News: Guys connect through Rough Cut Men Conference
Story by Sgt. John Couffer
FORT HOOD, Texas – At times, men may find themselves without a friend, especially when one is needed most. One man is out to change all that.
Fort Hood soldiers and men from the surrounding community attended the Rough Cut Men Conference July 26 and 27, at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel on Fort Hood, Texas.
The conference, designed for men, used movie clips and current events to get men talking with one another in an authentic and transparent way.
“The purpose of RCM, in a nutshell, is to help men make friends … so they end up with a ‘battle buddy’ so to speak,” said Sarasota, Fla. native, David Dusek, founder and executive director of Rough Cut Men Ministries.
Dusek believes there is a strong absence of masculinity in church. Dusek also believes, it’s because of this disconnect, men may feel alone, leading them to do the wrong thing.
“I believe that isolation oftentimes leads guys to do things that are desperate ... either commit suicide or walk out on their marriages because things aren’t going well,” Dusek said. “I think if a guy has another guy, it ups his chance of survival, and so we do it in a way that’s fun and engaging.”
Dusek said he is not a pastor, but emphasized that RCM is a ministry and the goal is to have men become more Godly. But, in doing so, it helps everyone.
“If we can help a church, or any group, get men connected to each other then that will do nothing more than make the church, the community and our nation stronger,” Dusek stated.
One Army leader, who is always seeking self-improvement tools to pass onto to others, discovered RCM during a chance encounter and thought it would be something good to bring to Fort Hood.
“I met Mr. Dusek at (Landing Zone) X-ray reunion with veterans of landing zone X-Ray earlier this year,” said San Francisco native, Lt. Col. Jay Miseli, commander of 1st Squadron, 7th “Garryowen” Cavalry Regiment, 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
At the time, Dusek was writing a book on Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore’s qualities, beliefs, values and faith as a Christian leader and how they manifested themselves while leading Garryowen during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965.
In addition to cinematic snippets, Dusek also used his own life events as a way to help the men relate, and understand that it’s ok to have trying times in life. He said being honest and genuine with people will foster honesty and authenticity among men.
“I’m basically setting the table for guys to sit down at a discussion and talk about what really is going on in their life,” Dusek said.
To put what RCM brings to the table into context, Miseli used the example of pulling security.
“I think the tactical parallel would be that you can’t pull 180-degree security on your own,” he stated.
Miseli explained that for 360-degrees you need at least four people and another four to replace them in order to rest, even if it’s for a short break from the mental strain of being alert for long periods of time.
“To me, this is just another element of teamwork that we rely on at every level in the Army,” said Miseli.
Dusek said he hopes the conference encourages men to openly discuss their concerns and understand they’re not suffering alone.
“Now, we have a common ground established, we’ve spilled the same blood in the same dirt, so to speak, in the battle of life,” Dusek said.
Brattleboro, Vt., native, 2nd Lt. Jeremiah Cioffi, an intelligence officer assigned to Garryowen’s Troop B, attended the conference to improve himself as a whole.
“I thought this would be a cool way to better myself in the area outside of the military as a person in general,” Cioffi said.
Cioffi explained how he found the movie clips helpful in showing men how to break emotional barriers.
“One thing the movie clips do is definitely help pull emotion out of men, especially men in the military who try to remain stoic, emotionless,” Cioffi said.
Cioffi said the conference brings to light how what a guy says and does, while dealing with things in life, can hurt people and this helps men realize they should stop and think about what they are doing.
He also said he likes how RCM fosters friendships and foundations among men.
“I like the idea of you need someone you can go through life with, who’s going to be there [and] you know they’re going to be there when you have an issue,” Cioffi said.
To date, Dusek has worked with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, Marine Corps Base Quantico, NASCAR teams in North Carolina, Kingdom Racing in Houston, more than 28 Teen Challenge Centers across America and has plans to speak to former NFL players.