CAMP BULLIS, Texas –
Soldiers from U.S. Army North’s Headquarters Support Company were challenged to a battle of wits by tackling the Leaders Reaction Course, or LRC, at Camp Bullis Aug. 18.
The course is designed so that each individual on a team takes on a leadership role directing, communicating and problem-solving a specific obstacle that required both physical and mental skills to accomplish correctly.
“There’s very few opportunities here in ARNORTH for junior Soldiers to be in charge,” said 1st Sgt. Normand Paquin, Headquarters Support Company first sergeant. “The Leaders Reaction Course allows us to utilize the junior Soldiers to be in charge of the teams and puts them in a position to make leadership decisions."
The LRC is designed specifically to induce a stressful timed event environment that plays an important role in evaluating the leader’s ability to process critical information.
“The Soldiers did very well,” Paquin said. “The Soldiers received the tasks, conditions and standard. Put together some courses of action, picked the best one in each event and went with it to accomplish the task given.”
At each LRC obstacle, the intent is to produce a stressful environment for the working team, while certain limitations are placed on them.
The team cannot touch anything painted red, the walls, the catwalk or the water. They work under specific time constraints, which are two minutes for the leaders’ recon and 12 minutes to complete the task. The only equipment the team can use is whatever is provided.
Spc. Gwen Lovett, Company A, Brooke Army Medical Center, who works with the Army North Honor Guard, stepped into the leadership role on one LRC obstacle and found that there is more than one way to accomplish the mission.
“I learned there are a lot of ways to get things done and there is not just one textbook answer,” Lovett said. “You really have to be able to listen and communicate.”
Lovett said she will take this experience back to her work, because there will always be problems that need to solved. “We all have to be able to listen, communicate and be able to execute the mission,” she explained.
Following the LRC, the Soldiers conducted an after-action review to identify the benefits of this training as well as what could be improved upon.
“We are going to bring more Soldiers out here,” said Capt. Jung Son, HSC commander. “This will be a more successful exercise if we have more of a healthy competition going and motivating Soldiers. That’s what we are shooting for.”