FORT STEWART, Ga. - Senior leaders assigned to the 3rd Sustainment Brigade, Third Infantry Division traveled to St. Augustine, Fla., for a married couples retreat.

The retreat was facilitated by Chaplain (Capt.) Lelys Miller, the 87th Combat Support Sustainment Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Bde., chaplain, using the video-based curriculum, 'Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage,' by Mark Gungor.

"It's very engaging and discussion-orientated, so it paints a clear picture of relationships," said Chap. Miller. "It's not telling you what to do."

"The videos gave us the realization that we are human," said Lt. Col. Chip Kirby, commander of the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Sustainment Bde., who attended with his wife. "We spent a lot of time together being married for 19 years and you take it for granted or didn't realize it until you pay attention to the videos."

Strong Bonds marriage retreats are about strengthening the marriage.

"You want to reinforce the strengths; it's not just about the weakness," said Col. Ron Novack, the commander of 3rd Sustainment Bde. "You want to capitalize on the momentum of the strengths to have a more successful marriage. Relationships are longterm commitment; you want to go in knowing a lot about yourself and the person you're in a relationship with. A relationship takes a lot of time and effort; you've got to continue to find ways to improve your relationship."

"It's about leading by example," added Command Sgt. Maj. Clifton Johnson, the 3rd Sustainment Bde., command sergeant major. "Soldiers are looking at us, and if we have a strong marriage it sets the right example."

The senior leaders of 3rd Sustainment Bde., were not stuck in a classroom the entire retreat. They had ample opportunity to tour the city of St. Augustine and relax.

"[Senior leaders'] time is consumed by taking care of Soldiers and accomplishing the mission; they also need that time for Family and self care," said Chap. Miller. "This gives them the opportunity to get good training tools and skills for their marriage, but quality time for their spouses."

"At the end of the day it comes to resiliency, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional,and psychological," said Command Sgt. Maj. Johnson. "It helps that as senior leaders we have to have that balance; it will help their marriage and their ability to lead. This is my last one as a brigade command sergeant major, and it's helped make me and my Family who we are today. It's strengthened us, made us stronger. I'll endorse it forever."

Page last updated Thu March 15th, 2012 at 00:00