Survey for Soldiers

Question
1) I felt a wide array of deep emotions throughout training
2) My unit/platoon often failed tasks provided by my drill sergeant
3) I was rarely able to accomplish the given tasks on my own
4) I often second guess my decision of joining when I was being punished for someone else’s problem
5) The long hours of training caused me to lose motivation to complete training
6) Harsh physical conditions led me to lose my motivation to complete training
7) I used deep thought to escape the moment and seek relief from the suffering
8) Deep thought provided me relief from suffering
9) Past memories or future excitement provided me the motivation to finish
Question # Agree Disagree Total Answers % that Agree % that Disagree
1) 25 3 28 89% 11%
2) 27 1 28 96% 4%
3) 19 9 28 68% 32%
4) 24 4 28 86% 14%
5) 19 9 28 68% 32%
6) 21 7 28 75% 25%
7) 26 2 28 93% 7%
8) 26 2 28 93% 7%
9) 27 1 28 96% 4%

The data provided by a survey I conducted provides quite a few conclusions about the mindset of soldiers who have completed basic training. The most important statistic provided is that 96% of soldiers who completed basic training thought about a past experience or future excitement as motivation to complete training. This number is so vital because that relates directly back to my thesis. Along with that, 93% of soldiers who participated in the survey said that they used some sort of deep thought to escape the reality throughout training. Even though 96% of soldiers thought about a happier time as motivation, only 89% of soldiers considered the experience to be an emotional experience. This implies that though most of them used thoughts about their family as motivation, not all of them felt that this caused any emotional feelings. Statement number three was most disagreed with having a 32% disagreement rate. Statement four on the other hand, only had a 14% disagreement rate. This is shocking in that it shows while only 68% of soldiers thought they themselves were having a tough time completing tasks, 86% of soldiers second guessed their decision of joining because they were being punished for someone else’s mistake. This is very important in terms of a soldiers motivation because it can be very difficult to attempt to overcome something that cannot even be fixed. Probably being one of the toughest test for resiliency, soldiers had to find a way to build the motivation to get through training while suffering consequences for mistakes they had not control over.

The data provided to me by these soldiers was a crucial aspect of my thesis. Having these soldiers share their mental experience of training allowed me to find commonalities throughout the mindset of a soldier. This information was so crucial because we all shared a very similar experience. While our drill sergeants and fellow recruits may have been different, the training doctrine was still the same. This provided the perfect environment to question the mental state of those who have successfully completed the training.

Conducted by Colin J Cox

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7 Responses to Survey for Soldiers

  1. davidbdale says:

    BlackHawk, I followed the link to your Google Doc and requested permission to view it there. Google says I’ll receive an email when permission is granted.

    This is a fascinating survey. One general note will sound familiar. Stick with the first person if you want your “customers” to reflect carefully on their personal experiences. I presume these are either True/False questions, or that you’re asking for a “Very Much/Not So Much” reply. I would advise against offering ANY neutral responses. Force a choice in first person. For example:

    7. I used deep thought TO SEEK relief from the suffering: TRUE FALSE
    8. Deep thought PROVIDED me relief from the suffering: TRUE FALSE

    I think 8 is the better question if you ask only one of them. Otherwise, you don’t learn all you want to learn. The original question: (7. Deep thought helped you escape the suffering) would deliver a FALSE reply from recruits who sought relief from deep thought but didn’t find it. The new question 8 would deliver TRUE replies only from recruits who sought and received relief. But it would not distinguish between those who never sought relief and those who did seek it but failed. Which is more important to you?

    One more question: Is “deep thought” a concept or term common among recruits? Is it a term employed by the officers who train? I wonder if it might confuse your “customers.”

    • thecommonblackhawk says:

      I edited the survey and removed the “short answer” portion due to the time constraints my unit will be facing this weekend along with changing the wording of the questions. I copied what the survey looks like on this post but it looks a lot neater on my google drive sheet. If this looks good, I will be taking it with me to my unit this weekend so I have more updated information for Monday.

      • davidbdale says:

        This is well designed, BlackHawk. I’m glad you decided to go with an “all or nothing” format. Respondents should be instructed that you recognize they would all prefer more nuanced answers but that the nature of the survey requires a Yes or No response. I’m eager to see the results.

  2. davidbdale says:

    This is very fine work, BlackHawk. Using the url for this page, I have updated your Bibliography to link your Source 13 back to the survey.
    (Fun to provide your own sources, isn’t it?)

  3. davidbdale says:

    BlackHawk, your grade is secure, but I sense that you are a student who wants to learn just for the sake of learning. So I ask you, “Do you want some feedback on how to more effectively present these explanations?” I don’t need your revisions, but I’d be more than willing to share some advice.

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