It is important that the real aim of drill in the B.B. should be realised by all Officers. Drill is not an end in itself, but together with Christian education and other Company activities, is a means of furthering the B.B. Object. Nevertheless, the value of drill in the Brigade must not be overlooked or minimised.
Drill basically has a threefold purpose of:
1. Promoting habits of
- Obedience and Discipline. These habits are essential in the training of Boys, and they can be almost subconsciously acquired by means of good drill.
- Self-Respect. This is necessary in many ways. Drill and uniform are among the finest methods of promoting it.
- Self-Control. Through drill, a Boy is helped to become master of his own eyes, tongue and hands, and eventually his whole body, mind and spirit.
- Concentration. Good drill requires absolute concentration, and this can be of great value in later life.
- Physical Bearing. Although drill is not intended to replace Physical Education and Recreation, it is a valuable help in promoting an erect and upright bearing.
2. Developing Leadership
The young N.C.O. often finds it difficult to exercise leadership and gain respect. With the natural leadership which is encouraged at drill as a Squad or Section Commander, discipline can become easier.
Drill can also provide a valuable opportunity for the Staff-Sergeant or Officer to exercise and develop his leadership, if this opportunity is rightly and wisely used.
3. Encouraging Company Esprit-de-Corps
This expression has been defined as “Pride in a unit, which makes a Boy ashamed to bring discredit to it, and makes him ready to sacrifice for it.” Drill helps to build up this spirit. It is not an individual activity, in that no one Boy can shine at drill, but one individual can, however, spoil the whole Company.
In drill, there is no personal satisfaction for a Boy except the knowledge that he has done his best for the Company – and that is enough.
The Effect on the Boy
When it is presented and carried out well, drill can be attractive to the Boy. He can find it interesting, but even when he grows older and this interest may wane a little, he will be prepared to do something he may not really want to, for the sake of the Company. However, it must be realised that the Boy comes to drill to be drilled, and these results will never be obtained by just marching round the hall, or by casual and sloppy drill.
It has often been proved that a Company which is good at drill is good at most other things. The result can be felt in all Company activities, the general atmosphere and spirit of the Company, and the overall discipline. The result can also be seen in the Bible Class, and attendances at Bible Class often go up with the drill attendance and standard.
The Place of Drill
It must be realised, however, that the success of a Company does not depend just on its Drill Parade, and in view of the fact that Companies meet only on one or two nights per week, and there are a great number of other valuable activities to be fitted in, the amount of time spent on drill may be less than in years gone by. It is, however, the quality of the drill and the ability and enthusiasm of the instructor that really count.
Good drill promotes the habits mentioned in the B.B. Object, loyalty to the Company and the Officer as its leader. That loyalty may then be directed through the habit of reverence, promoted at Bible Class or other Christian education, to true Christian manliness, and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.