Military Review English Edition March-April 2016 - Page 112

(Photo by Capt. Lindsay Roman, U.S. Army ) Soldiers of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion work hand-in-hand with Afghan National Security Force soldiers during situational training exercises 8 August 2012 at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. facilitators braved the stifling heat and expeditionary living conditions of the NTC to visit the 519th and work with it “in the box.” This culminating training event simulated the harsh environment of Afghanistan and put stress on the relationships built in Greensboro. It was the perfect environment for the CCL team to reinforce the learning points and to ensure leaders retained what they were taught. Over four days, the CCL facilitators conducted one-on-one interviews with leaders and went out on patrol as much as possible with 519th’s soldiers. By being outside the wire, they observed the decentralized employment of the unit in support of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. Companies and teams came face-to-face with boundaries every day, and leaders applied what they learned to overcome them. The CCL facilitators attended the unit’s after action reviews and reemphasized boundary-spanning techniques. This was critical to reinforce in leaders’ minds their development and their role in achieving unit success. The visit also allowed the commander and CCL facilitators to discuss the commander’s deployment 110 vision. Closer to the deployment, there was a clear sense of what would be required for the unit once downrange. We applied the concept of mission-soldiers-me—which, though not new, fit well given the unit’s planned employment. We used this concept to establish priorities at all levels while also signaling the importance of the me portion. The idea was that developing and improving yourself while also being responsible for your actions was clearly linked to effective mission accomplishment and to taking care of soldiers. As the CCL so expertly captures in its Leading Effectively blog, We must always accomplish the mission—it is why we are here. And while doing the mission, we must care for our soldiers … after leaders have met the first two requirements, we must take care of ourselves. If we do not take care of ourselves by sleeping right, eating right, and even talking with others about our experience … well (here he hesitated and then looked at the ground slowly) then we become casualties. Then everyone has to take care of us and that detracts from our soldiers’ readiness and mission accomplishment.22 March-April 2016  MILITARY REVIEW