Words of Radiance: Military Training
The novel, Words of Radiance, itself was well constructed, as expected of Sanderson’s peculiar genius abilities. And I use the Japanese sense of the word, tensei, that’s not based upon a mere monkey IQ test. This isn’t a review but a connection. Kaladin, one of the characters in the book, was faced with a challenge in training some soldiers for war. Due to circumstances, there was a severe lack of motivation on the part of people to fight.
The specific squad training highlighted in the book is what interests me and this essay by one of the authors I respect, discusses it in a more modern world scenario.
The Army’s record, I know, and the Marines, I’ve been told, is not all that good here. We waste a lot of time. We misdirect a lot of time. Worst of all, we centralize in such a way as to remove from non-coms, especially squad leaders, their historic responsibility to train their own troops. A side effect of that institutionally directed irresponsibility is that the squad leaders are often a lot weaker than they ought to be.