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Monday, March 23, 2020

Things I Learned in the Army that are STILL Useful Today

It was not so much the shouting by the officers. What annoyed me was that we were told to do things without an explanation as to why. There is actually a lot of things that make a lot of sense when you go through basic training. Being the nosy fella I am, I have asked (and thus set the path for my work today, maybe?)

- Clean equipement before you clean yourself. You get back from a three-day excursion to the forest and you just want to rinse off the mud. But before that, you have to clean the rifle and the other pieces of equipment. The reason is that one could fall sick / be disabled and not fit for combat. Then someone else can take over your equipment. Makes sense in business too, as it would be easy for others to fill in for you if you are not in the office

- All the wardrobes were to be set up the same. If you are hospitalised or you need something from your wardrobe, you can give your key to someone to get it. S/he would know where things are as they are in the same spot in his or her wardrobe. If you set up a filing system within a department, you can apply the same principle. If everyone is following the same structure, then you can go on leave and a colleague can answer most questions if you are not around, simply, they would look for it in the same spot as in their own filing

- To tie a tie. Never had to before I went to the army. But after that it came in handy. Not that it is the most elaborate knot, but it works.

- Preparing meals. Not that I would call it cooking, but the idea was to share the responsibility while in the field and to ensure we all had something to munch. I was known for using too much pepper.

- Teamwork. Yes, you read that right. When you start basic training, you are lumped into one room with 6 strangers and the officers tell you that you have to clean the room 3 times a day as well as a specific area of the building (Got lucky! Stairwells...No snow-shovelling!). If you are in the right gruop, a) a rotation is quickly established and b) there is no need to discuss what happens if the person who is supposed to clean the designated area is not around. Not that one has to like the people one is with, but it is about getting a collective job done as otherwise the superiours would just impose punishment for the whole room. In business, one may not want to have the colleagues over for a family reunion, but one has to be working together as the department will also be avaulated collectively.

- Staying in. The first few weeks of basic training demand that one stays in the barracks. No going home or for the pub... Today, I can stay in easily. Might be even easier as one might be with people that are not just random, but the ones we chose to be with. 

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