Nearly a dozen Upper School Marksmen had an unprecedented opportunity to learn about leadership and teamwork from some of our nation’s best teachers. Boys from the History of Special Ops class received access to the Leadership Reaction Course at Fort Hood, an intensive obstacle course that provides a host of problem-solving challenges and requires inventiveness, decisiveness, teamwork, and effective communication. The visit was set up by Scott Hunt, Arnold E. Holtberg Master Teaching Chair and St. Mark’s Photography Instructor, who served as a Captain in the Texas State Guard. Scott completed the Leadership Reaction Course during Officer Candidate School (OCS) and later utilized it as Commander of the Texas State Guard OCS Program.
“This was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Andrew Laczkowski ’20. “In each event, we tried, we could never complete it as fast as the actual soldiers. I saw just how important leadership and communication really is during these exercises, which can be applied to our everyday lives in many different ways.”
At the course, the boys were split into groups and given tasks such as crossing a wide gap above a pool of water with just a handful of supplies. A leader was identified within each team and evaluated based upon the demonstration of 16 leadership traits as they strived to coordinate and complete the assigned mission. Team members in subordinate roles were evaluated on their ability to support the leader by executing directives and effectively providing diplomatic suggestions and feedback to the leader.
After completing the course, the boys then heard from Captain William McNutt ’07, the current Commander of the Texas State Guard Officer Candidate School.
The day ended on a celebratory note, as CPT McNutt presented CPT Hunt with the Texas Humanitarian Service Medal for his actions during Hurricane Harvey. At the beginning of the 2017–2018 school year, the entire Texas Military Department was activated to provide relief efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey. Hunt served for two weeks as the Texas State Guard’s liaison officer to the Texas Army National Guard Texas Force South, helping coordinate evacuations and shelter operations.
“I’m proud to have been a small part of the relief effort and to have served the people of this state in a time of need,” Scott said.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.