Seriously, one of the things I never understood about the Reserves and National Guard –at least where I experienced them, in both California and Idaho– was how hard they worked to get college & university students to join, and then always seem to magically schedule “can’t miss” events right around the most intense study times for students. Meanwhile, things like Super Bowl or first weekend of hunting season are avoided like Neo dodging bullets in the Matrix.
Now, for sure a lot of troops appreciate things like Super Bowl Sunday (basically, the “World Cup” of American Football, for non-US readers) or hunting season being off, but considering the official policy of aggressively recruiting students it might be a good idea to coordinate with local universities as much as practical. True, this may be difficult in large cities with multiple different universities, community colleges, and other educational programs, but a lot of these institutions tend to run on the same schedule and have final exams around the same times.
I’ve always thought it might be better to not have drills “one weekend a month” throughout the year, but to meet for one full week on a quarterly basis instead. A one-week block per quarter would leave a couple months free to study without worry, and also grow beards or do whatever.
And, yes– “Warrior Leader’s Course”– this is a course you must take in order to be qualified to hold certain ranks in the US Army. It used to be called “Primary Leadership Development Course” but at some point during the Iraq War someone decided to focus on “warfighting” skills specifically and wanted the name of the course to reflect that. I took the course myself when it was “PLDC” and it is a good course full of useful insights on leadership, how to organize and talk to and mentor troops. I don’t know how much the curriculum changed with the change to “WLC” but while new junior leaders I meet seem to have fieldcraft down well enough, the mentoring and counseling soldiers aspects don’t seem to be as spot-on. But then, maybe I’m just old fashioned?