Fort Knox, Ky.,– Second Regiment Advanced Camp Cadets navigated the Field Leadership Reaction Course, a series of obstacles developed to strengthen leadership and teamwork, while also developing critical communication skills necessary for success while at Cadet Summer Training.
Cadet Zaine Steinmeyer, student at Cameron University, native of Lawton, Oklahoma, served as a squad leader during one of the obstacle challenges.
“As a squad leader my job was to receive the mission and interpret it, then develop a plan and deliver it to my team, and then receive feedback from the team to evaluate what they thought they could and could not accomplish, so that we could adjust from there,” said Steinmeyer.
Communication is critical in completing the challenges at FLRC, a skill tested in various ways throughout the course.
“Communication is critical. Some of these obstacles have constraints how you can communicate effectively with the rest of your team, such as being in a scenario where you are not allowed to speak above a hushed tone,” said Steinmeyer. “Communication definitely plays a critical part in accomplishing the mission and making sure that the mission is effectively communicated amongst the team so that we can carry it out.”
Cadet Christina Parker, student at University of Southern Mississippi, native of Pascagoula, Mississippi, also served in a leadership role during the training.
“I also served as a squad leader for a mission, so I was in charge of telling the squad what the plan was and what I envisioned the execution looking like,” said Parker.
Parker recognizes that communication is important to develop now, so that it can be applied successfully once the Cadets reach leadership roles in the future.
“Communication is key. If you don’t communicate with your squad and team leaders and you aren’t making sure that they understand the mission, the mission will fail,” said Parker. “Communication is very important to master, because in the future we are potentially holding lives at stake. A lot of people don’t want to admit they don’t understand something, but you have to ask questions if you don’t understand.”
Communication amongst a team can be difficult to balance with giving instructions for leaders.
“The one thing I like to do first is to visualize the challenge and see what kind of plan I can come up with, before I see if my squad understands what I’m thinking,” said Parker. “Then I ask them if they see any other options they think would be better or what other ideas they have. I like to encourage a group effort but also make sure they hear my plan so we can correct it as we go.”
Both Parker and Steinmeyer believe the communication skills developed at FLRC will help their team later on during CST.
“This training helps us understand where everyone is coming from and how they think about things, so when we get further on into training, we’ll be able to communicate even better,” said Parker.
Steinmeyer also believes that their communication skills serve to build
bonds within the team as well.
“The Communication skills that we have learned today will help us to be more effective in completing a mission, it is helping us build team bonds which will make missions easier to complete in the future,” said Steinmeyer.
The Advanced Camp Cadets will continue to build and develop the communication skills learned at FLRC for further success during the remainder of CST.