Guesting: The Universal Benefactor
One of the core aspects to anyone's experience in the 29th is the mandatory drills they attend. These drills all have many benefits, from improving communication and teamwork, to honing in-game skills and even just socializing with others in the unit. They are mandatory for a good reason, as we could not function as a unit if our members did not show up on a regular basis. The events that we prepare for and the goals that we have as a unit depend on a consistent roster of well-trained members ready to go at a moment's notice, yet there is one thing that many people in the 29th still do not engage with in drills. This one thing provides numerous benefits to everyone involved and enhances everything we do both in and out of game; that thing is guesting drills.
The phrase "guesting drills", sometimes simply referred to as "guesting", is when a member of the 29th attends a drill that they are not expected to attend. Whether it is a mandatory drill of another squad or a non-mandatory company drill, 29th members are allowed to ask permission to participate in drills they are not required to. Most of the time the permission is granted as long as the person making the request follows the rules, behaves themselves, and does not disrupt the drill. Many people, however, actively choose not to do this for one reason or another. To put it bluntly, if you are not guesting often, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. It does not matter who you are, your rank, your position, or what your goals are in the unit. Guesting drills on a regular basis benefits literally everyone, especially you. Some people do not have as much time as others, but if you are actively choosing not to participate outside your mandatory two hours, that is a mistake.
For members of the 29th who have just graduated BCT, guesting other drills allows you to get accustomed to the 29th way of doing things much more quickly. You will easily pick up on the standard procedures and traditions we have, the tactics we often use, the different purposes for weapons and personnel, and even the unofficial rules that each unit sets up naturally. As a fresh private, it's your role to carry out orders to the best of your ability and to continue learning all you can about the 29th. This process takes time but there is no better way to speed this up than guesting.
Perhaps you are interested in getting more involved in the 29th? You want to be noticed for an AIT, or get more into the administrative side of things? You need to get your name out there and what better way to do so then to be someone regularly seen throughout the week. Being a regular sight at multiple drills means those who often make those kind of decisions above you can easily see you are serious about sticking around. You will learn things about the 29th that are not exactly written down, learn who are the ones to talk to about certain topics, and even who the experts are regarding certain AITs. With the amount of guesting that can be done in the 29th, you will easily pick up many of the tricks and odd issues regarding the game itself, as well.
Maybe you want to be considered for SLT, or you are currently in SLT and need to practice your in-game leadership? There is no easier way to do this then to take command of a team of guests. You will quickly learn the basics of leadership as well as seeing what works and what does not; especially when it comes to your own personal style of leadership. The nervousness that many have when they first start leading teams fades much faster when guesting regularly and getting into the routine of taking command of a squad.
Even current leadership at all levels can benefit from guesting. Squad leaders attending other squad's drills can see what others are working on, look for good ideas to "borrow", and sometimes even see what does not work. You can even help out other squads by sharing a different point of view or contributing information they may not be aware which goes towards improving your entire platoon - the unit size we just so happen to deploy in the most. This also applies to platoon and company leadership, providing a good chance to get to the know the other leadership in the unit. It also lets you interact with other members who you normally would not have a chance to.
Of all the habits that we encourage in the 29th, there is no better habit I can think of than guesting. From helping one's personal skill, to practising the essential skills of leadership, to just having a good time with fellow 29th members; guesting has a huge impact on everyone involved. If you currently do not guest drills regularly, fix that.
Written by SSgt. Dethfield
Edited by Cpl. Furie & T/4 Laird