‘Gimlet’ team leaders train for future success

| January 13, 2012 | 0 Comments
Courtesy of 2nd BCT, 25th ID 1st Sgt. Jimmy Bonilla, Co. C, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., “Gimlets,” 2nd BCT, 25th ID, instructs Gimlet team leaders on the proper wear of the Army Service Uniform and how to make corrections. (Courtesy of 2nd BCT, 25th ID)

1st Sgt. Jimmy Bonilla, Co. C, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., “Gimlets,” 2nd BCT, 25th ID, instructs Gimlet team leaders on the proper wear of the Army Service Uniform and how to make corrections. (Courtesy of 2nd BCT, 25th ID)

Capt. Tristan Betts, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment Public Affairs, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – Senior noncommissioned officers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, “Gimlets,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, conducted the Gimlet Team Leader Course, here, recently.

The course was the battalion’s first step in training and certifying leaders as the Gimlets prepare to execute collective training in January.

During the week, team leaders participated in multiple classes where they received in-depth instruction on a wide range of topics, including physical fitness planning and the eight Troop Leading Procedures.

Prior to daily academic instruction, students conducted intensive physical readiness training, designed to demonstrate what is expected from small-unit leaders. Company first sergeants, the battalion’s operations sergeant major and command sergeant major each spent time mentoring junior leaders and encouraging participation and interaction.

“As we start the road to the next chapter of our Gimlet history, it’s only fitting that we conduct training, like our Team Leader Course, to ensure that our team leaders are adept in the basic skills that will allow them to train and take care of our Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Mervyn Jobe, senior enlisted leader, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt. “Our team leaders influence Soldiers where the rubber meets the road.

“They interact with our Soldiers on a daily basis, and it’s imperative that they understand the importance of their duties and responsibilities,” Jobe added. “Our Soldiers look to them for leadership and guidance. They have to do the right thing 24/7, 365 (days a year); they represent what right looks like to their men.”

Sgt. Brett Russell, team leader from Company C, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt., observed that many people simply imitate the leadership they have experienced in the past, but that example may or may not have been a correct one.

“Take counseling as an example, I learned I should have been counseling Soldiers differently all this time,” Russell said.

For Russell, the value of the course lay in the opportunity to glean information directly from his leadership without the distractions that collective training can present.

Training and certifying leaders prior to training events is a priority for Lt. Col. Timothy Hayden, commander, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt.

“Competent and confident leaders equal competent and confident Soldiers,” Hayden said.

In addition to creating leaders who are adaptive problem-solvers, Hayden said training leaders how to think, not what to think, also contributes to ensuring that Soldiers receive the best training possible. Leaders who can think critically are a force multiplier, Jobe added.

In January, the Gimlets begin team-level situational and live-fire training exercises. The battalion’s success in those events depends on team leaders executing the basic disciplines learned in the Gimlet Team Leaders Course.

The Gimlets who lead those teams must be able to successfully employ the fundamentals of small unit leadership and more.

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