A lack of realism hurts the ultimate goal

It’s pouring rain.  You’re soaking wet, huddled under some trees with fellow recruits as you stand watch at a makeshift roadblock.  You hear a vehicle approaching.  Just then a small white cube van rounds the bend and makes its way up the hill towards you.  At it nears the gate you motion with your hands for the vehicle to stop.  Just as the van stops, the doors swing open and three men huddled inside suddenly heave an improvised explosive device out the door as they slam in reverse and try to get away.  You’re heart races, as you’ve got mere seconds to decide.  What do you do? 

It’s a decent scenario, but it’s hard to play the part when the makeshift explosive device consists of a cardboard box with wires taped to a large rock and an empty tissue box inside and the "terrorists" appear more interested in staying dry then accomplishing their objective.  You’re running on little sleep and you’ve been standing in the rain for a while now.  You’re holding rifles that are older then most of the recruits and somewhat tattered clothing with raingear that is rare to keep you dry.  It’s rather hard to get into the theme of things when you can get better realism out of a video game based simulation.

If I could offer any suggestions to the guys who teach next year’s recruits, could it be that you make it a bit more realistic?  Throw together a digital display, some logic gates, a timer, some wires and attach them to set off a false grenade so you can give the guys something to get a bit excited about.  Such a scenario would work great if you told us we’d recieved a bomb threat and we’d had a limited timeframe to track it down and cordon it off, potentially recieving an award (late night pizza?) for being the team to finish it in the shortest amount of time.

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Alex Masters
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“..potentially recieving an award (late night pizza?) for being the team to finish it in the shortest amount of time.” Blimey. You’ll work for anything, eh? Our IED had no timer and a switch. Our ‘terrorists’ decided to run off. The problem with this? Because of the absense of a timer, and the presence of a switch, this was not a timed nor remotely detonated device. If someone wanted to blow it up, they’d have to be the one to flick the switch and go up in smoke with it. Our terrorists ran off. This is a key point. WHY?!… Read more »