Soldiers fix problems battle to battle
January 10, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla.--Thirty Soldiers from 214th Fires Brigade conducted their quarterly Battle to Battle program, or B2B, Dec. 10-14 at Graham Resiliency Training Campus. The B2B started back in November 2010.
"The goal of the program is to ensure specialists and below have a sounding board from their peers and to ensure they are aware of what programs and what type of help is out there for them," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael McLaughlin, the brigade's senior fire control sergeant assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery.
"I think the program is fantastic," said Spc. Sean Hillman, B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery , a cannon crewmember who was taking part in the program.
The "Leaders Brigade" continues to provide additional prevention-based resources to help the junior enlisted Soldiers be resilient to the changing conditions affecting their lives and families and to be able to bounce back from adversity.
"At first a lot of the noncommissioned officers didn't take well to the program," said McLaughlin. "They thought it was just a baby pampering gimmick for the Soldiers."
"However after the second class I had, a B2B Soldier came to my office and told me how he had a NCO come to him for help on an issue he was having," said McLaughlin. "The Soldiers helped him to the best of his ability and that NCO changed his mind about the program from that day forward."
McLaughlin said that same NCO came to him and said he wished this program was around when he was coming up through the ranks and he hopes that the program will never end.
"It really teaches us the skills we need to cope with people," said Hillman. "I am not even fully out the program, and I have people coming up to me asking for help."
The B2B program applied suicide intervention skills and techniques for the Soldiers to deal with emotionally charged situations.
Junior enlisted Soldiers going though the program now have better coping skills and better ways to handle a situation for a battle buddy needing help.
"The program was very informative," said Hillman.
Role playing in the program gave the Soldiers a chance to get some experience in dealing with some of the issues their battle buddies could be facing.
"When your battle buddy comes up to you with an issue it may take you by shock," said Hillman. "The role playing gave us that motivation and drive to be able to help our battle buddy out with their issue."
The topics discussed during the five-day class ranged from coping with grief to thoughts of suicide, conflict resolution, emotional boundaries, and professional programs and services Soldiers can refer others to.
"There was things talked about in the program that I was not aware of," said Hillman.
There are many resources available for Soldiers and family members who are dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems.
The program teaches Soldiers to talk to their battle buddy, chain of command, unit chaplain or visit Army Community Service. Help is only a phone call away.
For photos of this event and other events from the 214th Fires Brigade check out their official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/214FiB.