Commander conducts challenging leader professional development
August 29, 2013
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The Army is physically demanding, and physical training is the most important training Soldiers perform each and every day. Physical training promotes esprit de corps and builds teams. More importantly, when done right, it's a key component of readiness, and it's what makes Soldiers "Mountain Ready and Mountain Tough!"
Commanders and command sergeants major preach about standards and discipline on a daily basis. It's not something Soldiers demonstrate only while in uniform; it's a lifestyle.
This is especially true for physical training. Everything from how Soldiers fuel their bodies (nutrition)to how they execute physical training (functional fitness, mental toughness, injury prevention) is relevant to setting good PT standards. Being physically fit demonstrates standards and discipline and keeps Soldiers "Fit for Duty, Fit for Life and Fit for the Climb."
Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, recently conducted a leader professional development session with an emphasis on battle-focused PT with battalion commanders from across Fort Drum.
After an early gathering at LeRay Mansion for a brief discussion of the earliest history of the Fort Drum area, the commanders moved out to accomplish a series of physically challenging tactical-mission-based activities. These consisted of running in full combat gear, canoeing, conducting litter carries, fast roping, and completing a stress shoot course using simunitions. The total event lasted about three hours.
Small unit leadership was incorporated into the training, with platoon leaders down to team leaders being appointed for each mission. The event was challenging both physically and mentally, and it demonstrated how leaders can incorporate common warrior tasks Soldiers perform daily into a unit's physical training regimen.
Not merely a training event in its own right, this also was a training event on how to conduct training. Townsend discussed the 10-step training model and how each
step was applied to execute the event.
This LPD session was an example of good training: challenging, educational, team building, memorable and fun. The division commander showed his battalion commanders what right looks
Later in the afternoon, "Mountain 6" assembled the same group, with the addition of their command sergeants major and brigade command teams, to participate in a briefing presented by the Light Fighter School on the Mountain Athlete Warrior program and how it augments the standard Army Physical Readiness Training program.
The 10th Mountain Division Light Fighters School offers the MAW course monthly to train Soldiers on the elements, principles, components and phases of being a Mountain Athlete Warrior. These leaders graduate and return to units with the intent of improving physical readiness with new ideas and methods for executing PT.
To build resilient Soldiers with enhanced performance requires a balanced physical training program that incorporates functional fitness with battle-focused physical training.
Doing so will meet the intent of Mountain 6 while building Mountain Ready, Mountain Tough Soldiers who are Fit for Duty, Fit for Life and Fit for the Climb.
10th Mountain Division battalion commanders