ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Oct. 18, 2010) -- The Army National Guard has published an in-depth leader's guidebook to Soldier resilience.

The guidebook, published by the Guard's Soldier and Family Support division, is meant as a tool to help Soldiers "learn how to [handle] difficult times in their lives, get through those times, and come out stronger afterwards," said Army Sgt. Maj. Jim Moore, of the division.

The book can be used to not only help build individual resilience, but also resiliency at the unit level. It includes strategies to help mitigate suicidal behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and child maltreatment.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, the Army National Guard's top enlisted Soldier, said even though suicides are a major concern, "these other issues have been identified as potential risk factors that could compound suicidal ideation and risky behaviors."

"With the Guard being a cross section of society, issues that are problematic in the civilian world are sometimes carried over into our organization -- as leaders, we need to help Soldiers and families to overcome these other, not-so-desirable behaviors," Burch said.

"The guide teaches battle drills to help identify an event, identify what emotions are tied to it, and then how to develop coping measures to get through the event and identify how to be stronger once the event is over," Moore said.

Moore also said the guide is versatile, in that it is designed for first-line leaders to use one-on-one or with larger groups. For instance, larger groups, such as squads, can go through the battle drills to learn how to help each other identify and get through issues. Moore said that Guard Soldiers often have more issues to deal with than their active duty counterparts.

"They have civilian jobs, are geographically disbursed, or may not have access to the same facilities as our active counterparts," he said. "So it is very important to create that resiliency support network during and away from the drilling environment."

Burch said the guidebook helps identify some best practices and helps leaders learn to build resiliency from the individual Soldier on up to the unit level. He said resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity. He also added that he doesn't expect Soldiers to memorize the entire book, but wants them to instead use it to overcome adversity.

"As the Army Guard CSM, my expectation is that people will ask for help, that we look out for one another and identify risky behaviors, and that we reach out and give help to those who need it," Burch said. "This book is another step in the right direction."

The guide is available online at: <a href="http://www.ng.mil/news/archives/2010/10/Leaders_Guide.pdf">http://www.ng.mil/news/archives/2010/10/Leaders_Guide.pdf</a>

(Sgt. Darron Salzer writes for National Guard Bureau)

Page last updated Mon October 18th, 2010 at 16:46