It happens every drill weekend: that promise that, if you get everything done quickly, they will release you early. Don’t fall for it! If you’re normally released at 1700 (5:00 pm), they can release you at 1645 (4:45 pm), and it is still “early”, right?
I was once in a Reserve unit that frequently had nothing for us scheduled. It was an under-strength detachment far from our parent unit, and the parent unit loved to wait until 1400 (2:00 pm) on Sundays to tell us of all sorts of “mandatory requirements” that had to be met before we could be released. A weekend that had appeared to be going quickly, with no reason for us to stick around, became a dragged-out affair (that would not make for a humorous comic).
The point is: the folks in charge will always find some way to pull your strings– perhaps on purpose (to let you know who’s in charge and all that) or because they have to answer to even more disorganized or confused people higher up the food chain. When they say “Join the Army and learn skills to help you in the real world”, I think what they really mean isn’t technical expertise, but coping skills for when these sorts of things happen in civilian employment.