FORT GORDON, GA. - Leadership opportunities in the Army are normally reserved for commissioned and noncommissioned officers due to their experience. But there are situations where junior Soldiers are given a chance to display leadership characteristics and skills.
These training opportunities give Soldiers a chance to experience leadership in various forms, the 35th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade has given a Soldier the opportunity to conduct a chemical, biological radiological and nuclear range conducted Dec 1. here.
Pfc. Jonathan Patino, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 35th TTSB, was given this opportunity to showcase his leadership and training potential.
"When first sergeant told me that I would be running the range I was a little worried," said Patino, a Santa Barbara, Cali. native. "But she ensured me that she would help me get everything I needed to conduct the mask confidence range. It made me feel a lot better, but this being my first time conducting a range I wanted to ensure it was done to standard."
With the help of senior noncommissioned officers, Patino was able to coordinate and secure all the training materials he needed as well as see the process of securing and coordinating for the range.
"I'm the unit's CBRN Soldier so looking at my field manual I was able to get all the information I needed to conduct the training," said Patino. "The NCOs that helped me showed me the process of securing the range for the date we wanted and the task organization that went into naming safeties and combat life savers, as well as the paperwork associated with risk management."
After the training Patino conducted an after action review and received kudos for his execution of the range.
"The best compliments I received were about my knowledge on the equipment and how it is used, also it was good to the higher ranking people tell me I did a good job and that it was well organized," said Patino.
With operations where junior Soldiers are the lead, training events work in multiple folds, Soldiers receive training and the junior instructors receive that leadership time that they may not get until they progress in rank, which gives them an idea of what works for them and how they can adjust their leadership style before they are expected to perform in a leader's capacity.