How battle drills can be explained through a night of drinking
There are many clever ways to remember stuff from the Army’s study guide. “Low Flying Pilots Eat Tacos,” for example, is a great mnemonic for remembering the first 5 lines of your 9-line medevac. “Sergeant Major Eats Sugar Cookies” is a great one for trying to remember your operation orders. But there isn’t really accepted one for remembering the battle drills. So, instead of a goofy mnemonic, think of the 8 battle drills as the 8 stages of drinking at a bar with your buddies.
For the sake of brevity, we’re only covering battle drills at the platoon level. They’re the same in theory, but the designations are different for squad-level drills. And of course, there’s much more to each battle drill, this is just about remembering the basics.
Battle Drill 1: Platoon attack
Or, when you and your boys are headed out.
You guys are finally headed out. From here on out, you move as a single unit, you stay together as a single unit. Group up and head out. After all, fighting and drinking are the two greatest things an infantryman can do!
Battle Drill 2: React to contact
Or, getting to the bar.
All the sights and sounds are coming at you at once. Bunker down in a spot that can serve you well — you may be there for a while.
Battle Drill 3: Break contact
Or, moving around the bar.
There’s no such thing as retreat. You need to scout out a new spot and get there quick. If your boys see a better spot, follow them to it.
Battle Drill 4: React to ambush
Or, you’re approached by someone you’re interested in, but you’re drunk.
You’re caught in the kill zone. You don’t want to stay in a place where you’re weak. Reposition yourself to give yourself the edge.
Battle Drill 5: Knock out bunkers
Or, when you’re trying to use the bathroom.
You observe where you want to “go” and wait until your perfect moment to strike — or take a piss.
Battle Drill 6: Enter building/clear room
Or, coming home drunk off your ass.
You need to enter the doorway as soon as you can and get out of the kill zone. Be careful, if you or one of your boys is married, you might run into some “heat” for coming in at this hour.
Battle Drill 7: Enter/clear a trench
Or, trying to curl up into bed.
Keep a low profile. You can adjust, but keep your eyes on the enemy (or the toilet, in case you have to hurl).
Battle Drill 8: Conduct initial breach of a mined obstacle
Or, dealing with a hangover.
The key is to deal with this one slow and steady — no quick movements. Don’t do anything too stupid and let other people (breach team or EOD) handle it.