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Oklahoma State Trooper Tyrone Dixon tells 214th Fires Brigade Soldiers about the repercussions of driving while intoxicated Jan. 16 during the unit's "We Care" Getaway at Forward Operating Base Mow-Way at Fort Sill. Soldiers learned about the many different resources available to them and their families and how to access these resources to help them solve problems.

FORT SILL, Okla. (24 Jan. 2013) -- Service members of 214th Fires Brigade "Leaders" took part in the brigade's "We Care" Getaway Jan. 14-17 at Forward Operating Base Mow-Way here.

With an Army that has been at war for more than 10 years, brigade leaders wanted to ensure the Soldiers, especially junior troops, are able to understand the stress that comes along with their service as well as be able to properly deal with the stressors. The getaway, originated by the 214th, aims to do just that.

"We created this event as an opportunity for selected Soldiers to learn valuable life and military skills through this four-day class schedule," said Col. Timothy Daugherty, 214th FiB commander.

"This program provides these Soldiers the tools necessary to grow emotionally and develop coping skills and mechanisms," said Daugherty. "We decided to take them out to FOB Mow-Way so they can decompress from the stressors of work and home life in a controlled environment with their peers in similar situations, and focus on the presentations from various on- and off-post resources."

"I learned a lot of great resources you can use if you have any issues and I think this will make me a better leader," said Spc. Devin Berry, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, fire direction specialist.

People are going to make mistakes, but always ask yourself "What if?" and try to picture the outcome of the situation. Then you will be able to rationally think through the consequences of a situation, said Oklahoma State Highway Patrolman Chance Slater, a 15-year state trooper, who had a discussion with the Soldiers about potential situations that state police have seen occur around Lawton.

Soldiers heard from a plethora of speakers to include discussions with agencies such as re-enlistment opportunities, military police and JAG, among others. Some of the classes that were presented included awareness on equal opportunity, finances, today's job market and time management.

"I think it is going to be a very positive program, because it actually shows that the senior leadership cares," said Master Sgt. Lamont Kemper, 2nd Battalion, 5th Field Artillery operations sergeant major. "I have been in the Army for 17 years and have never seen a program like this until coming to this brigade."

The first-line leaders who are receiving the training are able to spend extra time with their Soldiers and receive additional training in advanced Soldiers caring and mentoring skills. The goal is to be able to take back what they learned in the four days and train their fellow noncommisioned officers in those techniques. They were able to take part in the same classes as the other Soldiers, but also had leader discussions with the brigade commander and sergeants major.

"This enables all Soldiers at any level who attended this event the opportunity to become a better leader and Soldier while allowing first-line supervisors the chance to spend time one-on-one with their Soldiers," said Daugherty.

The Soldiers of the "Leaders Brigade" now have a better understanding of Fort Sill and Army resources that are available to them and their families and also how to access and engage these resources to solve problems. The brigade already plans to continue the program to ensure all Soldiers who want to partake in the getaway have the opportunity.

Page last updated Thu January 24th, 2013 at 12:15