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NEWS | July 17, 2018

Army Reserve NCOs prepare cadets for leadership success

By Staff Sgt. DALTON Smith Exercise News Day

Through dirt and sweat, squads of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets overcame physical and mental obstacles to test their leadership and teamwork abilities at the Field Leaders Reaction Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

U.S. Army Reserve noncommissioned officers with the 104th Training Division, known as Task Force Wolf, set up and maintained the FLRC, a series of challenging obstacle lanes conducted under time-constrained conditions. FLRC is just one event meant to develop ROTC cadets attending the U.S. Army’s Basic Camp, a 31-day leadership course held in the summer.

The 104th TD, based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was tasked to teach cadets troop leading procedures during the FLRC. However, the 104th TD also supports events such as first aid, basic rifle marksmanship, land navigation, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense. 

While cadet training moved to Fort Knox in 2014, NCOs from the 104th TD have trained cadets for years prior to the move when training was held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“The cadets are learning pertinent skills to become future team leaders,” said Sgt. 1st Class Amanda Santos, an instructor with the 104th TD. 

Being a first-grade teacher on the civilian side has helped Santos mentor cadets, she said. “Through our direction and guidance, we pass on skills from our life experiences.”

The FLRC lanes proved challenging. Few cadet squads successfully completed the lanes in the allotted time. 

“I’ve done this many times in the past,” said Sgt. 1st Class Mario Salguerovega, an instructor with the 104th TD. “We don’t give cadets the answer, but set them up for successful thinking by sharing key points that allow them to conquer the obstacles.”

"This is the first time many of these cadets worked together in teams, both leading and following," said Cadet Jessica Scheiba, 22, a student of Texas A&M University. "Nevertheless," she added, “I’m building the skills required to be a confident leader.”

“It’s been very beneficial to be with senior NCOs who guide us and tell us of their experiences,” said Cadet Michael Eustice, 21, a student of the University of Wisconsin. “I can see our teamwork growing with their encouragement.”