Building resiliency is a team effort
November 14, 2013
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- "Resiliency is learned; it is nurtured, strengthened and shared," said Army Maj. Glenvil Gregory, 174th Infantry Brigade chaplain during a brigade spiritual resiliency workshop this month.
In line with the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, integrating resilience training as a key part of professional development throughout a Soldier's career aims to improve performance to deal with the rigors and challenges of a demanding profession.
"Being new to the brigade, it was a chance to interact on a spiritual level with the members of the Brigade," said Sgt. 1st Class Betty Jeanniton, the Brigade's senior human resources specialist. "And that no matter what you may be facing in life, there are people who are there to assist you, guide you, and listen to you."
'Seek and ye shall find' is a reoccurring theme when it comes to resiliency, said Jeanniton. Resiliency-focused programs led by different military agencies all have a similar goal in mind: strengthening our Army Family. Synchronizing multiple efforts and programs to improve the readiness and resilience of the Army Family - Soldiers (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard), Army Civilians and Families is the focus of the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign.
"These programs give Soldiers a chance to see there is a different side to Soldiering. It provides them with a sense of reassurance in that it is okay to reach for help or assistance," added Jeanniton, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.
"As Army leaders we set and enforce the standards, we lead by example, and foster an environment of trust," emphasized Gregory during the workshop.
At the Patriot's resiliency workshop, Jeanniton spoke about the importance of interacting with one another, sharing experiences and beliefs and how focusing on resiliency provides an avenue to work as teams to express collective ideas and views.
"We may not all think alike, but as a team, we are able to build our vision on what resiliency means to us," she said.
Teamwork is proving the best approach to strengthen mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral abilities in individuals, said Gregory.
"A group effort is needed to help persons cope with adversity, adapt to changes in their lives, and build resilience when faced with setbacks," he said.
Through some diligent coordination with the Master Resiliency School, home to the Army's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, or CSF2, the Patriot Brigade has scheduled two mobile training teams to come to and train Army leaders and Soldiers stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
The first is two four-hour leaders' induction training opportunities scheduled for December 10. The session is designed specifically to educate commanders, command sergeants major and other key leaders, field grade officers, first sergeants, and selected personnel on the important facets of building resiliency. Second, the 174th is scheduled to host a 12-day complete Master Resiliency Training course for 60 students in June 2014.
Building resilience is so important to maintaining Soldier and leader readiness, said Sgt. 1st Class Debra Owens, 174th Infantry Brigade Equal opportunity representative and lead master resilience trainer.
"When we first enter the military as young Soldiers, many have some level of resilience instilled from our parents or our childhood experiences, but our varying backgrounds reveal differences, sometimes gaps that need strengthening," explained Owens. "It's our resiliency that makes us more vigilant and capable when dealing with challenging situations."
Fusing important aspects of building resiliency that we find in different Army areas of concentration creates a more comprehensive resiliency campaign at the brigade-level, expressed Owens.
"Incorporating existing military programs such as CSF2, ASSIST and T4T with the Unit Ministry Team's Strong Bonds program and the Army Behavioral Health assistance builds a stronger support system overall," insisted Owens.
"'Different strokes for different folks' gives leaders and Soldiers the opportunity to try different paths to the same endpoint."
"The goal is to strengthen valuable coping skills that help us help ourselves and assist others. The end state will greatly improve today's military, and have an overall positive effect on our health and mental well-being," said Owens.
"I urge all commanders and leaders to attend resiliency training because it will reinforce how to 'hunt the good stuff' and 'avoid thinking traps' - both lessons are keys to coping with adversity, performing better under pressure, and sustaining a healthy Army into the future," stressed Owens.
For more information on resiliency training and tools, visit: www.army.mil/readyandresilient