By Lisa FerdinandoAugust 5, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (Army News Service, Aug. 5, 2013) -- Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell said the service's Ready and Resilient Campaign is playing a key role in strengthening the force.
Speaking to Soldiers at Fort Jackson, S.C., Aug. 2, he said the Army is keeping its focus on the critical resiliency programs during these tough fiscal times, while eliminating redundant efforts.
"We have to take the best, most effective programs and maximize them," Campbell told Soldiers attending a resiliency course. "The resiliency training that you are going through here is No. 1 on the list, everywhere I go."
Campbell visited Fort Jackson on the last leg of a three-day trip looking at the Ready and Resilient Campaign, or R2C. R2C aims to support and strengthen the mental and physical readiness of Soldiers and includes a wide range of programs that go beyond Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness.
During the tour, which also took him to Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; and Fort Campbell, Ky.; Campbell met with Soldiers, program managers, family members and Army civilians to see what is working and what isn't working with R2C.
The budget situation is forcing the Army to make tough decisions about end strength, modernization and readiness and how to balance those areas so it doesn't become a "hollow force," he said.
He assured Soldiers that the resiliency programs are worth the investment and will remain a priority.
READY AND RESILIENT
"Resiliency training is really the baseline for all the other things," he said. "What I would like to do is increase the levels that we have there as we move forward."
Fort Jackson, which is primarily a training installation, will be the home for the Army's resiliency training, he said.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign is an Army-wide effort that focuses on the total health and well-being of Soldiers, family members and civilian employees. It includes the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP, and addresses issues such as suicide prevention.
"Suicide has been one that has been continuing over the years to stay out there. We understand trends, financial issues, relationships, alcohol, but there's no silver bullet on the suicide piece," Campbell said.
"I do believe the resiliency training has helped in that area," he said. "The people I've talked to who have gone through who have been exposed to resiliency training will tell you that they think the same thing, that it has made a difference."
He said resiliency efforts -- including the unit sponsorship program in which peers orient incoming Soldiers -- help in other areas as well.
"We're really seeing a difference in our Soldiers," said Campbell. "Many of the bad things that happen to Soldiers, when they are vulnerable, are when they are in transition periods; really that is the first 90 days at a base, camp or station."
Campbell said resiliency training is the "bedrock and foundation" of building resilient Soldiers, family members and civilians, and can make a "huge difference."
He said his wife went through the resiliency training in 2010 and she benefited greatly from it.
"She said it changed her life, helped her change other Soldiers' lives" and "how she interacts with other spouses," Campbell said.
He said Soldiers should have that same enthusiasm in actively applying the lessons they learned when they return to their units to strengthen the force and maximize the investment the Army put in for them to take the course.
In addition to meeting with Soldiers, Campbell held sessions with Army civilians, program managers and family members.
Army spouse Lauri Duke, who was attending her first Ready and Resilient Campaign meeting, said it is important to have programs like this, where spouses can interact with other spouses and share their concerns and experiences.
"It's nice to know you're not alone," she said. "I'm the FRG (Family Readiness Group) leader, so I can talk to other spouses in our unit about it and hopefully help others that weren't able to come today."