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Army team building activities

Updated February 21, 2017

Teamwork is an essential component to an effective military unit. The armed forces use team building to connect military members to their comrades and build survival skills for combat. Team-building activities for the army combine communication skills, teamwork and physical challenges.

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Ropes course

Ropes courses combine low- and high-level balance and strength activities that are arranged in a large outdoor obstacle course, and they require participants to work in pairs or groups to complete physically demanding tasks. Teams must complete tasks such as balance walks, belay challenges, ladder climbs, wall climbs and trust falls. All team members must cross the finish line and no team member may be left behind, a task that strengthens the bond among infantry members.


Paintball courses simulate controlled combat experiences that require participants to hone shooting skills as well as communication and cooperation skills. Paintball courses can be staged to resemble combat environments; obstacles could include parts of collapses walls, overturned cars or barrel fires. Two teams begin on opposite sides of the course and are required to reach the other end of the course without losing a member to enemy fire. Each team member is provided a paintball gun, ammunition, face mask and body armour. The goal of the game is coordinate all team members so that the entire team receives the least damage in pursuit of the objective.

Minimalist survival training

Soldiers must be trained in extreme survival skills in order to prepare for the harsh environments of combat. Simulated survival training places small groups of trainees in extreme survival situations. Teams of three to four members are blindly transported to a remote location with only very basic supplies, including canvas, water, a map, tape, a compass, flint and knives. Team members must work together to return to the base and survive for up to several nights. Extreme conditions facilitate attachment between team members and enforce survival skills that are relevant to combat training.

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About the Author

Hannah Wahlig

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.

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