Failure is often portrayed as weakness, when in reality it is one of lifes greatest teachers. Resilience takes failures and allows you to expand and improve your skills. It means, Bouncing back from a difficult situation or series of events (American Phycological Association, 2019). Squad success and resiliency go hand in hand. Throughout the military, squads with high levels of resiliency stand out. While squads without it fall apart under pressure and are reorganized. Developing resilience at the squad level fosters self-improvement, team growth, and squad effectiveness, taking you to the next level of success.
Here are some examples of scenarios where resilience was truly tested. During World War II Second Ranger Battalion was tasked with storming the cliffs at Pointe Du Hoc 6 June 1944. During this assault, Rangers had to scale a cliff while fighting the enemy. The Rangers completed the mission aiding in the success of the D-Day invasion despite sustaining a seventy percent casualty rate (Johnson, 2016). The drive to win and defeat the enemy outweighed the overwhelming odds against them.
Another operation that shows effective squad resilience is the actions of Third Ranger Battalion during the Battle of Haditha Dam. Rangers during this operation secured the damn and defended it from enemy counter attacks. The resilience of the Rangers allowed them to efficiently control the battle and maintain effectiveness even when outnumbered.
When working with Soldiers, scenarios will occur were they underperform or even fail an event. It is important to make sure the soldiers know they can improve and that their shortcomings are the foundations for their improvement. Self-improvement comes when they decide to put more effort into their training instead of losing motivation. The past cannot change so try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances can be a little better (American Phycological Association, 2019). Keep in mind that building resilience is a long process. To help this process, make sure to foster positive environments for your soldiers. With all this being said, do not go easy on Soldiers. Make sure you enforce the standard and hold individuals accountable for their performances. The challenge to, over perform, creates the opportunity to strengthen resilience through self-improvement.
A team needs to be a tight knit group of self-improved Soldiers. Teams need to put themselves through challenging training that goes outside of their comfort zones. Training this way identifies strengths and weaknesses within the team. The struggle also builds cohesion and trust amongst each other. Each person in the team needs to know and understand the tasks and jobs for every other person. Switching out positions constantly during training and having even the lowest ranking Soldier be the leader instills resilience through confidence. When done correctly this allows a team to be effective even under massive amounts of chaos or if casualties occur. Every team has a weak link. The important thing is to maintain an environment where the weak link knows improvement is possible. Training and helping each other so that the weak link in your team is better then the other squads star Soldier.
Squad effectiveness stands on the shoulders of self-improved teams that are willing to use their resilience to accomplish goals beyond their skills. Squad resiliency starts at the highest level, the squad leader. Squad leaders set the tone and foster the environment for developing resilience amongst the teams. The leader must hold each team of the squad to the same standards. A resilient squad is fluid like water, meeting all obstacles with unrelenting force from all possible angles. If one method does not work, the squad must adapt quickly and try something new. If water is trapped, it finds a weak point and exploits it. The squad must do the same. Inner changing team members, to make sure they all operate the same, also develop resiliency in the squad. This allows for having effective teams even if casualties occur, Relying on others, and also relying on yourself (American Phycological Association, 2019).
In Conclusion, developing resilience in the squad happens at the self, team, and squad level. Self-development involves holding onto motivation, and holding yourself and others accountable. Always raise the bar for yourself and other Soldiers. Team growth happens when you go outside of comfort zones, taking your training to the next level. Training and understanding each others duties and responsibilities to maintain control if someone goes down. Individual members and their effectiveness as a team creates squad level resilience. Squads developing resilience will take on problems from all angles, never quitting, never accepting defeat, giving 100 percent and then some.