

The assumption is military men, especially those in the more elite units, are alpha males. It's understandable, because the common association with "alpha" outside the sphere is "alpha wolf." The one that goes out and scares others or attacks to protect the pack. As we've seen and even discussed here, even at higher ranks, there's no certainty the top dog meets common sphere alpha characteristics (see: Petreus).

My older brother is a delta, by the description above. I have two other brothers, likely deltas. I never really tried to classify them.

If so, and I'm not sure if this is part of the categorization or just used as a index-card guide, deltas can do okay with the women. My brothers all do well enough with women and did really well in their younger days. Of course, that was thirty years ago or so and times have changed a bit. I'd estimate, between the four of us, the total count is 80+ (three of us were married for considerable periods). A good number were mid to low quality (one brother's earlier years were wasted by the drug scene and another made a living as a bouncer at strip clubs).

If I were to summarize deltas (via my brothers), I'd say they'd put up with a miserable job for their whole life, but only eat dinner with a miserable wife. Not pushovers, but not the type that internalizes/validates the respect other men have for them and demand the same level from their wives.

Anchorman said...

Paratroopers aren't cannon fodder. Their mission (broadly) is enemy rear echelon harassment and LOC disruption. They're used for specific missions, such as taking an airfield (82nd in Panama), CT, foreign military training, and some units amphib assault.

Unless you use "cannon fodder" in a needlessly provocative manner and don't care if you look like you don't know what paratroopers actually do.

CostelloM said...

Well if you are living in America there are alphas and there is everyone else. You are the 1% who sleep with lots of women or you are the working class who don't do so well and live with someone else's leftovers - cannon fodder for divorce machine after she tires of the carousel.

deti said...

I'm looking forward to this series.

Dark Herald said...

An excellent series that has held up well over time.

If you have Amazon Prime you can stream it direct.

Interesting leadership archetypes on display. David Schwimmer as Capt. Sobel was very interesting. He got the Wet Puppy trade school officer thing down to a tee. Sobel had standards and enforced them rigidly but he couldn't multi task under pressure. Still, Easy Company's victories were ultimately attributable to him.

Damien Lewis's turn as Capt. Winters was a spot on example of a trained Alpha. One that wasn't born to the task of leading but was trained for it. \

And then there was Capt. Spiers,the natural alpha.

The follow on series, The Pacific is also on Amazon Prime.

Though it honestly it just wasn't as good. I really couldn't get into it. Being a Marine I thought I should have been in love with it but I wasn't. I never got the Marine Corps vibe from it.

Also it started in the wrong place.

They should have started in Shanghai with the 4th Marine Regiment in the 1930s and then move them to Manilla on the eve of war. In many ways that time and place was the genesis of Marine Corps culture.

Anchorman said...

I read the book "The Pacific" was based on ("With the Old Breed"). Compelling narrative and, for a novice writer, vivid setting craftsmanship. The HBO series only gets to the book material about halfway through the series.


Reading "With the Old Breed" was humbling personally (you feel petty and small griping about modern problems) and professionally, as a writer. It's one of those books that paints vivid landscapes without pounding you over the head with detail. He doesn't break the flow of the story or the emotion. It almost seems like he accomplished making Okinawa a character in the story later in the book. I might have gotten a bit artsy-fartsy with that line, but it's really good writing and reminds me how much work I need to put in and how unsatisfied I must remain to write prose I'd want others to read.

Considering the interest in Jamie Lannister's conflict between family and duty, the protagonist Sledge remains horrified with the brutality, but still hates the Japanese without reservation or moral conflict. He wants to kill every last one as brutally as he can, but still can't shake the underlying satisfaction and repulsion when indulging his mental depravity. Unlike Jamie, this was a real guy and he's unwavering in sharing every emotion or regret. Gives you a good sense of how men develop "survivor guilt."

Anchorman said...

Cataline, "The Pacific" was really a nine hour exploration of shell shock, battle fatigue, PTSD.

The book did focus on PTSD. It didn't play a minor role in the book. In that respect, it stayed true to the book. However, I also think they did a disservice to history of the invasions by spending so much time away from the fighting (Australia, mental hospital, homefront).

Anonymous said...

I realize the Hierarchy is more focused on men's sexual rank in the socio-sexual scale, but I'll be interested in how this series expands on or illuminates the hierarchy. Where does the Beta fit in in the all-male Band of Brothers sense? And where would you peg Captain Sobel?

