The success or failure of the PRT program depends upon the quality of its leadership. Leadership is the process of influencing Soldiers by providing purpose, direction, and motivation. The best outcome results only when Soldiers extend themselves completely in strenuous physical activities and perform all exercises in the prescribed form. Officers and NCOs lead, train, motivate, and inspire their Soldiers. Only the best leadership can inspire Soldiers to cooperate to this extent. For these reasons, only the best qualified NCOs in the unit should lead PRT. The leader must exemplify the Army adage: Be, Know, Do.
All officers, NCOs, and PRT leaders must set and enforce standards through complete mastery of this FM. They must not only be able to explain and demonstrate all activities, but also must know the best methods of presenting and conducting them. Leaders set the example. The PRT leader demonstrates tactical and technical competence through a mastery of PRT subject matter. Mastery is the first step in developing confidence, assurance, and poise. Thorough knowledge of this FM allows the PRT leader to apply the training principles of precision, progression, and integration needed to attain Soldier physical readiness. Skill in demonstrating and leading all PRT exercises, drills, and activities is essential to teaching technique and is invaluable to the PRT leader. The unprepared, hesitant leader loses the confidence and respect of Soldiers almost immediately. The well-prepared, confident leader gains the respect and cooperation of all Soldiers at the outset.
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS AND APPEARANCE
The personal appearance and physical qualifications of the PRT leader affect his effectiveness. He should exemplify the things he is seeking to teach. It is a great advantage if the leader himself can do all and more than he asks of his men. He must be physically fit because PRT leadership is so strenuous that considerable strength, endurance, and mobility are essential prerequisites for success.
KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Successful leadership in PRT requires the leader to know and appreciate the individual physical and mental differences of his Soldiers. He must get to know his Soldiers as individuals and be quick to recognize signs indicating their reactions to his instruction. The successful PRT leader ensures that his subordinates understand the critical importance of PRT to the successful accomplishment of WTBDs in support of the unit’s C- or D-METL. This is accomplished by understanding Soldiers, knowing how to lead and motivate them, understanding how they learn, and using this knowledge in PRT sessions. To succeed, PRT leaders must have the confidence of the Soldiers. He gains their confidence by winning their respect. He wins their respect by his sincerity, integrity, determination, sense of justice, energy, self-confidence, and force of character. A leader who has the admiration and respect of his Soldiers easily secures their cooperation. The leader treats the Soldiers with consideration and avoids imposing unreasonable physical demands on them. If Soldiers are exercised too violently, they become so stiff and sore that they look upon the next PRT session with apprehension. When this happens, Soldiers can develop an antagonistic attitude toward the leader and the program. Instead of cooperating, they will malinger at every opportunity.
Another essential quality of the PRT leader is enthusiasm. Successful Army PRT activities must be carried on in a continuous and vigorous manner. Soldiers reflect the attitude of the PRT leader. If the leader is enthusiastic, his instructed Soldiers will be enthusiastic. If the leader is apathetic, his instructed Soldiers will be apathetic. The enthusiasm of a leader springs from the realization of the importance of the mission. Leaders must be inspired by the thought that what they do every minute of every day may mean the difference between life and death. There is no more effective method of obtaining the energetic, wholehearted participation of Soldiers in the PRT program than by providing skilled, enthusiastic leadership.