How to Impress Your Drill Sergeants at Basic Training
by Michael Volkin
Let’s face it, basic training is tough. For the first time you will be dealing with Drill Sergeants who love to yell at you and hang on your every move. I made it through basic training hardly ever getting yelled at, here’s how I did it:
It’s important to understand that nothing will make you “yell-proof”; however, there are preparations you can make to reduce the amount of personal attention you get from Drill Sergeants.
- Understand the Game– Drill Sergeants don’t personally hate you. If you take the yelling and insults a Drill Sergeant gives you personally, you will add extra stress to an already stressful situation. A Drill Sergeants goal is to motivate and train you in the quickest time possible. Their job is to break you down as a civilian and turn you into a member of the U.S military in the shortest time possible. That job is not easy and would be difficult with a Richard Simmons type motivation approach. If you get personal attention by Drill Sergeants at basic training, just remember it’s for your own good.
- Don’t be Friendly– Your Drill Sergeant isn’t looking for a friend, so leave your manners at home. Don’t attempt to have a leisurely or friendly chat with a Drill Sergeant because you will find yourself doing push-ups in the mud. 90% of what you say to a Drill Sergeant should be “Drill Sergeant yes Drill Sergeant”, or “Drill Sergeant no Drill Sergeant”. The other recruits should be your friends, the Drill Sergeants should be your motivators and trainers.
- Don’t be a Know It All– Drill Sergeants aren’t impressed with what you know, or think you know. Many recruits come to basic training hearing stories and learning lessons of when their friends and family attended. Don’t listen to those recruits as stories are often exaggerated or interpreted incorrectly. Even if you know the answer to something, don’t shout it out unless you are specifically called upon.
- Speak with Confidence– Drill Sergeants love to pick on recruits who answer or talk in a quiet or timid voice. Their job is to turn you into a lean mean fighting machine. When asked a question, only respond with a confident voice, even if you don’t know the correct answer. A wrong answer spoken confidently sounds better than a right answer spoken timidly.
- Don’t be Late– When a Drill Sergeant asks you to be somewhere in 45 seconds, you better be there in 15. Arriving on time is the same as arriving late to a Drill Sergeant.
SGT Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, available in both paperback and e-book format at www.ultimatebasictrainingguidebook.com