It is the time of year when communities begin hosting summer parades.  Fire trucks and police cars blast their sirens.  Children run into the streets chasing candy.  Princesses wave from floats covered in paper mache (my daughters love this).  Soldiers march in perfect step following the commands of their leader.

Don’t you wish your kids would follow your commands like that?  Today I’ll look at how a leader control Soldiers with such precision and ease.

US Army Drill
Photo Courtesy of US Army CC BY

The simple answer: Field Manual 3-21.5 also known as the Drill and Ceremony Manual.  Four lessons of Drill and Ceremony are instilled in each new soldier as they enter Basic Training, and can be used to lead your family and improve your relationships.

1. Discipline:

Part of a Soldier’s discipline is knowing commands and how to execute them.  It is an internal discipline.

The same discipline works as a parent.  Teach your kids the routines and steps required to get in bed when you say “it’s bedtime.”  Help them to know that they need to put on pajamas, brush their teeth, and use the toilet. Be there guiding them through their routine until it becomes habit. Kids learn by watching and doing.

By creating routines and having clear standards, you can increase self-discipline.

2. Precision/Attention to Detail:

Soldiers only follow a command on the “command of exeuction.”  For example, the command “RIGHT FACE” is used to turn a formation of Soldiers to the right.  “RIGHT” tells the Soldiers what they what direction to turn, while “FACE” is used to actually turn them.  This precision allows Soldiers to not only look sharp, it is a demonstration of the discipline stated above.

Teach precision to your kids. When they spill the milk all over the floor, don’t let them off the hook by cleaning up after them. Work with them until every drop of milk is cleaned. You don’t have to yell commands to ensure that a job is done right.

When kids learn attention to detail, they will be more prepared for their futures in school and the workplace. They will be able to listen to instructions and take action when the time is right.

3. Esprit de Corps:

Drill and Ceremony binds Soldiers together and builds morale.  When people complete tasks in groups, they have a sense of accomplishment that is greater than any one person.

The same morale boost is possible in a family.  Plant a garden.  Clean the garage and donate to charity.  Reorganize and decorate a room.  Any activity that uses precision, planning, and group action to achieve a common goal is ripe with opportunity to build morale and bind people together.

Not only that, but you will be spending quality time together. Time you will cherish as your kids get older.

When people complete tasks in groups, they have a sense of accomplishment that is greater than any one person.

4. Develop Future Leaders:

All this discipline and precision is designed to develop Soldiers into future leaders.  To be a quality leader, you’ve got to understand your followers.  Soldiers first function as part of a group.  Once promoted, they demonstrate their learning as they lead new Soldiers under their command.

As a father, it is my goal to raise independent children who have the ability to raise solid children of their own. I want nothing more than to see my children being amazing parents full of discipline and love.

Everyone has the chance to use military Drill and Ceremony to improve their family through developing internal discipline, practicing attention to detail, building camaraderie, and developing future leaders.

Which lesson from Drill and Ceremony do you think is most important for family? Why?

About

Robby helps busy business owners simplify and automate their productivity systems so they have more time to focus on what matters most. He helps you design and implement plans and systems so you can work ON your business, not IN your business. Companies such as Productive Magazine, Nozbe, Matt McWilliams, and Notable Themes have trusted Robby to share his productivity systems, increase sales, and create a better customer experience.

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