What was Ishmael's war training like?


Ishmael Beah's war training was minimal and rushed, reflecting the desperate circumstances of civil warfare. According to him, his training differed significantly from a professional soldier's traditional regimen. Instead of a comprehensive boot camp, Beah, who began fighting at the age of 13, received basic, on-the-spot training amidst ongoing conflict. This "training" essentially covered the bare minimum needed for immediate survival and combat readiness, focusing on simple identification of the enemy and basic weapon handling [1].

The urgency and pragmatism of this training stemmed from the unpredictability and brutality of civil war, where there are no rules of engagement and anything goes. This rapid preparation thrust Beah and others directly into the harsh realities of armed conflict without formal, structured military education [1].

War Training

Ishmael explains how he was trained for war as a child soldier during the civil war in Sierra Leone, where the basics were taught on the job and unpredictability was the rule of engagement.

The Jordan Harbinger Show

622: Ishmael Beah | Memoirs of a Boy Soldier