3rd BCT’s Mangoday training puts leaders to the test

| August 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS —Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, "Broncos", 25th Infantry Division, conduct Operation Mangoday on various training areas throughout Hawaii, Aug. 6-8. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS —Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Broncos”, 25th Infantry Division, conduct Operation Mangoday on various training areas throughout Hawaii, Aug. 6-8. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Broncos,” 25th Infantry Division, conducted Operation Mangoday on various training areas throughout Hawaii, Aug. 6-8.

Operation Mangoday is a leader assessment and a leader development exercise intended to assess captains and put them under duress and deprivation under a physically and mentally challenging environment, while working with their peers to see how they handle training, said Col. Brian S. Eifler, commander of 3rd BCT, 25th ID.

Capt. Henry S. Zhang, Bravo Troop commander; 3rd Battalion, 4th Cavalry Regiment; 3rd BCT, explained how the training was tough but very realistic.

“We went into the event not knowing what’s going to come next, so there was no way to prepare. The unknown distance road march was the most difficult part for me because the terrain was tough, and there was pretty much one way to go and that’s up,” Zhang said.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS —Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, "Broncos", 25th Infantry Division, conduct Operation Mangoday on various training areas throughout Hawaii, Aug. 6-8. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS —Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat
Team, “Broncos”, 25th Infantry Division, conduct Operation Mangoday on various training areas throughout Hawaii, Aug. 6-8. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Cashmere Jefferson, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

Zhang added that the operation presented an even tougher challenge: to be in charge of your peers.

“Being in charge of your peers is one of the hardest things you can do in the Army, and that presented a different perspective for all of us,” Zhang said.

Other officers waiting to assume command, like Capt. Brian M. Grace, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT, said the training brought him back to the lowest level of soldiering.

“It makes you remember just how hard it is for them to stay detailed, even with they’re tired and even when they need things for themselves,” Grace said. “It gives you an idea once you become a commander of what their jobs they have and how hard it will be for them to do those jobs.”

Grace said the duty position of the platoon sergeant was the hardest job he had because “they have to be on top of everything.” He said he found a new respect for the Noncommissioned Officer Corps.

The burden of lack of sleep added a whole new element to the game, and Grace said, “Everyone can live off of one MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) a day, but two days without sleep … it starts to make easy decisions a lot harder.”

Eifler said, “They learn about themselves and become better when they’re being pushed a little further to see how they can improve and how good they are when they’re assessed, giving them an incredibly difficult task that even a seasoned unit would have trouble with.”

“There’s always room for improvement,” added Eifler, who plans to do this same kind of exercise again for the new officers that come to the Bronco Brigade.

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Category: Leadership, News, Training

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