USO of NC provides leadership program for service members

Leadership training comes in many forms and on Tuesday more than 50 service members danced to develop communication skills.

With one partner’s eyes closed, the second led the other around the floor, using touch instead of voice to move as music played.

Marine Sgt. Jacob Smith of 2nd Maintenance Battalion aboard Camp Lejeune saw the exercise as a unique way of teaching the concepts of leading and following.

“As a leader you can mold someone just like you are molding people who have their eyes closed, and as a follower you can be molded,” Smith said during a break in the exercise. “It’s kind of a give and take relationship.”

Smith is one of about 50 service members participating this week in the Warrior Reset Program offered by the USO of North Carolina and being hosted this week by the USO’s Jacksonville center.

The comprehensive three-day program is open to active duty service members as well as members of the National Guard and Reserve and is held four times a year, rotating around the USO of North Carolina centers in Jacksonville, Fayetteville and Raleigh.

Kelli Willoughby, Warrior and Family programs director for the state USO organization, said the Warrior Reset Program was started three years ago and is designed to provide training addressing principles of stress management, suicide prevention, and strengthening relationships through training exercises not typically offered through the military installations.

The program is focused on building leadership skills.

“It’s designed from leaders so that they can go back and help those within their unit who may be struggling,” Willoughby said.

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