Is it because they're Ex-military??
What gave me irritating chafe on today's flight, and indeed this instructor, was his insistence on things "are just that way" or "because that's how he was taught in the military."
Huh. So I responded: "you know, without a reason/purpose for information, no real learning can take place..." and I asked him: "Did you know a chimp can read a book (or ground school materials)?"
"Yes, he sure can." I said. "He just doesn't understand the words, nor the reason."
See, like other animals, the chimp learns by mimicry and instinctive reaction to stimuli that's either good or bad. So even a chimpanzee can be "taught" to fly a plane, jet or spaceship to the moon.
But if he doesn't understand the words, then he will never understand the reason or purpose of his actions. So ask a chimp WHY should he fly (or any task therein), and he couldn't tell you even if he could speak--which he can't.
Follow where I'm going with this? Don't ever just take things on orders that it's this way or that way without knowing WHY it's that way.
Questions are never dumb unless you don't ask. And if the instructor won't answer the question, he either doesn't know, or you need a change of instructor.