By Sgt. Bob YarbroughJuly 30, 2014
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Sixth Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, held their second quarterly Mustang Leadership Development July 22-24. The course is comprised of classes, tests, and events designed to ensure leaders at all levels are competent and confident in their positions, and can effectively lead soldiers.
Mustang Leadership Development is designed to show all leaders in the squadron where they stand, as far as tactical, technical, and physical skills, as well as encourage professional development and character. It is open to all leaders from corporal to captain, and covers all facets of being an effective leader in the Mustang Squadron.
First Lt. William Mangold, the squadron's chemical officer, was tasked with organizing the events of the course.
"All the classes were really, good, really informative," said the Westport, Massachusetts, native. "It was something special, something out of the ordinary that was fun to do."
The events of the squadron's Mustang Leadership Development began July 22 with an in-brief given by the squadron command team, Command Sgt. Maj. Craig Copridge and Lt. Col. Scott Sentell, who gave the soldiers a better idea of what was expected of them throughout the week.
"It's important that leaders know where they stand, and they can do some self-assessment," said Sentell, a native of Gaffney, South Carolina. "The test is really a way for the leaders to see themselves, see where their strengths are, see where their weaknesses are, and see where they need to apply some additional work."
Day two had a highly motivated start with the Iron Mustang, a physical training event. This was open to all soldiers in the squadron, and gave the leaders an opportunity to provide motivation and mentorship at the same time. Soldiers participated in a tire-flip, a litter carry, a group run, and an event where they simulated recovery of a soldier and his equipment.
The Iron Mustang was a definite favorite, according to Mangold. He felt that having strong leadership helped make the physical challenges more fun and feel more rewarding.
"It's a group-based competition," said Mangold, who also participated in the events of Mustang Leadership Development, as a new leader in the squadron. "Having that leadership kind of focused everybody and made it more competitive and driven."
The events concluded on July 24 with a final comprehensive test, where soldiers were tested on all that was learned throughout the course. This was not a pass or fail test, but a way for leaders to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and improve their leadership style.
"The comprehensive test is an open notes test, so it also tests a leader's ability to take good notes, listen in class, and then take those notes, organize them and apply them to the comprehensive test at the end," said Sentell.
The results of the Mustang Leadership Development tests are used to help the squadron's leadership have a better idea of what to focus in future training sessions and how to prepare their soldiers for the next Mustang Leadership Development, scheduled for later this fall.
"I think as leaders within 6-8, within 4th Brigade, within 3rd ID, it's important for leaders to have a foundation of knowledge, and to come together and have something like the leader development course that kind of gives them the foundation, the background they need to go forward and do what they need to do with their soldiers," added Sentell.