We would start with their name. Then, move to what position they were within the section, which weapon they carried, any injuries they had, what their strengths were and what side they preferred to fire from. How fast they could reload? How did they like to move from cover to cover, which leg moved first when we were stacked up against a door, how much ammo
they would usually go through in an assault, how they liked their brew in the morning. This was the process of getting to know your new pit buddy in the section.

By the end of my time in the service, I knew how long it would take for my oppo to clean his weapon in the morning out field, which side he preferred to set up on in the pit, and how many squeezes of condensed milk he liked in his coffee (two and a bit, by the way). It was my job – rather my privilege – to be able to help him out and make his life easier. I would help carry about 30% of his extra rounds, extra med supplies for his bad shoulder, and when he started slurring his speech from
carrying the machine gun all night and not getting a chance to eat, you best believe I gave him some of my food. Because if he goes down, we all go down.

Every member of the team has their strengths. Likewise, their weaknesses. Irrespective of if you are the Team Leader or a regular section member, it's vital you have Situational Awareness (SA) of those around you and how they’re doing. Whether it’s in the middle of a SCTN workout and noticing one of the team is hurting more when carrying their “weapon”, or a work colleague just looking flustered and like they’ve had enough, checking in on and helping out your team is often the difference between failure or ultimate success.

We say it every time in the SCTN sessions: “You will succeed or fail, as a team.”
Understanding your teammates weakness' and limitations will help the team succeed, mitigating any blowouts and grinding momentum to a halt. Making a checklist of everyone’s personal injury history won’t get the team moving (especially after we’ve given you an almost unachievable time frame to complete a task). However, being cognisant of who is around you and more importantly, how they’re going, is a skill we can all incorporate into everyday life.

Use your initiative, look out for your teammates, help when and where you can as often as you can, and get everybody over the line. Together.

“….It’s about the men next to you. That’s it……That’s all it is.”
Hoot, Black Hawk Down.

 That’s what it is to truly be part of the SCTN.

 Learn more on becoming part of the SCTN and challenge yourself at our next SCTN event, here