Band of Brothers is indeed a classic. The Pacific, too, though in a different way, which, I think, captured the different type of war there, and the unrelenting nature of the combat.

Anonymous said...

Vox, can you do a similar post on Betas?

Anchorman said...

Don't mean to blow up the thread with lots of comments, but "Band of Brothers" is one of my favorite series. I bought the book and the followon by Winters.

My bother and I watch the series every Memorial Day weekend on HBO (well, DVR and watch later).

This past Memorial Day, I actually received a call from one of my close friends from when we served together in Germany (1st/10TH SFG). Out of the blue, after more than 20 years. We both left active duty after that tour, for different reasons. He had family issues and I was agitated as hell. I liked the guys I served with and loved the mission, but needed my freedom back and Clinton was drawing us into Bosnia with air sorties and CSAR.

Still, those are the bonds formed. We picked up where we left, as if a day didn't pass.

Anonymous said...


The series was also based on Robert Leckie's Helmet for a Pillow as well as a couple of other sources for the material on Basilone. And because it was primarily based on Leckie's and Sledge's memoirs, it missed quite a number of invasions. I'm glad it highlighted Peleliu as it was a little known action. But the choice to maintain continuity by following three specific characters (Band of Brothers obviously didn't have that issue) meant that a lot of other action was left out.

I didn't mind the quieter forays to Australia or the homefront, the latter especially because it was a significant part of the Basilone storyline.

I'm eager to see what Speilberg and Hanks do with Masters of the Air...

Rek. said...

I really cant understand why when Vox comes out with a post about gammas or deltas or whats next on the list, there is always someone asking for the next sociosexual upgrade that hasnt been written yet or never will.

Sure i used to do it also, but i cant even get how it makes any sense anymore. Go out, approach, talk, close or get rejected, rince, repeat.

There isnt a post that hasnt been written yet that changed a loser into a player. Never happened, never will.

Go out, live life then log on and compare notes with the post of the day. You dont read about your sociosexual rank, you either are or you are becoming. You can only ACT your rank.

Or work really hard at improving which most men never do as Vox says.

Prof. Spudd said...

Should be interesting. I'm a Delta with Sigma traits, former Omega, 150+ IQ. Attractive girls seem to like me now, apparently finding my goofiness adorable, but they always flake out on me if I try to ask them to meet up. I do get sexual action now, perhaps a few times a year and from women who are somewhat more attractive than the norm, but it's never from a pre-arranged date.

I disagree that most men are Deltas, even though they may have been that say, 50 years ago. In fact, I suspect that Gammas and Omegas are approaching half of the male population. In Japan, half of men in their 20s and 30s are "herbivores" or "grass-eaters", i.e., automatic Omegas.

It's getting to the point where being a Delta makes you seem more ALPHA than BETA.

Prof. Spudd said...

There isnt a post that hasnt been written yet that changed a loser into a player. Never happened, never will.

It's happened to me, but it took reading all of Chateau Heartiste's and Alpha Game's posts to get it. Other material helps men to not be unattractive, but this stuff has in fact helped me to be attractive, or at least to understand how to be.

If I had to put the relevant processes into as few words as possible, going from Omega to Delta involved first learning to read body language, then getting over my fear of appearing creepy (which, of course, makes you seem creepy) and thereby developing confidence, then developing an abundance mentality, followed by getting over my fear of initiating sexually, which meant I no longer had to rely on the small fraction of girls who initiate.

In my own case, simply telling me to approach girls didn't really work, since there were a lot of fundamental behavioral problems I had which I wasn't even aware of.

Unknown said...

I do get sexual action now, perhaps a few times a year and from women who are somewhat more attractive than the norm, but it's never from a pre-arranged date.

The easiest time to get sex is at the first meeting, and sooner rather than later. A woman knows pretty much instantly if she's going to have sex with you, and from that point all you can do is screw it up. It takes more Game to keep her tingling long enough to come back for a second meeting if you didn't push for it on the first one. When you go for it right away, she'll frame it as an adventure, out of her control, whatever she needs to make it okay. Arranging a date gives her a chance to think -- never a good idea.

Of course, that presents a problem for the Christian man who wants to wait, and is probably the #2 reason many Christian men reject Game after beginning to learn about it.

