FORT HOOD, Texas - Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), spent the morning working on their teamwork and leadership skills at the Fort Hood Leadership Reaction Course during Sergeants’ Time Training, Sept. 12, 2013.
The morning started with a safety briefing and course rules given by the noncommissioned officer in charge of the training, Staff Sgt. McKinley Miller, a native of Lynchburg, Va., and the operations NCOIC at HHC.
After they were briefed, the Wrangler soldiers were split up into five groups, with the lower ranking soldiers put in the leadership positions for the obstacle course and given the instructions for their first task of the day.
“The intent for the leadership course was team building,” said Miller.
“The soldiers were split into teams to not actually complete the obstacle course, but it was to have them think and trust each other as a team so they could accomplish whatever mission was given to them,” he added.
In one of the scenarios, a soldier received a back injury in a chemically hazardous environment and his/her team had to use a litter (stretcher) to get them from one side of a stream to the other. This sounds simple enough, but there was a catch.
The soldiers couldn’t touch the water because it was contaminated and they only had six various sized pieces of wood that they could use to navigate the obstacle in a set time. This particular obstacle was unconquered by the soldiers of the Wrangler Brigade.
“The soldiers received some good training today because the Soldiers were put in the leadership positions,” said Miller. “We had a total of five teams here today. Three of the teams completed three different obstacles, but no team completed all five of them.”
Miller said that some of the soldiers took this training and leadership opportunity with both hands and excelled, standing out above their peers.
One such soldier was Spc. Andrea Gomez, a native of San Antonio who stated that the course was really hard and took a lot of communication to accomplish any of the missions.
“You have to trust your team and rely on your team leader,” she said.
“It is fun and helps build character, we should do this more often. I think the soldiers got a lot out of this,” she added.
Throughout the training event, soldiers were given guidance and directions from the safety officers and various NCOs that were on the course. This kind of guidance ensures all obstacles are approached with safety in mind and to make sure they thought about the obstacles properly before tackling them.
“The safeties were helping us out, but at the same time they were letting us develop our own ideas and our own ways of doing things,” said Spc. Luis Navedo, a transportation specialist and native of Vega Alta, Puerto Rico.
“That was good because everyone had to interact with people from other sections,” he added.
Navedo said that it was good for the lower enlisted to be put in leadership positions like the ones on this course because it prepares them for the future when they, too, will become noncommissioned officers, leaders of soldiers.