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                  Building Better Warriors
CPT Derek Hartman
  During my time as a company commander at Fort Jackson, I spent eight days supervising the execution of Buddy Team Live Fire
(BTLFX), two days per cycle for four cycles. Throughout this time, I witnessed a wide spectrum of Trainee performance. There are the Trainees who lack situational awareness, change their magazine in the middle of the field, away from all cover and concealment, and slowly lumber between obstacles. They can barely muster the physical strength, endurance, or stamina required to complete the 100m lane. In contrast, there are a few Trainees that excel during the task. These individuals took to heart all the pieces of training they received and display it during this culminating event. I always wondered what it was that led to the successful execution of the training and how I could lead these Trainees better. What I determined was the difference between those who can accomplish the event and those who cannot is a matter of discipline and warrior ethos.
We expect a great deal from Trainees that have been in the Army less than two months. During this short time, they are expected to inculcate the Army Values, learn teamwork, overcome their fears, gain competency in battlefield medical aid, and become marksmen - all while attempting
to transform their bodies into that of a well- conditioned athlete. Luckily, this is BASIC
Combat Training (BCT) and is only the start of their Soldierization process. However, to improve results during Buddy Team Live Fire (BTLFX), it is important to examine how we can foster discipline and the warrior ethos during each part of the shoot, move, and communicate processes that BTLFX requires.
During BCT, a Basic Training Company takes sixteen days, twelve of which are conducted with live ammunition on a range, and transforms civilians into Army marksmen. During those twelve days, much of their time will be spent off
the range. This is where discipline comes into effect. In order to achieve a reasonable instructor
to Trainee ratio, usually only one Drill Sergeant is available to facilitate concurrent training. Therefore, it is challenging to reach the 1:3 ratio called for by the program of instruction.1 With one instructor for ~130 Trainees, it requires self-discipline for
the Trainees to stay engaged and focused on self- improvement. To build this discipline in Trainees, it is important that they have a purpose for their actions. Understanding the underlying reasons
for shadow-boxes, mouse traps, or magazine change drills, for example, all help to keep Trainees disciplined and motivated towards improvement.
  1) 07-BT071043 BUIS Group and Zero (BCT RM PD 3), Basic Combat Training Program of Instruction, Department of the Army, HQ, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Virginia 09MAR2018.
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