Humor

6 of the least effective 'training' exercises that soldiers will love

Coming up with a training exercise that is engaging is required of every junior NCO on a weekly basis. If a leader trusts their Joes, this should be a time to reward his or her troops with something that is less useful and more enjoyable.

You can cut your troops some slack and tell the higher-ups that you're focusing on team building and squad integrity through less intensive tasks if you re-title the exercises carefully. Hell, if it works for NCOER bullets, why can't it work for training?


If all goes according to plan, the Joes should be out of there faster than first sergeant can say, "zonk."

1. Proper cleaning of living spaces

"Hygiene is important to the health and wellbeing of the soldiers. They are tasked with ensuring their personal living accommodations are kept in good order to mitigate the risk of illness. They will continue until satisfactory."

Translation: "Send them back to the barracks and have them clean until whenever."

(Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jason E. Epperson)

2. Cost-effective combat simulations

"Combat readiness is a must. In the interim between field exercises and live-fire ranges, we must also test troops' skills in a simulated battle zone. To do this, we will forgo any expenses from the unit's budget and rely on the tools available."

Translation: "Let them play video games."

(Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Randall Pike)

3. Procuring supplies in an urban environment

"Soldiers must always know how to gather necessary supplies in any location. This includes securing means of hydration, food, and whatever else may be mission-critical. An ability to come by these in a densely populated region is as vital as any other."

Translation: "Send them on a PX run."

(Photo by Spc. Taryn Hagerman)

4. Discovering knowledge of the world around them

"We live in an ever-changing and interconnected world. To keep troops informed, each troop has their own means of communication. They are also encouraged to conduct correspondence courses while there."

Translation: "Have them just go on a computer and hope they do their SSD1."

(Photo by Staff Sgt. James Kennedy Benjamin)

5. Proper dieting practices

"A sign of a true leader is knowing how their troops eat when not in the field. Keeping troops at peak performance is mission-critical and great dieting practices are a force multiplier."

Translation: "Grab a bite to eat with your troops."

(Photo by Maj. Ramona Bellard)

6. Land navigation in a familiar setting

"Given two points that a troop is very familiar with, plot a point and execute a maneuver between the company area and the location of their barracks. Given that most transportation in-country is done via vehicles, it would behoove them to get to their destination with whatever vehicle necessary. Expedience is key."

Translation: "Just send them home and hope they don't do anything stupid along the way."

(Photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell)