Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AT Day 11, Death by PowerPoint, Army Style

Today we had a morning session of chemical warfare training and an afternoon of PowerPoint slides. In the morning we began with PowerPoint but also had a lot of hands-on training. We completely disassembled and cleaned our Protective masks then put on our chemical protective suits. Wearing these suits makes everyone hope we never get attacked with chemical weapons.

After an MRE lunch we had four hours of Army PowerPoint presentations. If you think PowerPoints are boring in civilian life, here is how Army PowerPoints go. One of the presentations was 86 slides on Field Sanitation. The presenter introduces the topic. He puts up the first slide and has a soldier read it. The slides are all text, usually two or three paragraphs. After the soldier reads, hesitating over the many multi-syllable Latin-derived words--like sanitation--the instructor makes a few comments then he has the next soldier read the next slide. This continues until we have read all 86 slides.

You might wonder how anyone could stay awake during a series of several of these presentations. The big motivation is that if you are caught sleeping, you might have to do the class again. I got up and walked around several times.

One of the presentations was about the importance of hydration in the desert. 78 slides. Wow!

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