Boot camp enhances soldiers' deployment readiness
June 17, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. - More than 400 soldiers and family members spent the day going through Deep Steel Readiness Boot Camp May 31 at North Fort Chapel.
The command group of 1st Battalion (HIMARS), 94th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Fires Brigade, decided to go beyond the required training to reinforce their soldiers' well-being before they leave their families and deploy at the end of the year.
"The purpose of this training is to facilitate resiliency and to give soldiers an opportunity to develop life skills," said Command Sgt. Maj. Dwalyn Dasher, 1-94th FA. "These are life skills, it's not something that you can do once and expect a change."
Unlike a typical boot camp consisting of physical strengthening and Army doctrine, this training is less stressful and includes the soldiers' families as well.
The Army Community Service provided instructors to teach four workshops: Resource and Ready, The Art of Marriage, Credit Conscious and The Wonderful World of Washington, all designed to enhance the unit's morale and readiness.
The workshops taught soldiers how to write a love letter, communicate with their spouse, manage their money, and offered tips on things to do in Washington.
"The art of marriage taught us how to listen and communicate, which is good, because we don't communicate well all the time," said Brianna Hallmark, spouse of Spc. Steven Hallmark, a multiple launch rocket system crew member, B Company, 1-94 FA.
According to Dasher, the unit will be conducting this training again before they deploy to continue improving the unit's morale and readiness and will continue to train once they arrive to Dubai.
The readiness boot camp is a resource available to commanders to train their Soldiers and can be customized around the unit's needs.
"There are a lot of different courses and we try and hit on specific things that the commander wants, but also bring a lot of fun and general knowledge," said Tina Fortner, family readiness support assistant, 17th Fires Brigade.
"We believe in our organization that the most important thing in relationships is communication, not only with the soldiers or with subordinates, but more so with their families, their spouses, their brothers and sisters, then we are going to be a stronger organization," said Lt. Col. Luis M. Rivera, commander, 1-94 FA. "We want the soldiers to be more resilient, whether it's financially or to have more resilient families."