FORT HOOD, Texas — Brave Rifles from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, conducted “Thunder Games,” a competition based fitness training to build trust in their squads at Fort Hood Stadium October 5-7.
The training included eight different team-building stations where troops worked through physical stressful situations. Participating Troops broke their squads down into two groups. Soldiers from Lightning Troop, Mad Dog Troop, and Havoc Troop, along with coaches from Fort Hood’s Ready and Resilient (R2) program, were assigned to each station and observed them as they passed through each event on October 7. The training closed with small group discussions on lessons learned and a Tug of War Competition.
Event organizer, 1st Lt. Courtney Smith, squadron assistant S3, said the events are all designed to build cohesive teams.
“The events are designed to see how teams work together when put under stress, and it also requires endurance,” Smith said. “They have to figure out how to navigate through using everyone’s strengths. The event is intended to break the teams down, so they have to work together, and the teams have to finish together.”
Thunder Games is just one of many events that took place over the past couple of weeks as part of Rifles Action Week and Operation Phantom Action. For the past couple of weeks, the Brave Rifles have been rebuilding trust in the ranks. Troopers have been taking time to engage and getting to know each other. The training also requires leaders to take action and hold others accountable.
Rifles Action week is all about building foundations from the ground up with involvement from all levels of leadership.
“At an event like this, it would be different if we just sent the Soldiers out here,” said 1st Lt. Brian Feeney. “It’s a two-way street…we have squadron commanders out here, and it’s all about showing the Soldiers that we’re in this fight together.”
As part of Rifles Action Week, leaders and troopers have worked together through counseling, building leaders books, and taking time for conversations to get to know each other and their families.
Spc. Jackeline Cantu, an Automated Logistical Specialists (92A) with Mad Dog Troop, said the conversations have helped, and she feels like she can go to her leadership now for help when needed, and they will listen. She said they have not only been given tools like the leadership book to use, but also been trained on how to use them.
“We were having trouble trusting each other,” Cantu said. “We took two weeks off just to do one-on-one counseling with our NCOs.”
Brave Riles will continue to take action to build trust within their squads in the future. Rifles Action includes time for leaders to engage with their troops and continue to work on the fundamentals of leadership.
Every person needs to be a part of the team in unison, working together to beat our common enemy, and the enemy is not ourselves. We protect our families and ourselves. ” Thunder Squadron Command Sgt. Maj. Mario Giron said. “We are not behind the desk leaders. We don’t do anything that we are not asking our troopers to do themselves. We push, and we hurt too.”