Effective leadership is critical to the success of a PRT program. History has taught us that often Soldiers and units may not be afforded the time to develop an appropriate level of physical readiness and resilience during mobilization. Commanders can reduce this risk by applying the following strategies to meet individual and unit goals and objectives.
Clearly explaining the objectives and benefits of the program ensures that the time allotted for PRT is used effectively; therefore, leaders must constantly emphasize the value of PRT and commanders must provide resources to support a program that will improve each Soldier’s level of physical readiness. Mandatory participation is essential. All individuals, regardless of rank, age or gender benefit from regular exercise. In some instances, leaders will need to make special efforts to overcome recurring problems that interfere with regular training. To foster a positive attitude, unit and PRT leaders must be knowledgeable, understanding, and fair, but demanding. A high level of physical readiness and resilience cannot be attained by simply going through the motions. Smart, realistic, and challenging training to standard is essential. Leaders should not punish Soldiers who fail to perform to standard, because this often does more harm than good. They must recognize individual differences and motivate Soldiers to put forth their best efforts. The application of reconditioning PRT will progressively return Soldiers with medical profiles to the unit. It also allows them to train with the unit whenever possible, within the limits of their profiles.
LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE
Leaders must understand and practice Army physical readiness doctrine. Their example will emphasize the importance of PRT and highlight it as a key element of the unit’s training mission. Command presence and participation at PRT formations and assessments will set a positive example for subordinates.
Commanders must ensure that leaders are trained to supervise and conduct PRT. The doctrinal concepts and unit program models presented in this FM are starting points for commanders and PRT leaders to optimize unit PRT and assessment.
Evaluation And Standards
Commanders must use the unit’s mission and C- or D-METL as criteria for evaluating PRT program effectiveness.
Highly disciplined and physically fit Soldiers make for a corps spirit that inspires organizations to dare because of their ability to do. PRT programs must therefore develop every Soldier’s physical potential to the fullest. When PRT is executed precisely, Soldiers develop discipline; disciplined Soldiers perform all duties with greater confidence and success. Well-run programs also enhance physical resilience.
Safety is a major consideration when planning and evaluating PRT programs. Commanders should use the CRM process for all PRT activities to ensure they do not place their Soldiers at undue risk for injury or accident. The commander should address:
- Environmental conditions.
- Emergency procedures.
- Differences in age.
- Level of conditioning of each Soldier in the unit.