Sustainers Focus on Resilience
August 23, 2012
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Aug. 21, 2012) -- "The greatest commodity the Army has is the human being. I say that because without the Soldier you can't fight the war," said Command Sgt. Maj. Karl A. Roberts. "As long as a human being is properly trained and has all the necessary tools to perform the mission, when issues come the resiliency will kick in - they will not breakdown."
Roberts, the Command Sergeant Major of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) based out of Fort Knox, Ky, believes resilience training is essential for the 3d ESC and Joint Sustainment Command-Afghanistan to be successful during this deployment.
Resiliency, as defined by Merriam Webster, is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
"Some Soldiers come straight from basic training to this level, above a brigade, and miss lessons that could have helped them build resilience," said Roberts.
"The Army has definitely provided every tool we need to be resilient; this [military] is the greatest organization, outside of well...Apple. When it comes to being able to take an employee and give you everything you need to succeed, we just have to make sure the Soldiers get the opportunity to receive the training."
U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) has mandated that each Soldier receive at least two hours of resilience training per quarter.
"Resilience training is especially important while deployed because some Soldiers have never deployed or left their families for this period of time," said Master Sgt. Roanna Rowlette, the Master Resilience Trainer for the 3d ESC.
Roberts believes it is extremely important to keep the M.R.T. up-to-date on the new changes in the resilience arena especially in a deployed environment. Rowlette attended the Resilience Expo at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait on Saturday, Aug 18, hosted by the 3rd Medical Command (Forward) to meet with other M.R.T.s and stay abreast of the resources related to resilience. The Resilience Expo incorporated the five dimensions of the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program: physical, family, social, spiritual and emotional.
The Resilience Expo included multiple resilience activities and provided access to large numbers of military and civilian personnel in an effort to disseminate information on maximizing the Soldier and Department of the Army civilians ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges with an emphasis on prevention according to Col. Annette L. Tucker-Osborne, the officer in charge of the Resilience Expo.
One of the key factors in the Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is family. Roberts believes the Soldier should also train their family on resilience. "You [Soldiers] train them by informing them of your role as a Soldier. My family understands not to expect me [to return from deployment] unless it's life, death or limb because they understand my role. Because of that, when a problem arises my family is resilient while I am away."
Resilience is still a fairly new program to the military and it has to be supported, said Rowlette. "Because it is new, a lot of people say 'it's not for me' but it could be for one of your Soldiers. If you pass the message [of resilience] along it could help us all out in the long run."
The message is simple, said Roberts. "If you fall, we are a military that will pick you up, get you what you need, allow you to knock the dirt off yourself and come back. That's resiliency."