FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Team leaders assigned to 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), took part in administrative classes, an obstacle course and leadership classes given by past and present Rakkasans.
The three-day course was designed to provide both veteran and new team leaders of 1-187 techniques and procedures to best lead, counsel and mentor their soldiers.
“This three day course had a lot of great information for me to learn,” said Pfc. Thomas Zajicek, a mortarman assigned to Company A, 1-187. “I learned many ways to help my soldiers with any issue.”
Throughout the administrative classes, aoldiers were taught clerical team leader responsibilities such as counseling packets and monitoring Enlisted Record Briefs.
“As a team leader in training the most important portion of this course to me was the admin segment,” said Spc. Joe Diemoz, an infantryman assigned to Company C, 1-187. “Learning about ERBs and counseling is really important for team leaders when it comes to helping your Soldiers.”
Other participants agreed with Diemoz’ assessment.
“The most helpful part of the class to me was the paperwork portion,” said Zajicek. “I never knew how to do any of that admin before, but now I can assist my soldiers just like my leadership assisted me.”
During the course, soldiers were taught leadership classes from both past and present Rakkasans.
One such class was given by Clarksville police officer Jesse Zumbro, a retired Staff Sgt. who was assigned to Company C, 1-187 during his time as a soldier.
Officer Zumbro informed the Rakkasans on the right ways to assist fellow soldiers the lawful way and also shared his experience from when he was both a team and squad leader in the Rakkasans.
“It was all great information for me to know when I’m in that position,” said Zajicek. “This was incredibly beneficial for me.”
Although all soldiers in the class learned a great deal of information about being a team leader, a large portion of the position cannot be taught in a classroom.
“They can use everything they learned in this course, but over time they’re going to build their own style and technique on how to mentor their soldiers,” said Sgt. Tan Huynh, an Infantry squad leader assigned to Company C, 1-187.
“It’s all trial and error to figure out how to really get through to your soldier,” continued Huynh. “These team leaders were given the foundation, now it’s up to them to develop their own leadership style and technique.”
Soldiers within the course agree that the it was incredibly valuable to them and taught them a lot about their responsibilities and duties as a team leader.
“This was incredibly beneficial for me,” said Zajicek. “with all the resources I’ve picked up I can teach directly to my soldiers to help prepare them for when its their time to become team leaders.”
“This course was extremely helpful,” agreed Diemoz. “I would recommend this course to all team leaders in every battalion.”