I am going to discuss something that is a touchy subject for some. I am going to talk about corrective training. NCOs rely on it to train and mold their subordinate Soldiers. Some NCOs are better at it than others, in the sense of being creative and finding ways to make the punishment suit the crime. Others are a big fan of physical exertion.
Physical Training (More PT Sergeant! More PT!) tends to be a favorite in the combat arms community, because it provides opportunity to provide improvement in physical fitness (which is extremely important to their overall mission). Talk to any combat arms NCO, and they will tell you their favorite methods for giving their Soldiers more PT. However, being well-versed in different methods of corrective training is important. You should know your Soldiers and know how to execute corrective training so it actually corrects their behavior, instead of impeding progress.
Just what is corrective training? Army Regulation 600-20, Paragraph 2-18b (3), Army Command Policy, states “NCOs are assistants to commanders in administering minor nonpunitive corrective actions.” Note nonpunitive measures are not the same as nonjudicial punishment, which only may be directed by commanding officers.” Corrective training is any kind of training that can assist a leader in correcting a Soldier’s behavior or performance.
So, we know that only commanders can direct NJP (even though NCOs can make recommendations to them if necessary). We know that NCOs don’t have the authority to direct NJP, but can enforce other kinds of training. The buzzword floating around nowadays is ‘hazing’, which just makes me think of college, not the Army.
I don’t think corrective training should just be physical. There are those Soldiers that are in peak physical condition, so making them do iron mikes will not accomplish anything. If they have problems with equipment accountability, finding a way to help them learn how to be accountable is a more appropriate method of corrective training than making them do pushups. However, sometimes physical training is absolutely necessary, and should be used.
Some Soldiers struggle with their APFT, and remedial PT is a form of corrective training. If a Soldier can’t ever qualify first time go on the range, PMI should be done as often as you think appropriate. If they fail to do something, you can have them prepare a class on it and deliver it to the platoon.
Corrective training should be supervised by an NCO to ensure it is being done to standard. Note that this is not the same as extra duty, which comes along with an Article 15. Extra duty doesn’t have to be related to the infraction, which is what makes it different from corrective training.
Some units respond differently to different types of corrective training. One of my husband’s former Soldiers was a private in his squad on her first deployment, therefore she learned everything about corrective training from an infantry unit. After her deployment, she went back to her unit, eventually promoted to SGT, and got talked to for trying to make one of her Soldiers do PT for corrective training (when it would have actually been appropriate). Do you think that different units approach corrective training differently than each other? Do you think it has anything to do with the command climate?
What do you think about corrective training? How do you use it in your unit? Tell me your favorite methods in the comments section. I think that corrective training, done right, is an important method. It shows that you take training seriously and that Soldiers can expect to be held to the standard