By Maj. Gabby Thompson

3d Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs

FORT HOOD, Texas — Performance experts from the Fort Hood Ready and Resilient Performance Center joined leaders and troopers from 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment to kick off their 6-month embed program during foundational day training here, Oct. 15.

2d Squadron, also known as “Sabre,” will head to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California next spring for their training rotation, and their leadership wanted to find ways to help their troopers excel at their training objectives.

“This group is a little different from other folks we’ve brought in before,” said Ltc. James Bithorn, commander of 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment. “We want you to focus on your spiritual, emotional and physical readiness. That readiness starts with you, our leaders.”

During the next 6 months, Sabre troopers will have unlimited access to the R2 Performance Center staff and resources they need to ensure they are fully ready to deploy to California for their training.

The R2 Performance Center performance experts offer a healthy mix of experience, with backgrounds ranging from previous collegiate and Olympic athletes to military veterans.

“We want to help you take your existing physical and mental skills to help you reach your identified goals,” said Quincy Palou, an R2 Performance Center performance expert.

Much like hiring a personal trainer or a strength coach, the performance experts will help troopers tap into their less tangible skill sets and exploit them to help increase their effectiveness and mental stamina during training.

“Our performance enhancement curriculum is designed to help you use your mental skills to reach a specific performance goal,” said Palou. “We can help you manage your mental energy to power through your training exercise.”

During the training session held in the 3d Cavalry Regiment classroom, troopers were separated by unit into small groups as the performance experts led them through some communication exercises, then gathered together to discuss and share what they gleaned from each other and the performance experts.

Exercises focused on communication techniques leaders can use with their subordinate troopers to effectively communicate and continue building trust among their troops.

“Some troopers just get it automatically, but some just need a little more coaching…when someone knows the why, they have a sense of purpose,” said Capt. William Sherwood, commander of Rattler Troop, 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment.

Building cohesive teams and cultivating trust also supports the Operation People First Campaign, launched in the fall of 2020.

“We saw the issues some of you had in your command climate surveys…some of that was based on how you communicate with each other,” said Palou.

Routine, voluntary command climate surveys provide commanders anonymous feedback about how their organizations are working.

Under Operation People First, surveys that meet certain criteria are required to have an action plan to help correct the identified issues or concerns.

Many of the troopers are eager to start working with the performance experts.

“I think it’s going to be very beneficial…to have those outside eyes looking at us and maybe seeing ways we can improve and make ourselves better,” said Staff Sgt. Jake Iacona, a Sabre non-commissioned officer.

But most importantly, the R2 Performance Center experts are interested in helping Sabre troopers become better at tackling life.

“These resources will help you get over that hurdle you may be facing in your personal life, or physical training…to make you better leaders, better soldiers, better parents,” said Palou.

For more information on this story, call 254-423-5741 or email gabriela.s.thompson2.mil@army.mil.

Performance experts from the Fort Hood Ready and Resilient Center joined troopers from 2d Squadron, 3d Cavalry Regiment to discuss effective communication at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Gabby Thompson)
Staff Sgt. Chiquita Pullum (left) coaches 1st Sgt. Cory Plunk during an effective communication exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, Oct. 15. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Gabby Thompson)