By Mariyah Wojcik

Stephen Woodward, a Master Resilience Training-Performance Expert (MRT-PE)
speaks during the Goal Setting Exercise for CLC Cadets on June 6, 2015 at the Olive
Theater, Fort Knox, Kentucky. U.S. Army Photo by Jenny Hale.

FORT KNOX, KY (June 6, 2015)- A hush falls over the crowd of cadets as they realize the one task that can truly make or break their future: goal setting. In a high-stress situation, proper focus, determination, and visualization are critical in split-second decision making, and if not done properly, can cause serious consequences that reverberate throughout a cadet’s lifetime.

Paying off student loans, buying a car or home, and starting a family are brought to the forefront through a five-step process implemented by Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, as well as financial advising.

“I’m here to tell you there is nothing stopping each and every one of you from becoming millionaires/multimillionaires,” said Wilma Broering, financial counselor. “You need to know your credit score for more than just a security clearance.”

Choosing a specific goal, whether it be a large accomplishment like becoming a 2nd Lt., or a small victory like running a faster mile pace, is key.

“We’re here to help you perform at your best when it matters the most,” said Stephen Woodward, Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert (MRT-PE). “It’s important to get the mental reps in when you can’t get the physical reps in.”

Stressful situations alter the way that humans react in the moment, making goal setting and mental toughness training all the more critical to the mission of Cadet Summer Training (CST).

Joseph Galus, MRT-PE, highlights the idea that proper goal setting and the ability to work past obstacles can ensure the success of any mission. Planning, motivation, and commitment are the three layers of goal setting that allow a task to be followed through successfully, according to Galus.


CLC cadets Sean Wallace (left) and MaryBeth Smith pose for a photo after discussing their goals for this summer. U.S. Army photo by Jenny Hale.

Cadets walked into the Olive Theater skeptical about the Goal Setting workshop, but soon found that this type of training is useful in their military careers and beyond.

“I’d like to know what some goals are that I should be setting for myself at this point in my life,” said Sean Wallace, who attends the University of Maryland at College Park. “I need to work on time management.”

Wallace, who attended the CULP (Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency) program in Guyana in summer 2014, also remarked that this training would be useful when applied to extraordinary circumstances.

“Last year I learned about jungle warfare,” said Wallace. “Goal setting tactics like these would have helped me to overcome some of the difficulties of training in the jungles of South America.”

CLC Cadet Justin Leugers volunteers to answer a question about his CST goals. U.S. Army Photo by Jenny Hale.

In addition to larger life questions, MaryBeth Smith, a cadet from Creighton College in Omaha, Nebraska, would like to know how to maintain a positive attitude during summer training.

“I need to set small goals,” said Smith. “If I can achieve all the small goals for each day, I’ll get through it.”

At the culmination of this program, cadets are able to create specific, meaningful goals with a plan to follow through in a set amount of time. This practical, visual application of desire had some cadets reflecting on their choice to become officers.

“I am the first person in my family that is going to graduate from college,” said Justin Leugers, a cadet from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. “I am motivated to have an active duty slot.”

With a powerful goal setting foundation, CLC cadets will undoubtedly have a successful summer at Fort Knox.

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