News: High intensity adventure warriors
Story by Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson
FORT HOOD, Texas—Soldiers and officers with the 324th Network Support Company, 41st Fires Brigade, participated in the Warrior Adventure Quest program offered through Fort Hood’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation office, at the paintball course at the Belton Lake and Outdoor Recreation Area, April 1.
The adventure quest program was designed to help soldiers reintegrate into the garrison lifestyle after long deployments.
“The Warrior Adventure Quest program uses high-adrenaline, outdoor activities to help them integrate into the daily life,” said Dusting Sanderson, the program coordinator for the Warrior Adventure Quest. “The adventure quest program gives soldiers an outlet and teaches them about constructive skills that can help mitigates high-risk behavior.”
The program is broken down into two components. The first is the battle mind sustainment phase that is broken into two parts. The first sustainment phase is the classroom portion of the program where soldiers learn and expand on constructive skills. The second phase is the leadership portion of the program. The leaders learn about the leader led after-action debrief process. The second phase of the warrior adventure quest program is the action phase. soldiers usually participate in five extreme activities.
“The warrior adventure quest uses extreme sports to help soldiers coming back from deployments channel that extra adrenaline elsewhere,” said Sanderson. “soldiers usually maintain a heightened state of alertness during deployments. Some soldiers find it hard to turn off that heightened state. So a lot of times high-adrenaline sports helps to bring a soldier back down.”
The Phoenix soldiers only participated in the classroom and the paintball portion of program.
“We’ve been doing a lot of training lately, so this program gave us a chance to take breather from traditional training setting,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Shipman, from Monrovia, Md., headquarters platoon sergeant, 324th NSC, 41st Fires Bde. “We’re going to do some team building and small unit tactics through the adventure quest program and the BLORA paintball course.”
The leadership sought out the Warrior Adventure Quest program because they wanted to train and help some of the newer soldiers integrate into the unit as well as get some good training for the day.
“This is a great training event,” said Warrant Officer Derrick Ford, a Vicksburg, Miss. native, communication officer, 324th NSC, 41st Fires Bde. “This program gives the soldiers a chance to work at reacting to contact and suppressive fire. Plus, it’s rare when we all can get out and have fun together as a unit. This program is a good thing for the Army; it’s going to change lives if utilized accordingly.”
The training also became a morale booster for the soldiers and a chance for the unit to bond together. Even soldiers who never fired paintball guns enjoyed themselves.
“This training is a lot different than any other Army training I’ve been through,” said Pfc. Jiahui Lu, from San Francisco, a supply clerk with the 324th NSC. “I can’t say that this sport is very pain friendly, but I still had fun.”