I recently had the opportunity to attend a Senior Leader Training Program at the National Training Program at Fort Irwin, CA. During this experience, I got to see firsthand how units prepare for deployment activities and rotational training. Here, units face a world class opposing force in a very austere environment. Soldiers and equipment alike are stressed to the limit highlighting organizations strengths and weakness. As I viewed the dynamic battle unfold, it reaffirmed a well-known fact. The key ingredient to winning on the battlefield is: leadership.
“Leaders are made, they are not born.” — Vince Lombardi
The 104th Division’s mission is to train tomorrow’s leaders today. We provide world class leader training to the United States Army Cadet Command (USACC), United States Army Military Academy (USMA), United States Merchant Marines Academy (USMMA), and to select Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Universities across the nation. We take this mission very seriously, understanding the future of the Army rests in our hands. We are responsible for providing the foundation for our future officers to lead America’s Army in war. And we do this by instilling a winning warrior spirit.
Each summer nearly 10,000 Soldiers, leaders, and Cadets culminate on Ft. Knox, KY to participate in a rigorous five-week summer program known as Cadet Summer Training (CST). This is the Army’s largest single training activity and the mighty 104th Division plays a critical role in its success. The mighty Timberwolf Division provides expert trainers for Land Navigation, Chemical-Biological-Radiological-Nuclear (CBRN), First Aid, Field Leadership Reaction Course (FLRC), Digital Call for Fire, Confidence/Rappel course, and Individual Movement Technique training. Additionally, 1st Brigade provides over 200 adjunct faculty support to specified universities across the nation, while 2nd Brigade provides more than 90 Drill Sergeants in support of USACC’s Basic Camp Regiments while simultaneously supporting the USMMA’s Initial Entry Training (IET), the arduous Sandhurst Competition, and the USMA’s summer Cadet Basic Training.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
— Vince Lombardi
The leader training we impart on these Cadets lasts a lifetime. First and foremost, we train future officers to be grounded in the Army Values; trusted leaders of character, competence, commitment and to possess a warrior spirit with a “can-do,” winning attitude. We develop future leaders who are open minded to new possibilities through rigorous training that imparts confidence and a strong belief that they can succeed through perseverance, dedication, and hard work. We instill on them to never fear failure and take calculated risks. We help future leaders understand their strengths and weakness. We hone their knowledge, skills, and abilities and teach them resiliency to overcome obstacles and to leverage strengths to meet goals. We teach them to be agile, adaptive, and innovative leaders who act with boldness and initiative in dynamic, complex situations via progressively more complex stages of training. We instill the importance of teamwork and communication while honing their warrior skills via tough standards and discipline in combat related scenarios. We teach our future leaders to pay attention to details without losing sight of the big picture. And most importantly, we train our future officers to lead others with the will to win.
“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” — John F. Kennedy
In conclusion, the 104th Division is the Army Reserve’s premier leader training organization. We strive to do our part with developing adaptable leaders able to achieve mission accomplishment in dynamic, unstable, and complex environments. We take great pride in training leaders who provide purpose, direction, motivation, and vision to their teams and subordinates while executing missions to support their commander’s intent and win. The 104th Division is training tomorrow’s leaders today.