FORT KNOX Ky.- Field Leaders’ Reaction Course or as it is commonly referred to as the FLRC is another training event the Cadets partake in during Cadet Summer Training. The FLRC is what you could call an extreme trust exercise. Cadets from all over come together and test their abilities as leaders and good followers. They are sent into the woods where they are challenged with several stations that simulate real life obstacles.
These obstacles range in height, length, and complexity. It’s not common that a single team completes every obstacle within the given time. They are designed to challenge the Cadet’s critical thinking skills, their strengths, and their creativity.
2nd Lt. Danyelle Jackson was happy to elaborate on this thought. “I’m expecting to see some of the Cadets fail, not to say that they won’t succeed at it. I expect to see challenges, tension, given that they traveled from all over and do not know each other very well. But despite that, this is a great opportunity for the Cadets to come together and foster as a unit. I believe it’s important that they give each other feedback and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and build off of those.”
Cadet Cole Johnson of Penn State University shared his take on why he believed these exercises were essential. “This biggest reason why we’re here is for the team build purposes. We had all just met a few days ago, so it’s important that we learn how to work and move as a team.”
He continued, “this is especially important when we are in a stressful or confusing situation, which is what they are trying to portray. Overall, I would say these exercises are a great way to bond us together, especially when we get one right or complete the mission before the time is up. We’re heading out in the field tomorrow so it’s a really good time to be connecting as a team.”
Although it may seem this way, these events are not for the Cadets alone. The Cadre are also learning and growing as leaders with every new group under their supervision.
“Being out here and working with the Cadets, I would say my biggest challenge is getting them to understand that the obstacle is a simulation of an event. The mulch on the ground isn’t mulch, it’s a landmine and getting them to see the seriousness of the situation is crucial because in the real world these could be life or death situations. If they’re not paying attention to detail or following specific instructions it could be fatal for our soldiers,” shared 2nd Lt. Tarec Gonzalez.
Jackson piggybacked off of Gonzalez’s thoughts. “the challenges we face leans on us heavily, because we are the decision makers. We’re the ones doing the planning and they are the ones who execute the mission. For us, we could definitely be organizing and getting better with planning the events. Learning our role as a leader and as a lane facilitator is challenging at times because we are constantly on our toes. We as leaders are trying to instill good leadership skills within the Cadets, so we have to be the leaders we want to see.”
Partaking in the FLRC is a great way to hone in on all of the qualities that make for a great Soldier. The Cadets are challenged with improving their natural abilities and the Cadre are challenged with making great leaders.