Leadership courses build confidence for JROTC cadets
Erin Rogers, Sentinel StaffJROTC cadets from 10 schools across Texas traveled to Fort Hood to test their skills at the Leadership Reaction Course June 13-14.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
More than 200 high school students, from schools as far north as Lubbock, participated in the course to build their leadership and teamwork skills, while gaining knowledge in decision making, problem solving, motivation, communication and self- confidence.
Fort Hood Soldiers who are the JROTC Army instructors at these schools were present throughout the drills and monitored the cadets while they were going through the different stations involved in the course.
The JROTC Senior Army Instructor from Copperas Cove High School, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Enrique Herrera, said this course is important because a lot of kids lack leadership and organization skills, and this program gives them motivation, purpose and direction.
“It gives them the confidence to work with others in leadership roles,” Herrera said.
At each different station, a new leader among the cadets was chosen, giving all of them the chance to take the lead in planning and assessing the best way to tackle the problems at hand. The groups they were broken up into were mixed between the schools, so many of the cadets had never met before.
“They learn to cooperate with others that they’ve never met, which is important in both the military and civilians worlds,” Herrera said. “These stations force them to accomplish the tasks through teamwork; they have to protect and depend on each other.”
The entire training was broken up into four courses over two days, with each of the courses having their own sub-courses. On day one, the cadets had the LRC and the Low-Ropes courses. The LRC had 10 10-minute stations, each involving different urgent or critical problem-solving skills. The Low-Ropes course contained four stations with tasks that could not be done without extreme cooperation between the group members.
Day two was the rappel tower and the obstacle course. At the rappel tower portion, cadets first went through ground training, incline-wall practice and wall climbing before rappelling off of the more-than-90-foot tower. The obstacle course was a series of seven physically challenging stations.
Cadet Stephen Tilzey, incoming Killeen High school senior and S-1 who was in charge of briefings and accountability throughout the training, said the course challenges all differ from each other, but they all focus on one thing.
“I went through this training last year, and although some of the challenges have changed, the main focus of building confidence is still the same,” Tilzey said. “They want us to focus on patience, teamwork, critical thinking and, above all else, to have confidence in ourselves.”
The course was completed with a graduation ceremony Friday, where the cadets were recognized for their determination and endurance of motivation throughout the challenges that the LRC, Low-Ropes, obstacle course and rappel tower. They were also commended on their use of problem-solving skills and growth in the ability to work together.
“I think this course was fun,” Cadet Alexandria Goodsby, incoming sophomore at Copperas Cove High School, said. “And it’s showing us how to work together as a team, with a lot of people we’ve never even met. These are leadership skills that we can use for the rest of our lives.”