Boats, surveys teach soldiers life skills during retreat
September 4, 2012
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Everyone has been there. Frustrated with that person in the office or at home because they don't see things your way or they just seem to push your buttons.
Soldiers from 85th Civil Affairs Brigade and 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion took part in a single soldier retreat, Aug 20-22, that focused on understanding why this happens and how to manage the situation based on understanding personalities and attitudes.
"Our attitudes towards life influence how we spend our money, what kind of relationships we have and our attitudes influence our health and how we think about it," said Maj. Bradley Godding, 85th Civil Affairs Brigade chaplain. "The Real Life Management program intends to help us understand why we are the way we are."
Using materials developed by Real Life Management, and support from the Fort Hood Garrison ministry team, Godding provided the soldiers with skills that would benefit them in the work place, as well as their personal life.
One of the training exercises, the 3-Minute Survey, boiled down concepts of traditional psychological and personality tests to a level that could be understood by anyone.
Pfc. Chauncy Macdonald, a communications specialist with Bravo Company, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, saw the survey as an accurate assessment tool.
"The survey, I thought, was dead on and it described how people get along with each other pretty accurately," said Macdonald.
A main goal of the three-minute survey was to provide the users with a visualization of their personalities, in this case boats. As the class moved forward, the soldiers began to recognize their own attitudes as a barge, tug boat, or sail boat.
"I like how it showed people getting along using this visualization," said Macdonald.
In addition to this portion of the retreat, soldiers here were among the first to participate in a program for individuals which targeted to improve communication skills in life situations. As part of the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, PREP is for individuals who seek to train and teach individuals, like single soldiers.
"The individual program has been in development for approximately four years," said Natalie Jenkins, president, PREP for individuals. "We sought to create a program that was targeted towards adult learners and a younger audience."
Jenkins took part in an assessment of the training following the conclusion of the class so as to receive direct feedback from participants for possible changes that need to be made.
Since 1993, PREP has worked with all branches of service to provide training for service members. PREP for individuals, however, has been in development for just the last four years. Fort Hood is among one of the few military installations implementing the training in these early stages so as to iron out any flaws or inconsistencies that may occur.