FORT HOOD, Texas (Army News Service, March 6, 2008) - Senior leaders from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, gathered with their spouses for a weekend to learn some techniques to keep their relationships strong.

The two-day event, held in February at the Hospitality House in Kempner, Texas, was structured around the "Strong Bonds" program, designed to strengthen marriages through learning communication styles.

The program's ultimate goal is to help prevent divorce and better communication between the couples, said Maj. Charles Causey, the Strong Bonds chaplain for the 88th Regional Readiness Command in Fort Snelling, Minn. He and his wife Lauri were the main speakers for the conference.

"All couples are going to have problems, it's how you handle them (that) counts the most," he said, adding that studies have shown that a healthy marriage directly contributes to the quality of work a Soldier gives.

Another goal of the weekend was to instill the techniques in the senior leaders so they can teach them to their Soldiers and other leaders, said Causey.

Master Sgt. Rick Nunally, the brigade security noncommissioned officer in charge, attended the conference with his wife of 15 years, Lisa.

"I used this weekend as a tune-up for my own marriage and to make myself a better leader," he said. He wants to take what he's learned and pass it on to his Soldiers.

One of the key communication techniques learned was the speaker/listener technique.

During this technique, the speaker has the floor and is able to say what they want without interruption. The listener then has to take what the speaker said and paraphrase it back to the speaker to ensure that what was said was understood, said Nunally.

Throughout the different sessions, many in the group chimed in, sharing wisdom they've gained from their own life experiences, so couples also benefit from listening to others' knowledge.

"I did really enjoy the small group, because there was more interaction amongst the group," Nunally said.

"I highly recommend all married couples attend a (Strong Bonds conference)," said Nunally.

Strong Bonds retreats happen on a regular basis are happening often. Soldiers can ask their leadership and chaplains about them or visit <a href=""target=_blank></a> to look for upcoming dates.

(Sgt. Nathan J. J. Hoskins serves with the 1st Air Cav. Bde., 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs Office.)

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