News: Student's Learn Leadership Skills with 61st MMB
Story by Spc. Naveed Ali Shah
Student's Learn Leadership Skills with 61st MMB
By Pfc. Naveed Ali Shah
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)
FORT HOOD - With their teammates yelling advice and the crowd screaming, students from the Temple High School Accelerated Academy attempted to maneuver the obstacle course during their visit to Fort Hood's Leadership Reaction Course, Sept. 26, 2008.
The course challenged the students to reason and work together to accomplish their set tasks with the equipment provided. Soldiers from the 61st Multi-Functional Medical Battalion, 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) were on hand for safety, support and guidance. The 61st MMB is the sponsor for the school and was also the primary coordinator for the event.
"The first thing on our mind was safety for the students during the obstacle course," said Staff Sgt. Raymond Ross, Chemical, Biological, Radioactive/Nuclear, and Explosives non-commissioned officer, 61st MMB, 1st Med. Bde., 13th ESC, who was the main planner for the event. "Since they are high school kids and not Soldiers we want to take extra precautions for their protection."
Safety was not the only point Ross briefed his Soldiers about. He also wanted them to remember that as ambassadors for the Army they were held to a higher standard.
"We have to watch the way we speak to them [the students] because we can't use too many acronyms and abbreviations, and the way we carry ourselves is important, as well," said Ross.
After the students arrived at the leadership reaction course they were briefed by Ross and broken into teams. Each team was assigned two Soldiers as safeties.
"Each group is given a situation and each situation has certain tools such as rope, wooden planks, even ladders, they can use to negotiate the obstacles," said Ross. "The course is not easy, it really makes the students think."
While the students had fun during the course, they further developed leadership skills without even realizing it. Despite their valiant efforts, a few students still took the plunge into the water surrounding the obstacles.
"I was scared and I didn't know what to do at first, but I was proud that I wasn't afraid to do it," said Desiree Sauseda, a Temple High School Accelerated Academy senior, "All we need is teamwork to get it done."
The school administrators worked with the 61st MMB to give the students the opportunity to excel.
"We want to instill the philosophy of leadership in our students," said Rita Gillmeister, assistant principal, Temple High School Accelerated Academy.
Through the challenges the obstacle course presented the students learned teamwork and, perhaps, a little bit more about themselves.
"This course really requires critical thinking on the part of the students," said Ross, "I hope the students learned leadership skills today that they can use out in the real world."