06 November 2009

The four and forty rule

"Dammit, you're not kids! You're adults!" As our sergeant briefed us today, he talked about following the rules - especially the one about TAPS, which says we need to be in bed by 2300. He said we should be expected to know the rules and follow them without the need for correction. He's right in that.

But this is a perfect example of the four and forty rule: treat cadets like they're four and expect them to act like they're forty. Assign them a bedtime and expect them to obey it, like 'responsible adults'. If the irony is not apparent, I'll explain.

Responsible adults don't have a bedtime. They don't have NCO's walking through their house, making sure they are "sleeping or quietly studying in their rooms" at 2245. It's unnecessary.

Cadets are not four-year-olds. They don't need a bedtime. They are smart enough to get enough sleep, and if they're not, they're responsible enough to pay the consequences.

Some rules are important. But let's start treating cadets like twenty-year-olds, and realize they're gonna act like twenty-year-olds. They're gonna talk on their cell phone after bedtime, whether it's against the rules or not. They have girlfriends, unlike four-year-olds. And they're in college, unlike forty-year-olds.

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