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Command tasks in ISSB – Sibtain Afzaal

Command task is one of the most important tasks you have with your GTO. After seeing your performance in the Discussions, GTO by now has made a judgment about you and would like to check you more and verify his decision whether you are to be recommended by him or now.

First of all your whole group would be called for fall in, meaning you would be ask to stand in a straight line. Then GTO would ask who would like to become the first commander. It has been seen that almost all the candidates raise their hand. But its up to GTO to select one among you all. Usually he picks the candidates based on his assumption that guy no 1 is the best among the rest according to his performance in discussion and should be tested first. But this is not a hard and fast rule. He might pick anyone.

Now comes a tricky part. He selects one candidate and takes him to the Command task. During that walk he asks the candidates some questions. He says that this is an “informal discussion and has nothing to do with ISSB” but in reality its also an assessment. He asks you questions like “aj kal kia ker rahay ho?” and other question in very polite and friendly manner as if he is your close friend. Thats a trick to get an insight. BE CAUTIOUS.

When you reach the task, he gives you a briefing, telling you about the time you have, which items you can use like drum, ropes, planks etc. He would tell you which points are “out of bound” marked red , which are “in bound” which are “out of bound for you but in bound for your items” marked with red and yellow strips. Ground is usually out of bound. Out of bound means that if you touch that point it would be a foul and you would have to do it again. More over, some times even jumping and throwing are also declared foul.

NOTE: Listen to his briefing clearly and remember the position of how the items(drums ropes planks) are placed before the task, as you have to put them back in the same position and order after the task. After hearing the entire briefing, call your group and then the you start the task.

After getting the briefing from the GTO , he would give you some seconds to think of a plan as how you would get the people across. After that time you have to call your group. Once they arrive you have to give them briefing as given to you by the GTO. Usually in Command tasks the main objective is to transport the material and the group across a certain piece of land which has some ditches, some ( pi ) shaped wooden stands on which you have to put the plank and cross that particular piece of land.

After giving the briefing to the group you have to ask them if they have any questions. If they say NO, then you should tell them your plan as how you want to get the things done. If some one gives a valuable advise then consider it other wise if some one in your group tries to show efficiency and act as a “smart ass” ignore his points and make the people concentrate on your plan. You should only change your plan if its not working and there is a strong opposition of the group.

In my case the group wanted to opt for a path which I didnt. But when they all said no we should go for their choice I let them. But they failed. So i moved forward my self and showed them what I was planning was actually right, and when i executed my plan my self I actually did it what others could not do.

When your task is over then try to perform well in other’s task, dont try to show off efficiency, but actually perform efficiently. GTO will be monitoring each and everyone. And when others would see that you give valuable suggestions, and act efficiently they would even rely on you and that makes a great impression before the GTO.

Some words of Advice and caution:

1. When you are a commander dont think that you are just to give orders and others will execute. When your help is needed, you should work with the group.
2. Avoid using the words “difficult” “impossible” “no” ” not” “never” etc. Instead of saying “doing this would be difficult” you can say “doing this would be more TIME CONSUMING”.
3. Call everyone with their chest number not by their name. Its a foul to call them by their name.
4. Use the people in your group wisely. Those who are trouble makers , keep them behind or away from the critical work. Those who are physically strong, make them lift loads like drums and planks. Those who are slim, to climb up the plank. Those who are thin and tall are good for jumping. In other words you should use your human resource efficiently.
5. In other’s command task when you have a suggestion you should convey it first to Commander “Sir if we do this it would save alot of time” or “it would help us greatly”. THis would catch the attention of GTO.
6. Always try to remain at the most critical point of the Task from where u can get the task done.
7. Its not compulsory that the task gets completed in the time alloted, when the GTO sees that the task would get completed or there is no way it would get done in time, he usually tells to stop and finishes it to save time. In my own task just 1st step was done in time and the whole task was still to be done, but when GTO saw that i can do it, he said “your time is up”. GTO just wants to check your nerves , your ability to command others, your ability to come up with instant plans to solve some problem or challenge.
8. When the time is UP, put all the planks drums and other stuff back to their original place where they were at the start of the task. In exactly the same order.

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