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                  allows Drill Sergeants the opportunity to ensure proper tie downs and that CCOs are bore-sighted. Forecasting CCO draw and tie-down eliminates a time crunch, ensures the trainees are prepared for the mission, and gives the Drill Sergeant the option to fill small gaps in training with more hands-on time with the CCO.
Change is a monster that rears its ugly head
in even the best organizations. Change can also derail the best-laid plan and cause significant stress for the Drill Sergeant, who gets told to “make it happen.” A few tools to help reduce the impact of changes are to use an appropriate amount of time to plan, build time in your plan for changes, and then protect the plan. The basic rule of 2/3 – 1/3 for planning is a rough guideline we use. Another way to look at it is that getting to a 90% solution
in a reasonable amount of time is far better than
a 100% solution that does not allow enough time to execute the plan. That plan also needs to have flex space. Building days and afternoons where
the Drill Sergeants have time to revisit previous training events or introduce new tasks before the main training event allows the unit to adjust when a task goes over the designated time or when a change pops up. Where the command teams can help is to protect that plan. ADP 7-0 specifically implores leaders to defend the published and approved training plan aggressively. Asking for that last-minute seven trainee detail may not seem like much, but it can create a chain of logistical challenges that impacts the effectiveness of a training event and adds stress to the Drill Sergeant that is just trying to train their Trainees.
You can ask many Drill Sergeants what one thing they need, and they will nearly universally say they need more Drill Sergeants, and when you are at 100% strength, you must find another way. Managing the staffing you have is a way to reduce the stress of being overworked. A well-accepted time management technique is to build time in your routine for rest. A good rest plan includes ensuring that individuals have opportunities to have days off, producing duty schedules, and publishing training plans well in advance of the
events. I build my duty roster while accounting for planned four days and schools for the entire cycle and post it before pickup. It is not perfect, change happens, but it is that timely 90% solution that allows the Drill Sergeant to see when they will have those long staff duty shifts and when they will be off so that they can plan time for themselves. Similarly, monitoring who has worked consecutively in early mornings and late nights is essential. Occasionally individuals will task reliable persons repeatably for these tasks to “make sure it’s right” and, in effect burning them out while simultaneously eliminating the ability to develop another person to do that job.
While nobody can eliminate all the stressors that Drill Sergeants face, leaders can impact some stressors through time management—building
a well-thought-out plan using the company training management process is the cornerstone
of managing time. Making a flexible plan and
then defending it are great tools to reduce unpredictability and reduce time crunches. The final step in any reasonable time management plan is to build time for rest and monitor the workload; this is a marathon, not a sprint.
1SG Hill is the First Sergeant of Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
Time Management
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