Study: Random, Pointless Formations Tied To Increase In Combat Performance, Morale Sgt B November 2, 2012 Army 26 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: FORT CAMPBELL, KY – First Sergeants throughout the Army and Marine Corps are celebrating the release of a study today that shows a direct and positive impact on combat performance that correlates with random, pointless formations. Thomas Burns, lead researcher for military think-tank Xegis Solutions, conducted a study with the 43rd Engineering Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. “We studied three companies in the battalion. One company had twenty formations a day, the other had ten, and the last one had zero. These weren’t necessary formations — the First Sergeant would simply say to the Platoon Sergeants, ‘Get everybody together, I’ve got information to put out’.” He continued, “the inevitable calls of “Foooooorrrrmmmmaaation!!!!! Out front in the parking lot!” would soon echo throughout the unit. Once the troops were assembled, the First Sergeant would usually let them stand there for fifteen to thirty minutes before finally dismissing the company to return to scheduled work.” “We continued this study for three months before the battalion deployed to Afghanistan and followed them through their tour in-country,” said Burns. “They were tasked with route clearance — a particularly dangerous job.” Burns said that the results were astonishing. “A direct correlation between the number of random, pointless formations the units had been conducting per day and how many IED strikes, casualties, and enemies killed was found. Basically, the more the better. Formations saved lives and helped these troops to kill more Taliban.” The company that held the most pointless formations, Burns says, was also the one credited with the most finds of weapons caches, disruption of insurgent activity, and highest performance in combat engagements. “And the company with no formations whatsoever,” said Burns tearfully, “they were pretty much combat ineffective. I believe that if they had also not worn their reflective belts on patrol, they might have all been done for.” Morale also appeared to skyrocket any time troops were told to be fifteen minutes early to every formation. Private Ethan Trest told the Duffel Blog how this personally saved his life. “I just got to the unit prior to deployment. I was considering suicide, mostly because my Drill Sergeants had been really scary and mean to me at Fort Leonard Wood. Right when I was about to swallow a fistful of 800mg Ibuprofen, I got a phone call from my team leader.” Obviously shaken, Private Trest trembled through the next sentence. “He saved my life. Something about hearing that the morning formation is at 0700, but the Platoon Sergeant expects us there at 0645, and he expected me there at 0630, just made me realize that it wasn’t worth it.” Estevon Dusek says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM Expected to be on the trucks at 0700, okay I’ll show up at 0645 and get chewed out because I wasn’t there at 0630 or earlier oh the wonders. Scott Robinett says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM I’ve learned a life-time of knowledge from these articles. Peter Kirk says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM hee,, hee,, hee,,, my old lady still get’s mad at me when I tell her to form up on me! Doc Bailey says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM this article must be pure propaganda. I know the 1SGs put it out so they can look justified when we suffer. lol Jerry Beingesser says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM How many times have we’ve heard over the squawk box “Fall Out in formation” and how many people answered practically in unison “Fuck You.” Christopher Golembe says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM WOW, sf seems to be ok without formations. Maybe it’s the quality of people in the unit. Just a thought Alberic Olarig says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM Pointless formation? I don’t brag particularly about the USMC but when it comes to the most pointless formations per capita- the USMC wins hands down! Mike Harris says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM Makes sense. My last unit did formations once a month (SgtMaj was a female). That was a fucked up unit. I strongly believe more formations would have made that place more enjoyable. William Schaffenburg says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM Ha..this is my BOLC class from 2010 at Fort Sam. Jan Rio says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM These formations are okay, as long as it doesn’t pass 1800 hrs or before 0500 hrs. Countless, pointless formations = low retention rate. Units with platoon base formations rather than cluster f*&% formations works best, speaking from experience…. Stephen Pointer says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM I know this is SUPPOSED to be satire…but DAMN! How we used to suffer through the pointlessness of never ending formations. Nice to see that things actually haven’t changed much. Robert P. Wills says: February 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM I had a commander years ago that would put a cherry on the pointless end of day formations by making them a urinalysis test. That way he could “surprise” people and “catch them when they didn’t expect it”. Right, except no one really needed to piss at 1630 so we’d sit around chugging water and tea. I just stopped pissing after about 1300, and when I was out the door formation-free, I would piss before driving home. Army Wife (P) says: November 2, 2012 at 11:48 PM What about the platoon of wives and/or girlfriends that gaggle around the back of formations? Waiting to bitch and moan and/or drive home the guys who have had their driving privileges revoked for missing formations? leftoftheboom says: November 3, 2012 at 1:01 AM The fact that they are there means the formation can be longer since family time has already started. And it is another reason for the troops, locked up in formation to be ticked off. They are not ticked off about the women being there. Some are getting ridiculed by their buddies over the size of most of the wives and jealous of the few thin or at least thinner girlfriends. Of course all military wives assume the prerequisite pear shape a month or two after marriage. leftoftheboom says: November 3, 2012 at 1:02 AM not you of course. the other wives. leftoftheboom says: November 2, 2012 at 7:12 PM Of Course they were motivated. The pointless formations had them ready to kill anything that moved. Excellent use of Psychological warfare to get them ready for aggressive action, their commander and 1sg are outstanding leaders of men. So the next time you are in a pointless formation, just know that your leaders want you to tear up some stuff. Nitehawk says: November 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM I’ve been out of the Army since 1987 and can honestly say, I don’t miss formations. Lt. Butero-Trinkejo says: November 2, 2012 at 5:13 PM I have been saying this for years, but nobody listens to a butter bar…. Trent says: November 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM You’ve been a butter bar for years? Maybe that’s why nobody listens to you Lt. Butero-Trinkejo says: November 2, 2012 at 9:10 PM Wait what you saying it isn’t normal to retire as an O-1? RangoInfantry says: November 4, 2012 at 5:14 AM Pick a last name already, M’am Guy says: November 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM How long until the first sgts get ahold of this am print it out to use against their units sig says: November 2, 2012 at 10:42 AM About 200 years ago, I’d guess. Rangerfeltersnatch says: November 2, 2012 at 5:49 PM I just printed it. This is going up all over the company. Not so great santini says: November 2, 2012 at 8:37 AM God, I love this site, this is the only place for military news….Keep up the Great work! Jay Dearhouse says: November 2, 2012 at 8:01 AM It really lowers the number of accidents too.