By Kari Hawkins, USAG Redstone May 7, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- A new Army requirement is giving resiliency a higher profile at Redstone Arsenal.
The Department of the Army requirement states that when a Soldier changes their duty station, they must participate in 16 hours of resiliency training as part of their in-processing procedure to better assist them in making the transition to a new duty station.
Their spouse is also encouraged to attend the training.
And at Redstone Arsenal, Army civilians, service members for other military branches at Redstone and retirees are also getting that encouragement.
"It is unique for Redstone to offer this training to DA civilians, and that's because of the predominance of DA civilians here," said Valerie Francis, a professional nurse who is the fitness and resiliency coordinator at the Army Materiel Command.
"Besides PCSing Soldiers, Redstone is also offering it to any Soldier, regardless of whether or not they are new to Redstone, and to any service member from the other branches who wants to take the course."
The first 16-hour resiliency readiness course at Redstone will be offered May 28-29 at the Army Community Service conference room at the Welcome Center. The course, which will be taught by master resilience trainers from the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training Center at Fort Knox, Ky., will be offered on the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month. It is part of a broader program known as the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program.
Soldiers will receive first priority in the course, with other service members, spouses, Army civilians and retirees registering on a first come, first serve basis. Within the next week, a registration tab will be located on the Team Redstone website under the One Stop page. To get to the One Stop page, go to www.garrison.redstone.army.mil, Support and Services, One Stop, Resiliency Readiness Training tab.
"The Army is emphasizing resiliency training because a healthy mind is as important to unit readiness as a healthy body," the Garrison's Command Sgt. Maj. Kyle Crump said.
"When a Soldier has strong mental and emotional skills they are better able to bounce back from adversity in their everyday work and training, on the battlefield and even in their personal lives. The Army can help Soldiers build that mental and emotional strength. And Soldiers who are mentally and emotionally strong make better team players, leaders and successful achievers."
All Soldiers are required to participate in annual resiliency training as part of the Army's Ready and Resilient Campaign, and Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program. When they move to a new installation, however, that requirement also includes the 16 hours of additional training.
"We all know that it is a challenging time when Soldiers and families in-process," Francis said. "This training is meant to be beneficial for them because it provides individuals with life skills needed when they face adversities and challenges in their lives. These life skills allow them to bounce back from those problems."
During the 16-hour course, participants will learn about six resilience skills and one performance enhancement skill. The resilience skills are:
• Hunt the Good Stuff -- Learn how to have a more optimistic outlook and how to build optimism.
• Avoid Thinking Traps -- Learn how to avoid negative thinking traps, such as jumping to conclusions and grabbing control of situations.
• Put It In Perspective -- Learn how to stop catastrophic thinking so that anxiety is reduced and problem solving is improved.
• Real-Time Resilience -- Learn how to shut down counterproductive thinking to result in greater concentration and better focus on the task at hand.
• Assertive Communication -- Learn how to communicate in a confident, clear and controlled manner.
• Active Constructive Responding -- Learn the positive ways to respond to others that leads to better relationships. Negative responding includes disinterest and criticism. Positive responding includes authenticity and constructive interest. "This isn't necessarily about the information you get from the response. It's more about the relationships," Francis said. "And fostering relationships builds a team and helps when working together to achieve success."
The performance enhancement skill taught during the 16-hour course is Energy Management and Tactical Breathing.
"When the master resilience trainers from Fort Knox are at Redstone in May, they will provide additional training support to Redstone's master resilience trainers," Francis said.
"This extra training will enhance MRTs teaching ability to provide resiliency training within their own organizations."
Although offering the training for incoming Soldiers is a requirement, Francis said the training will also benefit spouses, Army civilians and retirees who want to build their resilience.
"The whole idea behind resiliency training is that it's a proactive approach to giving individuals the tools so that they can better manage adversity in their personal and professional lives," she said.