The Army Headquarters Garrison in Abuja on Monday began a five-day competition and general drill for corporals and ranks below.
The drill involves marching manoeuvres, weapons handling, map reading, physical fitness and obstacle crossing.
Speaking during the event, John Malu, the commander of the garrison, said weapons handling and map reading were very vital aspects of soldiering.
He, therefore, charged the soldiers to take the training seriously.
“I enjoin you to particularly take the weapons handling and map reading training very seriously because a soldier who cannot handle his weapon is not a soldier even though he is competent in other trades.
“Our first and foremost concern is to know how to handle the weapons and I expect you to use this period to brush up your weapons handling skill if it has become rusty; same with your map reading ability.
“You should be able to find your position, move from point to point and return to base.
“That is the essence of soldiering,” the commander said.
Mr. Malu, a major general, further said that the training was a serious exercise as it was meant to re-awaken in the soldiers the military training they had undergone.
“Most of you have served as drivers and orderlies for a very long time and have lost touch with training.
“It is on this basis that training like this is organised to bring back the soldiering in you,’’ he said.
According to him, training of corporals and below that rank is very crucial to the Nigerian Army as it is fundamental to professionalism.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that no fewer than 90 soldiers drawn from various units and formations are participating in the annual exercise.
In the drill on Monday, team D, Army Headquarters Garrison, emerged winner with 538 points, while team C emerged 2nd, with 455.5 points and a combination of teams – A and B- took the third position with 392 points.