From “American Mercenary” Take it to heart….he’s right.
In the Army we train classes with mixed skill levels all the time. Instructors will slow down if need be, or speed up if everyone is tracking. The phrase “Gung Ho” has been bastardized into meaning “hard charging” and used in phrases like “He’s real gung ho, even his wife has a high and tight” but what it really means is “work together.” Think about that for a minute.
Erin Palette took a trauma first aid class recently that focused on gun shot wounds, and got squeamish at some of the training aids. Good. The first time you get squeamish shouldn’t be during a real emergency when someone is relying on you to think clear headed. However slowing down a class to deal with issues like that made other students resentful, possibly a “training distractor.”
To those people who were slowed down I’d like to remind them that they won’t become an EMT or Trauma Surgeon in the span of an afternoons worth of training, or even a solid weeks worth of training. So working a class hard to milk every bit of knowledge you can is great, but recognize that once you master stopping blood loss and knowing when to do a needle decompression you are pretty much at the limits of what an EMT or ER Doc wants to you actually do.
I don’t like the sight of blood. I don’t like looking at wounds, I don’t like shoving gauze into wounds to stop bleeding or finding the gap between the ribs to stick a needle. I don’t like it, and if I did I’d probably have chosen a different career in the Army (possibly one that involved actually doing medical stuff to save lives).
That doesn’t mean I don’t have to recertify as a Combat Lifesaver every year. I do, and I have to train, and show proficiency too. Doesn’t mean I have to like it. Doesn’t mean I don’t shudder at the thought of some ham fisted grunt popping a vein trying to get an IV started in me.
But this is one of those life skills that you don’t want to not have, because when you need it you really need it. And if you have to slow down training to bring the new people along with you, that is what you do in the Army. That private who has never done this before needs the training much more than the Sergeant First Class who is going through his tenth recertification.
I’ve never been in a class that people volunteered to attend where any student intentionally derailed training. Now I’m sure that somewhere this has happened, but I think that it is a pretty rare thing. I have been in a class where a few students were completely clueless (such as some Captains who had branch transferred in from sister services) but had every right to be there.
If you want to make your organization better, you train up the weak links as best you can. Yes that means we can’t always optimize training for the high speed low drag individuals who are ready for the advanced stuff out of the gate. But at the end of the training, it is still stop the bleeding, ensure breathing continues, and get a better medical care.
Now I know that my experience in the Army doesn’t always translate into the civilian world, but here I would like to remind you that whatever you call your tribe, “People of the Gun” or “Preppers” or “Wookie Suiters” you want your tribe to be the best it can. And we do that be helping our weakest members get stronger just as much as we spend working on our individual skills. As someone once said sometime ago, “Gentlemen, if we don’t hang together, we shall surely hang separately.”