La. Guard’s leadership course tests UL’s football team

By Sgt. Noshoba Davis, LANG Public Affairs

 PINEVILLE, La. – The Louisiana National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Command partnered with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s football team for a leadership and teamwork exercise at the leadership reaction course at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, July 8.

Players from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s football team use problem solving skills to cross a water feature during a teamwork and leadership exercise at the leadership reaction course at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, La., July 8, 2016. The UL football department hopes to make this a yearly event for not only the senior players, but possibly the whole team.

The Ragin’ Cajuns sent 15 seniors to participate in the exercise.

“It’s building a community relation. The National Guard is a community-based organization where any time we can interact with, and help out the community, that’s what our mission is,” said Maj. Kurt Talbot, B Company commander, RRC.

Teamwork and leadership are two key components for serving in the Guard, or on a football team. Soldiers must work as a team when in the field or on a mission; the same goes for a football team on the field in a game. But teamwork requires a leader to follow.

“I felt like we could enhance the leadership quality of our team especially with some of our seniors. After seeing this, it was a homerun. I’m really glad that our players had the opportunity to come to Camp Beauregard and be a part of this,” said UL Head Coach Mark Hudspeth. “We saw guys step up … and I think they saw some of their own leadership qualities come out. I think it’s really going to pay dividends.”

The Ragin’ Cajuns seniors were put through different scenarios that tested their problem solving skills. The football players had to figure out how to escape a prisoner of war camp, how to move supplies across a water feature and how to build a bridge while getting the whole team and all of their supplies across a water feature.

Players from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's football team use teamwork and problem solving skills to escape from a prisoner of war camp during a leadership and teamwork exercise at the Louisiana National Guard’s leadership reaction course at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, La., July 8, 2016. The senior football players’ leadership, teamwork and problem solving skills were tested through different scenarios at the LRC. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Noshoba Davis, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Representative)

“It was hard and I’ve got more respect for everyone who does this for our country,” said Karmichael Dunbar, a defensive lineman and five year veteran of the team. “The whole group felt like we were leaders, but you have to know and be able to follow too. It’s knowing when I need to step up and say something, and being behind somebody’s idea 100 percent.”

The UL football department said they hope to make this a yearly event for not only the senior players, but possibly the whole team.

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