Every year, we have to have an “S.R.P”, or Solider Readiness Program. It can take one long, full day if run well, usually it takes two or three days. It’s an opportunity to make sure all your paperwork is up to date, and I mean all of it. Next of kin, insurance, medical and dental, awards, career tracking, you name it. They even check to see if you have those metal ID tags, the “dog tags” of yore, and of not, they have some made for you.
Technically it is very useful and necessary, and it is not only good to check in once a year to make sure your pay and benefits are correct, but it also ensures that you are ready for deployment quickly if needed, and not hung up on missing paperwork. That said, it can also be a huge administrative pain in the rear, digging up old paperwork or assembling records that have been misfiled either by the Army or by yourself.
You wait in line for anywhere from several minutes to a couple of hours, waiting to have a file folder opened, check it over, and say “yep, still good!”– then check the box and go start all over again in the next line for another box-check. Smart units have “express lanes” for single soldiers who have never been married and have no kids (they can usually go through these things quick). If you’ve been married, then divorced, remarried, and had kids in both marriages, then you will be swimming in paperwork for much of the day. The more complex your life is, the more complex your paperwork will be.
And of course the Army also loves to squeeze in as many administrative tasks as possible, since everyone will be there and many people will be in lines, waiting… so they love to get a urinalysis test taken care of as well, so the unit can report THAT at 100% (or as close as possible). Annual Training is our “two weeks out of the year” and it is two weeks of essentially Active Duty time, and they want to get as much accomplished as possible. Qualifying with your weapons (Marksmanship) is frequently done here as well, so why not combine the two?
Since you have to pee into a little bottle, good “Marksmanship” is actually pretty important.