Rek. said...

I can partially agree with you.

Just like you, getting some red pill philosophy ( sub. species game) exposure has been key in my ongoing transformation.

But it seems that for some readers, esp. when considering sociosexual rank and one's self-positioning, as ego loaded as this is, the final answers, the ultimate alpha gameplan has yet to be delivered. This couldnt be further from the truth.

At some point there is no transformative value to reading anymore, only gradual improvement can come out of it. Most of the metamorphosis needs to acted out - "Just do it."

Rank discussions are particularly tricky, they are loaded with delusions and Barnum effect.

Unknown said...

Rek, that's true. David Deangelo talked about that in his DYD seminar, when he asked, "How many guys here like to learn something absolutely and be complete experts before trying it?" and he raised his own hand. Especially guys who are smart and introverted are likely to study longer than necessary when they could be learning faster by doing. But each guy has to do what it takes to get to that point, and if reading makes him feel more confident that he knows what to do, that may be what it takes to approach with the right frame to get some success to propel him onward. It's a balancing act, for sure.

Rek. said...

"If reading makes him feel more confident ..."

I believe it's just the next/perpetual excuse to not take a risk. I would know i am that type. You cant get any good with women by trying to be perfect. you get good when you just dont care that much anymore, you have finally internalized some level of "outcome independance."

How do you not care? Catch-22, really. You act and you dont care or you dont care and act.

Unknown said...

I believe it's just the next/perpetual excuse to not take a risk.

It certainly can be. I was that way, but at some point I did build up the confidence (and/or desperation) to go out and try it despite not reaching perfect knowledge. Apparently you did too. So it probably did have a benefit, even if we wish we'd gotten on with it sooner in retrospect.

If I'd gone straight out and approached without reading any Game stuff (assuming anything other than being drunk could have made me do that), I would have been much more hesitant, much more supplicating. I would have still been buying drinks for girls, worrying about whether they had boyfriends, and waiting way too long for clear indicators of interest before approaching. I would have gotten discouraged and given up too easily. In other words, all the things I had already been doing on the rare occasions I approached. Reading about Game gave me much better frame, much better tactics, and more realistic expectations.

Maybe I could have gotten that in a week of reading instead of months, but the important thing is that I got it.

As for why we discuss this stuff: well, we find it interesting, whether we're putting it to practical use in Game or not. How human beings function and interact is pretty fascinating stuff, to me.

Prof. Spudd said...

The easiest time to get sex is at the first meeting, and sooner rather than later.

I don't really see girls only putting out for me on the first meeting, although my strategy in the past year or so has been to not talk too much about myself so that I seem fresher in their minds. I don't like talking anyway, so refraining from doing so makes most sense to me. In fact, one of my recent sexual encounters didn't involve talking to her at all.

But learning how to get girls to meet up with me without flaking is my primary concern now. Once I do that I can probably say that I know all the Game I really need. Ironically, that was the one thing I could do correctly years ago.

John Doe said...

Those "deltas" in "Band of Brothers" would put any so-called "alpha" pick up artist to shame. Those were real, manly men. Nowadays we are just playing at being men. Let's not kid ourselves. Oh, they came back and got normal jobs and married women who became gray haired and frumpy, and lived normal lives. But they weren't deltas. After fighting a brutal war, and seeing buddies blown to bits, getting another "notch" in your belt pales in importance to just getting back to normalcy. I used to sit around talking with WWII vets. They could buy a woman for a candy bar or pack of cigarettes. My father was a mere staff sergeant in the Korean war. He came home and became a supervisor of hundreds of men. Not because he was something special before he went in, he wasn't. He was poor white trash who got up every morning and milked cows before going to school. One of the smallest kids in his class. I say that the war made him alpha whereas he wasn't before. He never talked about it, but I imagine the fact that you have killed people and been shot at makes you fearless towards the little problems we face in civilization. I realize now that when I was a kid he would game every woman, every waitress, every sales woman, EVERY woman he ever met. I'm a delta, or a lower beta whatever. He wasn't.

I know, it LOOKS like those guys were deltas by the mundane lives they lived after the war. But my theory is that every one of those paratroopers was alpha as phuck. But the war changed their perspective. Afterwards, they just wanted to be normal again. Live peaceful, quiet lives. Chasing tail was not the end all and be all of their existence. I'm not arguing with the author, I really love reading the articles here, I just think it is a matter of perspective that gets changed during war.

