By Sgt. Cody Barber, 11th Public Affairs DetachmentJune 4, 2014
FERIZAJ, Kosovo (May 29, 2014) -- Members of the Kosovo Security Force, with guidance from Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers, participated in their first ever Leadership Reaction Course at the KSF Training and Doctrine Command compound in Ferizaj, May 29.
The course was created when KSF and U.S. Soldiers discussed innovative methods to teach KSF leaders on furthering their creativeness and problem solving skills, said Capt. Christopher Robertson, MNBG-E Headquarters and Headquarters Company commander.
"We explained what an LRC was and how it was designed to test the problem-solving ability of leaders and subordinates alike," said the native of Kingsville, Md. "They really liked the idea, so we got a look at their existing obstacle course and we designed the LRC to fit their obstacle course."
"We never had a course like this before," added KSF Brig. Gen. Enver Cikaqi, the KSF Training and Doctrine commander. "Since 2009, we've only held basic training and that has helped increase the professionalism of our members. It is our interest to advance our programs and gain as much experience possible from the U.S. Army and their doctrines."
MNBG-E Soldiers went through the course beforehand to demonstrate how each obstacle worked, while the KSF troops watched. The obstacles in the course had soldiers negotiating under wires, over walls and using plywood to cross over imaginary landmines all while carrying ammo cans, water and, at one point, a 150-pound dummy.
Five-member teams went through each obstacle with one of them assuming the leadership role, said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Arriaza-Leal, one of the LRC supervisors. The leadership role was a way for one soldier, regardless of rank, to be in command of his own troops and be challenged.
"The primary purpose of the course was to improve the KSF's leadership ability by affording students an opportunity to apply the lessons learned in his or hers formal leadership instruction," said the San Fernando, Calif., native. "It also provided leaders with a means of making a self-evaluation to more accurately determine their leadership ability, and an opportunity to observe the strengths and weaknesses of others during team operations."
The course also challenged the troops by confronting them with unique obstacles that forced them to work as a team and think outside the box, added Arriaza-Leal.
"The LRC builds interdependence, risk-taking skills and inspire new ways of thinking," Arriaza-Leal continued. "It provides the KSF with an idea on how to improve team building and communication skills in their TRADOC environment that will assist in developing future confident leaders."
Robertson also said the knowledge of implementing the course into the TRADOC curriculum will be beneficial for KSF members going through Warrior Leaders Course and Advanced Leaders Course.
Taking a knee before every obstacle and planning amongst themselves, the KSF non-commissioned officers conquered the course and concluded the exercise with an after action review.
"The training went very well," said Arriaza-Leal. "Constructive criticism was well taken by the KSF at the end of the course. They are finding ways to improve team building and relationship building skills."