Leader of the Pack

Field Leader’s Reaction Course puts Cadets in squad level leadership positions


U.S. Army photo by Hannah Hunsinger.

With the sun’s vexing rays barely creeping over the horizon and the dew drenched sod squishing beneath their feet, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Cadets from Bravo Co., 2nd Regiment prepared to feed their leadership starved appetites at the field leaders reaction course, June 22 during the 2013 Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The course, designed to develop leadership and promote an environment conducive for team-work, awaited patiently for the Cadets to strap on  their boots and get to work.

Prior to beginning the course, FLRC Cadre members briefed the eager Cadets on the importance of safety and the value of teamwork to accomplish the mission. When the brief came to a close, the Cadets, armed with safety glasses, Kevlar helmets and protective knee and elbow pads, set out along their continuing drive to become effective leaders.

“Cadets learn to build on teamwork and squad relations while they’re out here,” said Capt. Ray R. Javers, the Alpha Co. commander. “They learn to work better together as a team.”

To complete the course, 11 obstacles stood in the way of each squad’s objective and every 45 minutes a boisterous horn echoed through the strong gusts of wind to alert the Cadets to move on to the next lane. When they arrived at each lane, the squads were required to complete a given task within an allotted amount of time and then move on to the next.

Continually throughout the day different Cadets were promoted the squad leader positions to provide each with the opportunity to refine their leadership abilities. During their duration as squad leader, each Cadet was responsible for creating a strategy to complete the task and communicating it effectively with the rest of their group.

At the various stations a different task awaited the Cadets, each presenting a unique challenge designed to promote unity and develop leadership skills that will last throughout the Cadets military career.

“At one station a Cadet can be a leader and take care of business and do some great things, and at the next station they’re sitting back as a regular squad member,” said Lt. Col. Joseph E. Worley, the FLRC committee chief.

As with many other aspects of LDAC, there is a notable change in the FLRC training regimen. In prior years, FLRC was part of the evaluation process for Cadets that places them on the national order of merit list. However, this year the focus has transitioned towards development and the assessment portion was taken out to give the Cadets more latitude for growth.

“You start building relationships with Cadets, and by the end of the day you see a total change in the way they work together as a team,” said Javers.

The course is the Cadets’ first opportunity to participate in a collective training exercise and the experience leaves them with a sense of leadership and teamwork.

“Cadets can do better in future events because of the lessons learned here at FLRC,” said Worley. “It helps to develop their individual leadership abilities, improves their problem solving skills, helps them work as a team and requires them to communicate effectively.”

Story by Allie Pasdera.


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