The wall-to-wall counselor's toolkit
Although many successful wall-to-wall counselors have conducted sessions using nothing but their bare hands, a small toolkit will ease your job, especially in those critical first few sessions.
A wall-to-wall counseling toolkit does not have to be elaborate or expensive. In fact, you probably have all materials in your unit right now, and all that it takes to use them is a little imagination.
No leader can consider himself a wall-to-wall counselor without possessing a good baseball bat technique. A regulation baseball or softball bat is good. Wood or aluminum, short or long, any bat will do as long as it is not splintered. A splintered bat may break during those long swings. Viewing the film The Untouchables will give you ideas on baseball bat technique. You can invent new techniques as you go along.
Although dimension lumber is usually used in the same manner as baseball bats, other techniques for its use are easily devised. A two-by-four is a handy thing to have. Cut two of them. One needs to be three feet long, while the other should be four to five feet long. Drive six nails into the longer one so that the sharp ends of them stick out of the board. This is nailed high on the wall of the counseling morn and is primarily there for shock effect.
If a baseball bat is also available, have your assistant grab the counselee's arms and pull them be-hind his back. Place the board even with the elbows, pull the arms dawn to the body and secure with green tape. This prevents the soldier from attempting to assault his leader.
If two-by-twelves can be obtained, get one about six feet long. While it is not suitable for swinging, the counselee can be secured to it with green tape, lifted high in the air with the aid of your assistant and dropped.
Pool cues are quickly falling out of favor among the modern wall-to-waIl counselor. It is still effective for barroom brawls when the proprietor will not allow you to bring in your toolkit. It is also good for when immediate wall-to-wall counseling is called for and you can't go out to your car to get a tire iron or a jack handle.
The pool cue sits in a strange and unenviable position among weapons: If held so that it can do some good, it is easily broken; if it is held so that it will not break during blows, it is not long enough to do much good. It is also more expensive than either a two-by-four or a baseball bat. In all, the baseball bat is a much more satisfying tool than the pool cue.
Although wall-to-wall counseling is much more challenging and rewarding when a soldier is free to move and fight back, many counselors prefer the expediency of beating someone's ass while he is tied up.
By taping the arms to the sides as detailed in the Dimension Lumber section, counseling may be accomplished quicker and with less hassle. Many items may be used for restraints; here we list but a few.
Available at all police supply stores, handcuffs are an easy, effective way to restrain the counselee. Two pairs should be used if no assistant is available. One end of the cuffs is attached to the soldier, the other to a pipe or other support. The soldier may also be hand cuffed to an object by putting his hands behind the object and the cuffs snapped on from there. The new "cable-tie" style handcuff is a cost-effective and useful restraint. It is usually long enough to secure the feet and is available for mere pennies. Its only drawback is that it is only usable once; it must be cut off cut off after the session and thrown away.
The Army standby, green tape, better known as hundred-mile-an-hour tape, is effective as a short-term restraint, providing the soldier is not strong enough to break it. It is available in several widths; the standard 2" width is sufficient for most soldiers. The almost-unobtainable 6" width is not good for wall-to-wall counseling due to its extreme width and liability to twist at the slightest provocation. It is also more expensive.
Ropes are only marginally acceptable as restraints, but are good for tying the soldier to trees in the field and for dangling him from fire escapes by the ankles or wrists. If the counselor intends to hang the soldier from a fire escape, though, special care must be taken in the selection of the rope to insure that the weight of the soldier will not break the rope and cause him to land on his head and die. Army issue rappelling rope is the best obtainable wall-to-wall counseling rope due to its high strength and easy availability.