Alcohol – the cause of and solution to all of life's problems.

– Homer Simpson

Have you ever woken up after a big night of drinking worrying what you had done the night before? Have you been reprimanded for an incident that happened while you were under the influence of alcohol?

Alcohol has seen the demise of a lot of careers throughout the years. Many Australians, including soldiers, drink alcohol. We all know through our annual Force Preservation Training the effects of alcohol, both physically and mentally, but some continue to drink at unsafe levels and we are still seeing disciplinary action for alcohol related incidents. The concept of this QME is not here to tell your stop drinking, but to help you understand its effects, particularly on you as an individual.

We all know the movie clip below from Old School. Allow a few minutes for your team to view the clip and then you can either use the questions below to create a discussion or come up with your own questions.



  1. Do you know of any incidents where mates have been disciplined for an alcohol related incident? If so, discuss. Did the consequences have any impact on their career?
  2. What effect does drinking alcohol have on the way you behave? How do you change and what do you do differently when you're under the influence of alcohol? What do you need to watch out for in yourself?
  3. When was the last time you woke up worrying about what you had done the night before? If so, discuss.
  4. Can you still have fun on a night out without excessive drinking? What are some things you to stop things going too far and reaching the point of regret?  
  5. How can you moderate your intake of alcohol and how do you 'slow things down' when you drink? 


Reflection is an important element of learning. It allows us to consider theories or events, and understand how they might apply to us. One way to conduct reflection is using the 'what, so what, now what' process. In this instance, this process could be used like this:

  • WHAT did I learn from considering this scenario?
  • SO WHAT am I going to do about what I’ve learned?
  • NOW WHAT does that learning mean for my own practice as a military professional?

Other activities

If you enjoyed this activity, why not try the other QMEs available on The Cove?

Concluding Comments

This QME is designed to help junior commanders to develop and deliver PME in their unit. If you have feedback or suggestions for improvement to this activity (for example; readings or reference material, alternate discussion points or delivery method), please contact The Cove Team via or leave a comment below in this QME.