If You Can See Them, It’s Already Too Late.
When I was in the Army, one of the things that always amazed me was how many of the higher ranking soldiers had a very keen sense of what you were seeing when you were in their presence. Even if they were not looking directly at you, they could tell what you were looking at. And so it goes that if you walk into an area and see an NCO, they’ve already seen you.
Army drills are all about showing just how motivated you can be. It’s high energy the whole time, and no one sits on the bench. If you see the people around you doing something, you’d better start doing it as well, because there are consequences for not bringing your best attitude and being a part of the team.
So basically, if Knaw and Grouper don’t join in the pushup party with Brady and SGT Scrapper, they’re going to end up on a detail that will make them wish they had done pushups. Of course if you just jump right in and start doing the pushups, you’ll more than likely start to feel better anyway because of “endorphins” and stuff… and sure, you’ll probably end up on that crappy detail anyway, but at least they won’t make you feel like you’re being punished for not being highly motivated.
Footnote: It’s actually kind of spooky when you see it in action. One time I watched a seasoned sergeant talking to an officer. Soldiers out of his site were doing something they weren’t supposed to be. His glance suddenly darted over to a group of soldiers who could see what the others were doing. He quickly excused himself to the officer, and made a beeline towards the group he couldn’t see to straighten them out. No hand signals or any other communications, just that amazing sense of awareness.