Fort Hood soldiers and men from the surrounding community attended the Rough Cut Men Conference on July 26-27 at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel.
The conference, designed for men, used movie clips and current events to get men talking with one another in an authentic and transparent way.
“The purpose of (the conference), in a nutshell, is to help men make friends ... so they end up with a ‘battle buddy’ so to speak,” said David Dusek, founder and executive director of Rough Cut Men Ministries.
Dusek believes there is a strong absence of masculinity in church. Dusek also believes, it’s because of this disconnect, men may feel alone, leading them to do the wrong thing.
“I believe that isolation oftentimes leads guys to do things that are desperate ... either commit suicide or walk out on their marriages because things aren’t going well,” Dusek said. “I think if a guy has another guy, it ups his chance of survival, and so we do it in a way that’s fun and engaging.”
Dusek said he is not a pastor, but emphasized that Rough Cut is a ministry and the goal is to have men become more Godly. But, in doing so, it helps everyone.
“If we can help a church, or any group, get men connected to each other then that will do nothing more than make the church, the community and our nation stronger,” Dusek said.
One Army leader, who is always seeking self-improvement tools to pass onto to others, discovered Rough Cut during a chance encounter and thought it would be something good to bring to Fort Hood.
“I met Mr. Dusek at (Landing Zone) X-ray reunion with veterans of landing zone X-ray earlier this year,” said Lt. Col. Jay Miseli, commander of 1st Squadron, 7th “Garryowen” Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
At the time, Dusek was writing a book on retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore’s qualities, beliefs, values and faith as a Christian leader and how they manifested themselves while leading Garryowen during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965.
In addition to cinematic snippets, Dusek also used his own life events as a way to help the men relate, and understand that it’s OK to have trying times in life. He said being honest and genuine with people will foster honesty and authenticity among men.
“I’m basically setting the table for guys to sit down at a discussion and talk about what really is going on in their life,” Dusek said.
Second Lt. Jeremiah Cioffi, an intelligence officer with Garryowen, attended the conference to improve himself as a whole.
“I thought this would be a cool way to better myself in the area outside of the military as a person in general,” Cioffi said.
He said he found the movie clips helpful in showing men how to break emotional barriers.
“One thing the movie clips do is definitely help pull emotion out of men, especially men in the military who try to remain stoic, emotionless,” Cioffi said.
Cioffi said the conference brings to light how what a guy says and does, while dealing with things in life, can hurt people and this helps men realize they should stop and think about what they are doing.
He also said he liked how Rough Cut fostered friendships and foundations among men.
“I like the idea of you need someone you can go through life with, who’s going to be there (and) you know they’re going to be there when you have an issue,” Cioffi said.
To date, Dusek has worked with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, Marine Corps Base Quantico, NASCAR teams in North Carolina, Kingdom Racing in Houston, more than 28 Teen Challenge Centers across America and has plans to speak to former NFL players.