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NEWS | April 6, 2016

Breaking the monotony of training

By U.S. Army Sgt. Nehemiah Wright Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD), 53rd Transportation Battalion Movement Control (MC)

The majority of everyone in the military can attest to those days where training seemed to be a grind, and a three hour block of instruction felt like days to get through. You went through the paces, struggled through the power points and at many times lost motivation quickly.

No matter if you're "high-speed', a diligent worker, an optimist or even the first sergeant, everyone can agree at some point in their military career training might have not been at its optimal potential.

Recently I was assigned to give instruction on battle drills, react to contact, and react to ambush in preparation for an upcoming convoy live fire exercise.

I decided I needed to change the approach to Headquarters for Headquarters Detachment (HHD), 53rd Transportation Battalion Movement Control (MC) sergeants' time training by developing a realistic and unique training event.

With thorough research and outsourcing, I was able to coordinate with the Morale Welfare and Recreation's Warrior Adventure Quest Program to conduct realistic training at a paintball field in Virginia Beach, Va.

I wanted to ensure that I put together a training event that would have an everlasting impact on the Soldiers. The training was comprised of three scenarios involving improvised explosive devices, downed helicopters, and disabled vehicles.

As Soldiers arrived to the paintball site, they went through step-by-step instructions on how to react to contact and react to ambush. The intent was to provide a visual aid on the battle drills and then to allow the Soldiers to take the skills and apply them to training.

After the scenarios and 1,000 paintballs later, the Soldiers of HHD could all agree that the in-depth realistic training scenarios brought together team cohesion, camaraderie and boosted unit morale.

"I felt like this training depicted what really happens when you shoot move and communicate effectively as a team. I really enjoyed this training." said Spc. Zachary Inboden, a training participant. "I would love to do this every sergeants' time training."

As Soldiers were able to conduct battle drills, they learned to move in different tactical formations, they quickly picked up visual communication skills and most of all it was an enjoyable experience that brought the unit together with smiles and bruises from the paintballs. 

That was just one idea to break up the monotony of training. Sometimes, all it requires is a little hard work, dedication and shifting gears. O, at times, just not accepting mediocrity. So to all of the fellow leaders out there, when it's your turn to conduct training step outside the box and set some fire back into the day we call sergeants time training.