FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- Army Family members will now be part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, a new Army-wide holistic initiative focused on building resilience.

On the heels of the first full-scale Master Resilience Training (MRT) program at the University of Pennsylvania, senior spouses at the Nov. 17-18 U.S. Army Forces Command Commander's Conference in Atlanta discussed how families can be an integral part of Soldiers being successful fighting the psychological effects of combat.

The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, established in October 2008, is an initiative aimed to help individuals develop five dimensions of strength: physical, emotional, social, spiritual and Family areas of Soldiers' development. Centered around a self-examination quiz called the Global Assessment Tool, Soldiers reflect inwardly and can measure their dimensions of strength and see what areas need work.

Defined as the "ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and bounce back from adversity," resilience for Soldiers is essential in an environment of persistent conflict. Traditionally, the Army invested much into ensuring troops are physically fit, but this program touches all the dimensions of an individual's personal development.

"If you are in combat, you have to be able to decompress," said Staff Sgt. David Breeden, a drill sergeant and MRT student in a recent Army News Service interview. "Some Soldiers ... don't have that resiliency factor of being able to bounce back from a traumatic event and it does cause issues. That Soldier can no longer help with being a team player, and the team has to turn around and help that individual and it takes away from team readiness."

Along with the 155 noncommissioned officers who attended the Master Resilience Training program, about 15 civilian employees and family members attended the course to introduce CSF to their sectors, too.

Dana Whitis, a presenter on CSF at the FORSCOM Senior Spouses Conference, explained that family members will be an important part of CSF in the future, and there are plans to develop training modules tailored exclusively for them.

"This builds the person up," Whitis said of the CSF program. "It will enhance and empower them. That's why I have so much excitement about this."

Whitis explained that the goal is to have the whole family participate in helping their Soldier be the most fit they can be-in every aspect.

"They can look in the mirror and say, okay, I need to work on this ... it empowers people to do that," she said.

For more information on Comprehensive Soldier Fitness visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16