FORT KNOX, Ky. – Cadets from 3rd Regiment, Advanced Camp went through the Field Leaders’ Reaction Course, forgoing a rain check, on June 21.
The obstacles on the FLRC judge teamwork, communication, and leadership abilities, primarily of the squad leader, said 2nd Lt. Connor Wolff.
If Cadets touch a restricted surface on the obstacle, they incur a time penalty and must wait 15 seconds before continuing.
Staff Sgt. Aimee Nicoletti noted a big difference between a 15-second set-back on the course and a critical mistake in real life.
“Here it’s for time, but on a mission it can mean a Soldier’s life,” stated Nicoletti.
Following his briefing as squad leader at Station #11, “Double Culvert”, Cadet David Montes waved his squad over to the starting point.
The Cadets had to get themselves and an ammo can to the other side of the obstacle, as usual, but were not allowed to verbally communicate with each other.
Montes used eye contact to convey thoughts to others and lead his squad. He described eye contact as an essential part of communication when speech isn’t – and perhaps when it is – an option.
Staff Sgt. Vadon Loudermilk noted the silent iterations generally have a higher success rate than those where Cadets are allowed to speak.
“They’re slower but smoother,” said Loudermilk on the silent iterations. “It takes out the bickering and arguing.”
Without talking, squad members silently boosted fellow Cadet Jamal Husien up into the short tunnel and passed him the first wooden board for crossing the obstacle.
Cadet Sha’Diamond Mayfield followed and was handed the ammo can once she was secured on the second board.
Sitting in line with each other, Mayfield motioned at Husien and mimed moving the ammo can to signal she needed assistance.
Mayfield, a graduate of Alabama State University, expressed the Cadets were able to communicate with each other effectively without talking.
“Everybody’s ideas get across,” stated Mayfield, rather than getting lost in the mix.
The squad completed the obstacle within the 20 minute allotment with seconds to spare and having taken no penalties.