Fort Knox, Ky.–Cadets from 9th Regiment Advanced Camp completed Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC) to build their compatibility as a squad.
2nd Lt. David Parker, who commissioned this year from Wheaton College explained how the Cadets are being assessed. “So right now, going through the FLRC lanes we are mainly choosing a squad leader, and for that squad leader we are looking for certain attributes and competences that the Army define in ADRP6-22. So, as a Lieutenant I am looking for those attributes and competences, some of those include character, how they lead others, and things they achieve, for example.
Cadet Bethany Bastien attends Boise State University was the first squad leader for the day, and was tasked to get her squad and equipment across a pole that was about 15 feet off the ground in 17 minutes. The Sacramento, California native said that the course was, “Pretty difficult, I was really concerned about their safety, the pole looked a little wobbly. So, the most effect ways, or what I thought were the most effective ways to do things might’ve put them in risk or at danger. So, just trying to think of their safety.”
Bastien continued by describing the adjustments she made. She said, “Well we had the safeties there, but asking the people who giving input to hold off for a second so I could focus on talking to the person who was in the most danger. That allowed me to talk them through what I want them to do, and I think that kind of worked.”
Cadet Daniel Smith is here from Liberty University and resides in Manassas, Va. He was one of the members of the squad who climbed up onto the pole before time ran out. He described his experience as “Definitely difficult, especially with time being called out ever so often. It adds to the stress factor, it makes making decisions harder, as does any stress factor.”
Smith spoke on trying to listen to his squad leader while also focusing on not falling off the pole.“It was definitely interesting. I had to keep a keen eye on my own position to make sure that I could continue to be that resource up there and tie more knots if they needed, but also listening at the same. So, it was definitely difficult to multi-manage like that but we did the best with what we had.”
Cadet Dennis Lee attends the University of Texas at Austin, and was tasked to be the second squad leader and lead his team a casualty across a fake river while only having three planks. The Houston Texas native described his approach following the first event. He said “First event, I think the squad leader did a good job of consolidating control. But, at the same time I think we needed more input from a lot of different people, so I tried to listen more.”
At one point during his mission they were told that an enemy was in the area, so no other member could speak except Lee. “It was really hard trying to tell what others were saying, because they could only make hand and eye signals. But, other than that I think that was the most difficult part, just trying to understand.”
Cadet Justin Muccio from Marist College was one of those making a lot of signals. The Cadet from Staten Island Ny, said, “I noticed that since I wasn’t allowed to speak but I had an idea that we could put the board sideways and that would be able to move the casualty to the other side. At that point I was a little frustrated that I wasn’t able to tell him, and I decided to use some hand motions and maybe some charades.”
Muccio spoke on the importance of practice missions like FLRC. “When we get into a natural field environment and we have to be tactical, that is a skill that we technically use during the field. So, I tried to use some of the things we learned but as a squad we have only been together for four or five days. So, we are not all on the same wave length yet, so due to that I think once we get out into the actual field and we’ve been together longer I think that frustration will go away.”
They have a long way to go with only being four days into Advanced Camp, but the 9th Regiment Cadets are excited and looking forward to the challenges ahead.