In an effort to improve trust and solidarity within the U.S. Army, 100 of the newest junior enlisted and officers from all Army components arrived at West Point to address the issues Soldiers from diverse backgrounds go through during the 2021 Headquarters of the Department of the Army’s People First Task Force’s Solarium event from March 15-19 at Eisenhower Hall.
Soldiers were split into nine teams, with moderators and subject matter experts, to share their perspectives through open discussions on specific problems affecting the Army today. Each group was tasked to discover methods to provide senior leaders to adapt policies that influence significant change. Subsequently, the nine teams were given three different sets of problems. Three groups, out of the nine teams, fell under one problem set and were tasked with finding a solution, Eric Lin, an assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, said.
“The big problem areas that Soldiers tackled are racism and extremism, which feel like two separate things, but they are in the same category,” Lin said. “Then you have sexual assault and harassment (another category), and finally you have suicide prevention.”
Lin and COL Todd Woodruff, an instructor and director of the Eisenhower Leader Development program at West Point, worked together to outline a process the Soldiers would follow throughout the event, based on the training methods taught in an ELDP course, enabling Soldiers to create a solution. The two instructors taught a course in the ELDP program known as ‘hacking for defense’ where students are given a problem set that is prevalent in the Army that they need to solve with a limited amount of time, Lin said. Read more.