8 ways to kill time during 'hurry up and wait'

Most of a service member’s time is filled with “Hurry up and wait,” the long-standing tradition of making everyone come in six hours before any training event, travel or other military activities.

But there are ways to fill the hours between the time troops have to show up and the time the training activities start. Here are eight humble suggestions:

1. Throwing rocks

Two soldiers talk and throw rocks before testing starts during the Expert Field Medic Badge course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 24, 2015. In June 1965, the U.S. Army expanded its awards program by implementing the EFMB for combat medics who do not see battle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan/Released)

Two soldiers talk and throw rocks before testing starts during the Expert Field Medic Badge course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 24, 2015. (Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

This game just naturally starts to happen if too many people are sitting in a motor pool or anywhere else with rocks. Make sure to find a hat to throw the rocks into or a small piece of metal or something to throw the rocks at.

When someone makes a tricky shot, everyone has to half-heartedly cheer and then look around for something else to throw rocks at.

2. “Would you rather … ?”

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Bob J. Sise talks with Afghan children during Operation Northern Lion II in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on July 3, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena)

A U.S. Marine Corps officer talks with Afghan children in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He’s probably not playing “Would you rather … ?” with them, but we can’t be sure. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena)

Everyone knows this game. One person asks another — or multiple people — which of two horrible experiences they would rather go through.

“Would you rather have to scrub every latrine in the battalion with your only toothbrush or low crawl through the [local strip club name] on payday Friday?”

This game is known for getting dirtier the longer it is played.

3. “Screw, marry, kill”

A Marine with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, talks over the radio during a live fire range August 18, 2016 at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia. The range was the final training evolution of Exercise Koolendong 16, a trilateral exercise between the U.S. Marine Corps, Australian Defence Force and French Armed Forces New Caledonia. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Anderson)

A Marine with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, talks over the radio during a live-fire range August 18, 2016, at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia. There is no evidence that he’s playing “screw, marry, kill” with the Marine on the other end. (Photo: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Sarah Anderson)

Like “Would you rather?” this game consists of one person offering another a series of options. In this case, the quizzer offers three names, usually female, and the quizzed has to pick one to sleep with, one to marry, and one to kill.

Obviously, this game is super inappropriate, which is part of what makes it so funny. Pros make sure to include options like “your sister” or “your childhood pet.”

This game is also known for getting dirtier the longer it goes on.

4. B-tch session

Expert-field-medical-badge-MRE-lunch-tent

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

Sometimes you just need to get all the hate out in the open, preferably when the platoon sergeant and leader aren’t around so you can complain about them.

The best thing is, being stuck in “Hurry up and wait” mode is the perfect gripe to get started with.

5. Dangerous games (like throwing knives at each other’s feet)

Do you want a safety briefing? Then don’t get caught playing these games.

They can be lots of fun and are popular in the field, especially on the gun line. The most common involves two people squaring off with their feet shoulder width apart and throwing a knife in the dirt.

We’re not printing the instructions here because we don’t want to be liable for any lost toes. But check with any gun bunnies. They know how to play it.

6. Ridiculous physical training

little-man-in-the-woods-army-basic-training

GIF: YouTube/Rhonda Smallwood

Having younger troops do embarrassing exercises like the little man in the woods, the duckwalk, or the dying cockroach is always funny, just make sure you don’t actually cross the line into hazing. Extra points if you make the new guys race while doing an exercise.

Two-person teams in a leap frog race make for a particularly enjoyable session.

7. Quick naps

Military-memes-funny-funniest-sleep-number-grunt-woobie

(via Military Memes)

This is exactly what it sounds like. You don’t actually need an explainer on how to nap, right?

8. Cell phone

An Army soldier passes the time by using his mobile phone tablet in a lull in training during the Expert Field Medic Badge test course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 23, 2015. The EFMB is the non-combat equivalent of the Combat Medical Badge and is awarded to medical personnel of the U.S. military who successfully complete a set of qualification tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan/Released)

(Photo: U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

Your cell phone can reach the entire Internet. Just make sure to bring an extra battery pack in case the “wait” part of your “Hurry up and wait” is longer than one charge.

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