Hammerli 280 said...

Marty, I think you're largely right. Paratroopers from that era were pretty high in the machismo pecking order.

The other factor we need to consider is that they didn't equate Alpha with N count. They equated it with quality of wife. And I suspect the women they wound up marrying were well above average.

Prof. Spudd said...

The other factor we need to consider is that they didn't equate Alpha with N count. They equated it with quality of wife. And I suspect the women they wound up marrying were well above average.

The women in the USA of 1950 were far more attractive on average than those nowadays, about like the women in Ukraine now. Marty's point corroborates my suspicion above that Gammas and Omegas taken together are soon to become the majority of men, if they aren't already, as possibly in Japan and South Korea with all their herbivores and hikikomori.

Anonymous said...

Where does the Beta fit in in the all-male Band of Brothers sense? And where would you peg Captain Sobel?

I'd say Buck Compton and Sgt Lipton were Betas. Maybe Nix too (though he might have been Sigma - hard to say, Sigma in a wartime army would be an interesting situation - no real option to disengage from the Hierarchy. Maybe that was what the drinking was about).

Sobel I'd peg as a failed Alpha. He had the mindset but not the skills. Remember, "Alpha" does not automatically equal "Successful" or "Better." There are millions of Alphas dumb as a box of rocks and poor as dirt. Sobel wanted very badly to be king of the hill, but he wasn't cut out for it.

SarahsDaughter said...

I wrote about some of these normal, average, everyday guys that I've observed. Got to spend some time around a group of them the other day as we all were timers for a swim meet. This: What they lack in style they make up for in quiet confidence, level headedness, and the ability to get things done when needed. describes them perfectly.

Thomas Howard said...

Interesting confluence of WW2 miniseries, the Japanese soldier, and sociosexual hierarchy. One of my favorite scenes from these Spielberg/Hanks epics was in episode 8 of the Pacific. Gunnery Sargeant Basilone describes
the determination of the Japanese soldier, a true Alpha describing warriors deserving of respect.

I wonder which present day society is more ashamed of its emasculation, ours or theirs?

Thomas Howard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SethEng 0206 said...

I agree with Jack, I've always seen Lipton as one of the better examples of Vox's Beta in media. I think if you look at Winters' other "killers," like Compton, they're probably either Betas or high Deltas.

quoctruongdgm said...

I'm waitting

Harambe said...

One of my favourite scenes:

Major Winters: Captain Sobel. Captain Sobel! We salute the rank, not the man.

Total pwnage.

Anchorman said...

Even in the contemporary military, behavior is under constraints (military custom, UCMJ, etc). We're viewing them through an intentionally artificial social setting. The rules and customs needed for military discipline and effective warfighting necessarily require subjugation of natural instincts and learned behavior.

It's not natural to charge forward or hold the line in the presence of SS Panzers advancing on your position (101st in Bastogne). It goes beyond fight or flee, because the Germans had the area surrounded by superior numbers of infantry and arty and had superior armor in place.

It's not natural for many to hold your tongue when a Sobel displays capricious decision making and vindictive commands. They did and, intended or not, it toughened them mentally so they could hold the line in Bastogne.

The guys in Band of Brothers, as portrayed on screen, come off as delta because of the artificial social environment needed for military discipline. Beneath the surface, they likely ran the spectrum. Some elevated to delta, others pumped their brakes to conform.

I think the takeaway is that the military culture is designed to make all deltas.

Prof. Spudd said...

I think the takeaway is that the military culture is designed to make all deltas.

There's still a hierarchy in the military. I don't think the innate temperaments of Alphas and Betas would permit them to remain mere privates.

It is, however, certainly designed to make Omegas and break Gammas.

Sigma in a wartime army would be an interesting situation - no real option to disengage from the Hierarchy. Maybe that was what the drinking was about).

@Jack Amok
Interesting question. I suspect it's the unquestioning obedience to superiors demanded in the military that would grate on Sigmas the most. They'd have to constantly keep themselves from talking back to, mouthing off at, or flat-out disobeying their officers.

glad2meetyou said...

Delta Force!

*Drink raised*

Gunnar Thalweg said...

