By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderFebruary 6, 2014
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Every Soldier is required to take the Global Assessment Tool at least once a year as a method of tracking his or her personal resilience skills development. It's a fact of life for most members of the Army family.
Accompanying the GAT is the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, or CSF2, which provides Soldiers with videos, training and other information tailored to their specific GAT scores. In recent years, CSF2 has evolved to offer many of these lessons to spouses, as well.
Last week, Fort Jackson spouses took part in a three-day CSF2 course on post.
"It's another tool in my toolbox, in terms of being able to grow professionally and personally," said participant Francie Graese. "It's a reminder that we're not alone, and that we're much more resilient than we give ourselves credit for."
Graese said being able to discuss the kinds of issues that accompany a military lifestyle in a small group was also beneficial.
"Anytime you can talk about it in a small group, you can see your situations are similar and can kind of learn from each other," she said. "It's a sharing of experiences, and how you see yourself accomplishing things."
CSF2 provides Comprehensive Resilience Modules to help develop social, emotional, spiritual and family fitness. This training is provided at the unit level on Army installations as part of the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, which has similar goals of promoting physical and psychological fitness, and encouraging personal and professional growth.
Many of last week's discussions focused on communication skills, which are used more often than most people realize, said Army spouse Tricia Sheffield.
"If more people had these simple communication strategies and self awareness, then they can improve themselves emotionally, physically and definitely in their relationships," she said. "You're learning more about people, and I think that's a good thing. Even when you're doing something as (minor) as seeing someone in the hallway, you're developing skills that help you communicate better."
Last week's lessons were immediately valuable, she said.
"Every single thing we discuss is applicable in the next 24 hours, whether you're doing customer service at a cash register, or when your kid comes in the door after school," Sheffield said.
"It's a very valuable class," Graese said. "It's a great life skill, and I think everybody would benefit from it."
For more information on CSF2 classes for spouses on Fort Jackson, call 751-5913.