By Gabrielle KuholskiDecember 16, 2013
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. (Dec 16, 2013) -- A military training instructor's schedule can be so demanding that he or she does not always have time to become familiar with the installation or local resources available to them. For this reason, 15 different Fort Huachuca and community organizations came together Dec. 10, in Eifler Fitness Center, for the first time to host a Resilience Rodeo specifically for military instructors and cadre to help them learn about services and resources available to them.
The first participating unit was the 305th Military Intelligence Battalion, 111th Military Intelligence Brigade, which coordinated the event.
"We know your schedule is very busy and time is very short, but we want you to know that we are here to support you," said Kevin Mills, Army Substance Abuse Program, or ASAP, program manager, at the beginning of the Resilience Rodeo.
Participating organizations included on-post programs such as ASAP; the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response Prevention Program; Army Community Service; the Directorate of Family & Morale, Welfare and Recreation; Legal Assistance and others. Two off-post agencies, the Veterans Center of Tucson and the Sierra Vista Domestic Crisis Shelter, were also present to assist Soldiers.
"Often times, given the operational tempo our instructors, cadre and platoon sergeants have on any given day, they may not have that much free time during the duty day to remove themselves from their regular duties in order to visit one of these organizations. They may not even know what exists. We wanted to afford them that opportunity so they can actually make a plan if they need to see any of these support agencies," said Lt. Col. Adam Boyd, 305th Military Intelligence Battalion commander.
Soldiers walked from table to table interacting with program representatives, collecting pamphlets, booklets and other goodies offered, but there were interactive activities happening as well. Two of them focused on alcohol impairment and the danger of drinking and driving.
Rosa Peralta-Imamura, ASAP prevention coordinator, asked Soldiers to wear alcohol impairment goggles and try to sink rubber balls in a basketball hoop. The goggles simulated the visual experience an impaired person would have, and enabled wearers to see how drinking too much alcohol could affect performance of simple tasks.
"[Soldiers] get to relax and, at the same time, get good information," Peralta-Imamura explained.
Outside the fitness center, Soldiers were introduced to a drunk driving simulation obstacle course. Directorate of Emergency Services personnel and members of the 18th Military Police Detachment had Soldiers wear the goggles and drive a golf cart through a path of traffic cones.
According to Robert "Nick" Gilmore, Risk Reduction Program coordinator, ASAP, this is the first time participating organizations united to put on a fair targeting permanently assigned unit instructors and cadre.
Gilmore hopes its success will lead to quarterly Resilience Rodeos specifically designed for instructors, cadre and other permanent party members who, because of demanding classroom training schedules, do not have the luxury of attending safety fairs and other events designed to connect military members with available resource agencies.
Gilmore said there is talk of holding similar events on a quarterly basis, coordinated by the Installation Prevention Team and open to the entire Fort Huachuca Community.
"[The Resilience Rodeo] gives them a good break and gets them familiar with the services and the community," Peralta-Imamura added. "If every unit would [follow that example], it would be awesome."