January 20, 2011
When my husband was in training, he often told me that he felt like he was a success if his drill sergeants didn’t know his name. The reason being that the drill sergeants tended to know the names of those who caused some sort of trouble or didn’t follow standards. He did his best to remain under the radar screen of his drill sergeants and instructors throughout all of his training.
This is wise advice for everyone who is entering the military. Blend in with the crowd and don’t give the drill sergeant or instructor a reason to know and remember your name. There are multiple things that may put you at the top of their hit list.
- Not following instructions. If the drill sergeant says jump, you jump. You don’t ask why, how high, how many times or any other questions – you simply jump.
- Hiding contraband. There are many things you aren’t allowed to have during basic training including candy and tobacco. Don’t get caught with these items or not only will you be punished, the rest of your platoon will be as well.
- Receiving packages with contraband. Many families want to be supportive and will send packages not knowing that what they are sending isn’t allowed. When the drill sergeant makes the soldier open his package only to reveal sweets and other non-allowed items, he remembers that soldier’s name and will also typically make everyone pay the price for the family’s mistake.
- Being late for formations or other events. Always be on time. And being on time in the military means you get there early.
Remember, if you break the rules that most drill sergeants will punish everyone and not just the person who broke the rules. Even if the drill sergeant doesn’t remember the name of the recruit who caused everyone to do push-ups at 3am, your fellow soldiers will. Do what’s right and follow the rules all of the time. This is not a time to see how far you can push the limits.