The requirements for Corrective Training are outlined in:AR 600-20, AR 27-10, FM 27-1, and FM 7-22.7.
Doctrine Tells us Corrective Training
- must not be used as punishment or appear to be punishment
- must relate directly to the observed deficiency
- specifically address the observed deficiency
- must be discontinued once the deficiency is corrected
- must no be used in place of UCMJ punishment
Professional Military Experience shows us when directing, supervising, and/or implementing Corrective Training
- the Soldier must be provided the proper resources to complete the training.
- must be conducted in a safe environment
- must not be ridiculous in nature. For example if you are directed to clean a latrine floor with a tooth brush this would be considered inappropriate as usual cleaning items would a broom and mop.
Based on the limited information you provided essays may initially have been an appropriate manner for conducting corrective training in your case. I am a big fan of essays as the goal is to get the Soldier to look at the situation, educate the Soldier, get the Soldier to see the issue from another point of view, and conduct a mental After Action Review prior to writing the essay. Each leader may be looking for difference things but I believe most are looking for one key point: Did you learn from your mistake?