By Lisa Ferdinando, ARNEWSApril 15, 2013
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 15, 2013) -- The Army has aligned and synchronized services to give Soldiers access to the resources they need to strengthen readiness and resilience, said the sergeant major of the Army.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign focuses on a whole-person approach that includes medical and personal readiness and transition issues, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III.
"We recognize that readiness in our Army is linked to resiliency in the force," Chandler explained. "If we have a more resilient Army, we're going to have a much more ready force."
Chandler said the Army's ability to be as ready as possible is critical as the service continues to struggle with budgetary issues and force reductions.
"I think what's important to recognize is that the Army is about people," Chandler said during a sit-down interview with the Army News Service. "We need to help our people as much as we possibly can so that they can gain resilience and just do better in life, in their civilian jobs or in the Army."
The Ready and Resilient Campaign combines and synchronizes efforts to help Soldiers, active duty, Reserve, and National Guard members, and Army civilians and families.
Chandler said the Ready and Resilient Campaign, or R2C, is a collaborative approach that is a more effective and efficient use of Army resources.
The R2C website points members to a multitude of services and resources. It highlights contacts for suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention and response, substance abuse, psychological health, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
The site is a convenient place to go for information, especially for Reserve or National Guard Soldiers who may live hundreds of miles from the nearest Army installation.
Chandler said a Soldier has a responsibility as an individual to seek help when needed.
He also said "battle buddies" have an important role to play in watching out for fellow Soldiers and intervening when problems arise. Leadership is critical as well, he said. Leaders must stay engaged and involved in the lives of Soldiers, they must also be able to recognize problems, and must be willing to intervene when they see problems.
Chandler said seeking behavioral assistance can help a member work through issues and allow the person to operate at an even higher level. He said through Army efforts, there is now less of a stigma associated with seeking behavioral health.
"This is not about weakness; this is about building strength," he said. "It's about being and living those Army values and being a professional, which is a sign of strength."
The Army is committed to strengthening its force, he said, and can only be a better fighting force with improved readiness.
"We're concerned about each and every single person that is in the Army, our Army family members and our Army civilians," said Chandler.
"We've put together a campaign to improve our readiness and resilience and if you need help, if you know someone who needs help, if you're interested in other areas of the campaign, we've got some great information out there," he said. "Go to the Ready and Resilient Campaign website and see what's out there and be an advocate for the program."
Chandler said progress has been made in behavioral care, especially in medical advances in caring for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. He said more can be done and the Army is seeking to provide additional resources for behavioral care.
"I do believe that we are seeing more Soldiers that are coming forward to get care," he said. "I think the most important and critical aspect of that is the engagement of the leader and having a non-judgmental approach."
He acknowledged the stresses faced by members, whether through deployments, separation from family or other factors, and that seeking help is a way to improve and strengthen oneself and stay "Army Strong."
"When we look at what we're asking Soldiers to do each and every day, being a Soldier in the United States Army is really probably the highest level of performance we can expect from a human being," he said.
To read more about the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, go to www.army.mil/readyandresilient.