Topic: Drill and Training
The Military Instructor
Excerpted from A Military Ready Reckoner, by William Cooke, Drill Sergeant, 1st Battalion, Grenadier Regiment of Foot Guards; 1862
And above all things the Instructor should never resort to coarse language, as such conduct on the part of an Instructor can only point to his own incapacity to communicate instruction.
When explanation fails to produce the desired result illustration must be employed, so that all may feel and understand their way with equal advantage.
And again the Instructors should never tell a man that he is stupid, much less think so. No! the Instructor should employ such a mode of reasoning as will make up for the apparent want of intelligence in the man. By such means you avoid pointing out one man as inferior to the other in point of intelligence.
All men should be made to feel equally worthy of the Instructor's attention ; thus by a plain mode of reasoning you bring the awkward man to a sense of his own weak points which always acts as a powerful stimulant towards greater exertion, thereby enabling a slow but sure recruit to stand on an equal footing need with his more active comrade.
A good temper the is an indispensable qualification in an Instructor. Respect a man's feelings as you would your own, at the same time be firm yet moderate and reasonable in all things which can never fail to produce the desired result,—a good and well trained soldier. And in conclusion allow me to remark that no Instructor can ever exceed that standard of perfection where further information or instruction is no longer required.
No Instructor should ever feel himself beyond the province of correction, though corrected by individuals of less experience. It's by such correction that you can ever hope to attain to anything like a standard of perfection in the art of training a Soldier.