I am in my 50s. When I was 17, I read an article about how to pick up girls in Oui Magazine; it was sort of an early version of game. I also had some natural game. From 16 untill 22, I did pretty well with women. I dated and slept with some 8s and 9s, as well as bunch of other very nice young ladies.

Then the wheels came off. I was in a LTR in which I became more and more beta, and then I went to grad school, which might as well have emasculated. From the time I was probably 23 until I was 44, my game utterly sucked. While I always had an insecure side, and had been on the receiving end of female's anti-beta cruelty, I had blown it off before I was 22. Honestly, I became a beta, then a gamma, then an omega.

Then I read about game, and recognized that many of the techniques I had done, I used to do when I was 18 and 19. Strangely enough, you sort of need to keep it old school. It was a wake-up call.

Within six weeks, I had a tall, blonde, leggy, sexy beauty.

It was just a question of stop listening to all the crappy voices in my head and being my best self. Then I learned a lot I didn't know -- there were times I was being beta-ized again, and I would go to Heartiste, find the problem, and then do it mechanically, and it would work. Once, she was giving me hell, and I simply kept all my answers shorter than hers. I realized I'd been boring her death and disconcerting her by explaining myself. Not kidding -- within five minutes a healthy dynamic was re-established. The hardest moment, early on, though, was telling her to shut up with a tone of bemused confidence. She laughed and curled up next to me.

I think any man has a side to him that's no-nonsense, no-BS, and no fear. Game is about bringing that out. Women really respond to it. Much of what it taught is about exercises that focus on getting over fear and getting over yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hang on, hang on. Oui had articles? I have zero recollection of this.

Prof. Spudd said...

Of course, that presents a problem for the Christian man who wants to wait, and is probably the #2 reason many Christian men reject Game after beginning to learn about it.

@Cail Corishev
I think it's the apparent paradox of trying to confidently show sexual intent without sinning which makes them reject it. But actual sex, or sodomy for that matter, isn't necessary. I still remember Roissy posting about how prostitutes charge more for making out than for anal. In his words, girls take kissing extremely seriously, and in my experience, it's in fact all that's needed for a girl to try to claim you as her boyfriend.

God does look out for us.

Shimshon said...

I haven't written on my marriage in quite a while. Game, and the Red Pill, changed my life. In consequence, my wife's and children's lives has also changed, markedly for the better. Regardless of my accomplishments to come, decades from now, what I did will still truly be my greatest legacy.

My wife, who used to loathe my very presence, is not only more in love and happier than she's been in our 21 year marriage, she is literally happier than she has been in her entire life. So am I, for that matter. And my kids, who a few years ago were foul-mouthed tantrum-throwing young teens with virtually no self-control have matured incredibly.

My friend, who aided me, parlayed that experience and insight into a nearly half-time "life coach" that has taken him through some very lean times with his regular employer. After counseling dozens of men over the last three years, I concur 100% with you, Vox. Men are so indoctrinated into the primacy of the feminine imperative, so often misled by their leaders who should know better, and so full of fear of their wives that even getting to delta-hood, the province of every-man and realistic and reasonable happiness and satisfaction is indeed the best that most men can hope for.

Because I was willing to confront my demons so directly and so head-on (certainly assisted and strengthened by years of reading your comments on the subject, and further exposing my friend as well), I became the model for all his efforts. A few men have made progress, but it's excruciatingly often, one step forward, 0.99 step back, over and over. And he is very good at it too.

Does that make me "Alpha" now? I wouldn't presume to say. My friend surmised "Upper Beta" some time ago. It was meant as a high compliment, and that's how I took it.

Harambe said...

The solution from a Christian perspective is to get married as early as possible. God has this thing where he takes care of his children.

Manu said...

Going Delta is good for the Gamma. But what I really strive for is Beta. I know I will never be Alpha, but Beta would be nice. They are genuinely respected and admired, but do not have to perform at the level of an Alpha, nor take responsibility for group leadership (something ex-Gammas should stay very far away from -- they are not equipped to handle this pressure).

For now, however, reaching Delta status is the goal.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is serious about chastity will push early marriage as a solution for sexual temptation. The fact that Focus on the Family has instead focused on single ladies not "settling" (optimizing hypergamy) for anything less than "God's best" makes trying to be chaste a difficult task. Thankfully, I'm enough of a loser to not have had the opportunities that others would have had.

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