U.S. Military Academy Resources Support Army Reserve Missions

10/28/2021  |  By Capt. Christian Venhuizen Public Affairs Officer, 104th Training Division

Incorporating innovative ideas and programs from around the Army to the 104th Training Division is a hallmark of the division’s legacy in helping to prepare the Army’s future leaders and Soldiers.

Recent rotations to the United State Military Academy identified multiple programs that lend themselves to possible inclusion in the development of the Soldiers of the 104th and the cadets they train.

The Modern War Institute (https://mwi.usma.edu/) “studies recent and ongoing conflicts to prepare present and future leaders to win in a complex world,” states the program’s website.

Col. Patrick Howell, director of the MWI, identified that, while the program is centered at the West Point, New York, campus, the exchange of ideas and discussion generated are beneficial Army wide.

Well thought-out and expressed articles can be submitted by anyone, often leading to further discussion that may affect capabilities, policy, training or other aspects of warfighting. The use of written articles, combined with professionally produced podcasts, videos and research combine to form a solid base of information for all 104th Training Division Soldiers. Podcast popularity (the Spear being the most popular) is demonstrated by an average of 35,000 downloads per episode, said Howell.

Soldiers themselves are invited to contribute content, specifically well researched articles that address virtually any topic or issue affecting the Army.

At the West Point Leadership Center (https://www.westpoint.edu/leadership-center), practices implemented at the USMA may aid in the development of cadets in Army Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, including those directly supported in the 104th footprint.

Programs include Hacking for Defense, sometimes known as H4D, which includes curriculum offered at Columbia, Stanford, Duke, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins universities. It centers on addressing U.S. government problems addressed through the work of groups of 4-5 to learn various methodologies, then use what they learned to rapidly develop prototypes and real-world solutions.

Another effort central to the leadership center includes the use of the Leader Growth Model. The model is a four-stage continuous process that opens leaders to helping develop their own growth. Steps include expectations and inspiration, instruction, feedback and reflection. The model is implemented to provide structure in the steps, resulting in the direct application of the program rather than a conceptual understanding.

Programs developing instructors and cadre are being looked into to see if it may be applied outside of the USMA. The Benavidez Leadership Development Program is a three-week course that results in a certificate in organizational psychology and directed to the tactical non-commissioned officers. https://www.westpoint.edu/academics/academic-departments/behavioral-sciences-and-leadership/masters_executive_education/benavidez-program.

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