Author: Jason Douglas
The 48th Chemical Brigade’s battalion and company command teams from nine installations conducted a brigade leadership validation exercise dubbed ‘Spartan Phalanx’ at Fort Hood on Thursday and Friday.
The exercise served as a team building event that challenged leaders’ mental and physical fitness and assessed their basic soldiering skills. The event included the new Army Combat Fitness Test, a “stress shoot” to assess a leader’s ability to engage targets under stressful conditions, situational training exercise lanes, an overnight bivouac, and a six-mile ruck march with physical activities intertwined along the way.
“The last couple days we’ve been doing leader certification making sure that our leaders from the lowest level to the highest level, to include myself and my sergeant major, are certified to be able to take that training back down to the lowest level,” said Col. Alexander Lovasz, the brigade commander.
Lovasz said it’s essential for leaders to know what they ask their soldiers to do.
“We have to be able to certify the folks that are going to be asking the soldiers to do training to deploy, be able to go out there and do what the nation is asking them to do, and then come back home safe,” Lovasz said.
The brigade’s senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Chesley Baird said the exercise was to standardize and certify the battalion and company command teams on soldier skill-level one tasks and ensure they are exposed to the same requirements that soldiers must execute daily.
“This (exercise) is to ensure that they have tested through each of them and when they go and test out their soldiers, they can look their soldiers in the face and say, ‘I have already done all of these tests, and that is why I’m putting you through these tests,’” Baird said.
Baird said events like this exercise gets back to Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville’s number one initiative, ‘People First,’ and part of getting after the ‘People First’ initiative was leading through example.
“By doing this (exercise) and soldier’s seeing commanders and leaders doing this, you have done the same things that they’ve done, the same standards they have done, and they will have no choice but to follow what you have done by your example,” Baird said.
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