Leadership Enhancement and Development Complex Final Part
Maj Harold Compton
The previous seven parts to this series provided some details on the various events on the Marine Military Academy Leadership Enhancement and Development Complex (LEAD Complex). This final of the series is provided as a summary of the entire leadership complex.
The LEAD Complex was envisioned many years ago and has
grown over the last 12 years to be the most complete course of its kind found anywhere. The Military Department uses
the complex as an addendum to the Marine Corps Junior ROTC classes to develop the leadership skills, instill confidence, promote teamwork and assist in the physical fitness of all cadets. The value of the complex was quickly recognized by many of the schools and JROTC units in the Rio Grande Valley and a major reason for them returning time and time again to use the complex. Additionally, many of the local law enforcement agencies along with Army and Marine Reserve units use the leadership complex on a regular basis. The Marine Military Academy has also been recognized by both the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps as a valuable asset. They have therefore scheduled their summer Cadet Leadership Camps to be held at the Academy. These are normally held early in the summer, prior to the Marine Military Academy Summer Camp program.
Leadership Enhancement and Development Complex Improvements
Since the first construction in 1999, follow-on courses were constructed by Academy staff personnel and allannual maintenance is done by Academy personnel. Over the years this has saved the Academy thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance costs. Outdoor classrooms were added to the complex early in the construction and provide a welcome source of shade for participants during the summer months. During 2008 a water line was installed, providing three potable water points with four faucets each throughout the complex.
As safety of participants has always been the number one priority of the Academy, personnel are regularly trained in the operation of the various courses. Rappelmasters, Ropes Course Directors, Climbing Instructors and certified belayers have been trained annually since the first course was opened. In all more than 200 cadets have been trained in safety belay techniques and assist the Academy staff during the Marine Military Academy Summer Camp. The Academy currently has eight certified instructors on the staff to oversee operation of the Rappel Tower, Climbing Wall and High/Low Ropes Course and all Drill Instructors are trained to run the Obstacle Course, Confidence Course, Circuit Course, Leadership Reaction Course, Combat Fitness Course and Pugil Stick pit. At no time are cadets permitted to run any of the courses without staff supervision.
To achieve the goals of the leadership complex, cadets are introduced to the events in a building block sequence. Cadets are first introduced to events such as the Obstacle Course and Circuit Course to begin the process of improving their physical fitness and are then run on low events to foster team building and problem solving such as Low Ropes and Leadership Reaction Course. The next step moves them up to medium events that are both team and individual and finally they move to the high such as High Ropes, Rappelling/Climbing and Confidence Course. The ultimate goal is to develop the individual physically, promote teamwork and problem solving skills, increase their self confidence and overcome fear of heights.
Read more about leadership training at military schools at http://www.militaryschoolsforboys.org/content/leadership-training.html
If you would like to see more photos from the LEAD Complex check out our Summer Camp photos at http://www.summer-camp-mma.com/Archive/summercampArchiveMain.html
To learn more about the Marine Military Academy visit our website at http://www.mma-tx.org or request information at http://www.mma-tx.org/MMA/admissions/admissions_form2.html