FORT KNOX, Ky. – 6th Regiment Basic Camp (CIET) Bravo Company Cadets experienced their first chance to work as a team during the Field Leader Reaction Course (FLRC) during Cadet Summer Training (CST) July 16.
Cadre and Cadets alike noted many challenges throughout the FLRC but leader conflict and communication were among the most difficult.
Staff Sgt. Maria Funes, an Army Reservist of the 4th Battalion 518th Regiment, Montgomery, Ala. and FLRC instructor, sighted leader conflict as the most notable challenge for the Cadets.
“This is the first time of their training that they aren’t working individually but as a team to accomplish their mission. I notice for many of the Cadets that it might be hard for them to let go of the leader mentality. Back at their universities they might be used to being in a leadership role but they have to set that aside here, which is difficult even though there are leadership roles assigned” Funes said.
Cadets come to CST from universities all across America. One of the dynamics Cadets have to overcome during their 30-day training is that they do not know each other, their strengths or their weaknesses. CST is designed to build each Cadet not only as a leader but also as a team member, supporting their peers. FLRC focuses on developing teamwork among the Cadets in roles as leaders as well as followers; lessons Cadets will take into their careers as Army officers.
Cdt. Johnathan Price, Louisiana State University, echoed that working together for the first time is a challenge itself at times.
“Here, everyone sees themselves as a leader, coming from different roles at our schools, everyone wants to be a leader but we have to learn that sometimes we have to be followers and better teammates to accomplish the mission” Price said.
This conflict of leader or follower, Cdt. Zorana Tat, California Polytech State University, says can really slow down the mission.
“As the squad leader at our first obstacle, I saw a lot of confusion about who the Cadets were listening to as we all had many ideas on how to accomplish the task. With so many voices and ideas, it really ate up our time. This showed me that the role of a leader is important as a voice to the squad but squad members also have to work together in following commands to perform effectively at the obstacle” Tat said.
Moving on through the next 24 days at CST, the Cadets will each experience different leadership roles such as squad or platoon leader. However, the Cadets will have to use the lessons in communication and direction learned at FLRC to develop a good battle rhythm to accomplish future missions.