As a Small Unit Leader, I believe it is your responsibility to come up with some great training ideas during drill weekend. Training should be intense, realistic and battle focused. I also believe it’s a good idea to mix things up from time-to-time and come up with some “non-conventional” training events that are fun and different. After all, no one joined the military to sit around the armory every single drill weekend. Your job is to get people out of the armory and make drill weekend memorable and worthwhile.
In this post, I’d like to share a few “non-traditional” training ideas that you could work into your training schedule for the upcoming training year. These events are designed to improve soldier morale and provide good training. These are things I have personally done in the past or watched other units do.
- Commander’s Cup: You could schedule a yearly Commander’s Cup Challenge for your unit. Each platoon could compete against each other in different competitions (sports, weapons, First Aid, Warrior Tasks, etc.). The platoon that wins the most competitions would win the Commander’s Cup.
- Paint Ball Competition: You could schedule paintball into your training (yes, some units do it). You could use this training to teach tactics (or evaluate them).
- Mini-Triathlon: You could set up a few events such as a 10 mile ruck march, a push up competition, and 2-mile run and have an individual or platoon competition. Whoever wins the event gets a prize. I recommend a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize.
- Family Day: This might not be as exciting as the events listed above, but this is a great way to improve morale in your unit and get family members introduced to each other. You could have a BBQ, a Talent Show, and activities for the kids.
- Weapons Competition: You could pick three weapons such as the (M2, M4 and M9) and have a competition throughout your unit. The person with the highest score in the three events could win a prize or receive an award.
What’s great about these training ideas is that they (1) improve morale, (2) are fun and (3) they teach your soldiers new skills. It’s really the best of both worlds. Please know that you are only limited to your creativity.
Of course, most of your training should support your METL and unit objectives, but I think it is okay to add in some fun events from time-to-time.
On a side note, if you are a former/current commander or Small Unit Leader, I would love to hear from you. What are some non-conventional training events your unit did that you really enjoyed? Just leave a comment to this post to let us know.
Also, if you have any questions about non conventional training, you can post those below and we will try to provide an answer. Thanks for visiting.