FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
It is a well-known fact that service members need to always trust each other. The installation’s Field Leadership Reactionary Course with several challenging problem-solving obstacles was one way to increase trust among U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers assigned to the 7302nd Medical Training Support Battalion, Medical Readiness and Training Command, Army Reserve Medical Command, based in Madison, Wisconsin, May 14, 2022.
The unit tested their skills on four of the obstacles with names like the Cliffhanger, and Double Culvert. They had five minutes to plan and 15 minutes to execute each obstacle.
Maj. Rosemary Cornett, a social worker who is assigned as an Observer/Coach Trainer, said having her Soldiers form teams to solve problems is beneficial because they are always working together whether it be during battle assemblies or extended periods of training or deployments.
“It is about learning different personalities and learning people’s strengths,” said Cornett, who has been in the Army Reserve for 10 years and a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at Homestead Air Force Base in Miami. “And also learning how to work with people’s weaknesses because we all have them.”
Coincidentally, the unit took an Army Combat Fitness Test the day before and Cornett said "they were sore." The ACFT is to ensure Soldiers are ready to perform combat tasks and will strengthen unit and collective readiness.
So, how does the FLRC play a part in a unit’s readiness?
Cornett said in two ways. First, it teaches Soldiers to trust teammates to their left and right. “Second, a lot of what we do is physical, so, this was even better because a lot of what we were pushing and pulling in the sprint drag and carry [of the ACFT] we saw here today at the obstacle course,” Cornett said.
Sgt. 1st Class Brittney Lathrop, detachment sergeant and a Madison police officer, pointed out how morale plays a role in unit readiness.
“If you have high morale in a unit in which this is helping build morale, the units are ready to do anything,” said Lathrop who underwent a similar course her first week in the police academy. “They will run through a brick wall for you if the morale is high. Having that team building and having that high morale, we are going to be ready to rock.”
On the other side of the wall, if a unit’s morale is low and lacking in team cohesiveness, they would not do that, said Lathrop, who served 11 years in the active-duty Army.
Regarding how important team building is, Lathrop, who has been in the Reserve for three years, said, “Having that camaraderie among each other, it makes being able to accomplish the mission so much better because we know we can trust each other.”
In other terms, Lathrop said, if she tells a Soldier to complete a task, she knows he or she will execute it because they have team confidence in her.
Cornett said it best when asked what her takeaway was, “We all have fears and working through those fears and leaning on other people’s strengths and learning to trust yourself and trust others.”