FORT BENNING, Ga. - An online program aimed at strengthening Soldiers’ resolve and behavioral health skill sets in pursuit of their objectives will debut Wednesday.

The Resilience App features a multitude of resources to help service members, Army civilians and family members optimize performance, build strong minds and bodies, and develop better coping mechanisms for traumatic events. The voluntary tool emphasizes setting and reaching personal goals within Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.

Videos, Web links and practical exercises are included in the training and education package, said Sam Rhodes, a training specialist with the Directorate of Training and Doctrine and action officer for developing the Resilience App. This latest initiative is the app version of the Maneuver Center of Excellence Resiliency Goals Book released in December.

“It gives individuals the ability to set multiple outcome-based goals,” he said. “They can establish priorities to accomplish those goals. It also provides actions and beliefs to assist in the accomplishment of those goals.

“Currently, we are giving a majority of Soldiers resilience training. Resilience goal setting is another tool to help focus the energy in a positive way.”

The Army’s CSF program was established in 2009 to cultivate the five dimensions of strength: emotional, social, spiritual, family and physical. It’s based on more than 30 years of scientific study. The Global Assessment Tool, a 200-question self-appraisal survey, is part of CSF but mandatory for Soldiers in basic or one station unit training.

The individual Resiliency Goals Book is a Fort Benning concept being looked at for possible use Armywide, post leaders have said.

As the Army tries to stem the rising tide of suicides in its ranks, the Resilience App could help troops suffering from or vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, said Rhodes, a retired command sergeant major who served for 29 years and deployed to Iraq three times. He was diagnosed with PTSD during his final tour in 2005.

He now shares his experiences and struggles in speaking engagements around the country. Last year, he wrote a book titled Changing the Military Culture of Silence, which chronicles his own battle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts.

“CSF and the Global Assessment Tool helps thousands of Soldiers who attend training across the Army,” Rhodes said. “The Resilience Goal Setting App may touch millions who we never see " they are the ones who are getting away and need this app.”

The Resilience App will be available for download at the App Store and iTunes starting Wednesday. An Android version is expected out sometime in early July.

Page last updated Wed May 25th, 2011 at 16:46