CAMP BULLIS, Texas (Feb. 19, 2013) -- U.S. Army South hosted and mentored students from the San Antonio Academy of Texas at the Leader Reaction Course here, Feb. 14.

More than 35 seventh graders negotiated the course in an effort to build confidence in their leadership and mental and physical abilities while cultivating the development of small unit cohesion, said Capt. Troy Arambula, Army South, Headquarters and Headquarters Batallion, Operations Company commander.

"We're challenging them in a small-unit environment and testing their leadership styles and physical and mental abilities," said Arambula. "It has been an awesome day and a great experience for them to come out and utilize their leadership skills to become better at what they do."

The students separated into seven different teams and worked together to accomplish various tasks as Army South noncommissioned officers observed, mentored and served as safety personnel. A different student acted as the leader during each scenario so individual skills in planning, organizing, decision making, supervising, and communicating could be evaluated and further developed.

The primary goals are to let the guys apply and develop leadership principles while learning how to work as a team and operate under stress, said Frank Stanage, San Antonio Academy of Texas commandant.

Operating under stress, with certain limitations placed on them, played an important part in the evaluation of each student, said Arambula. While overcoming physical obstacles, the team could not touch anything painted red and they worked under specific time constraints. Each group had a designated leader and they could only use the equipment and resources provided. They had to work as a cohesive team in order to successfully negotiate each event during the course.

"We want our guys to know not only what it is like to function as part of a team, but also how to come up with ideas and direct others in times of stress," said Stanage. "This exercise perfectly simulates that."

The students enjoyed the experience and hope to conduct similar events in the future.

"We are grateful to Army South for putting this together for us," said Stanage. "In the short time that we've been here I can see a huge benefit for our guys and I certainly hope that we'll be able to continue this going forward."

The Soldiers of Army South also appreciated their time with the seventh graders, according to Arambula.

"What a wonderful day it is to be able to partner with a local school here in the San Antonio area," said Arambula. "It's about giving back to the community and doing our part to develop the leaders of tomorrow."

Page last updated Wed February 20th, 2013 at 07:39