FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO. (April 30, 2015) -- Physical fitness is not the only hallmark of the U.S. Army -- resilience also ranks high in developing strong Soldiers, Army civilians and Families.
More than 60 Soldiers were certified as Master Resilience Trainers Friday after completing a 10-day train-the-trainer course at Fort Leonard Wood.
The course, which is part of the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, CSF2, program, is designed to build the resilience and enhance the performance of those who serve by equipping them with skills to thrive throughout Army life while meeting a wide range of operational demands.
Based on resilience core competencies, resilience skills and key philosophies from sports and performance psychology, MRTs will conduct resilience training at the unit level and serve as commander's advisers for resilience training.
"These Soldiers now have the skills necessary to go back to their units and observe and talk to their Soldiers to evaluate what's going on and be able to respond," said George Hauserman, operations analyst and MRT course officer in charge of training.
The training conducted during the first week of the course is learning the skills and techniques. During the second-half of the course, students break down into smaller groups to incorporate the training into real-life scenarios to better understand how people think and act in stressful situations. They also practice training the skills to others.
Students, ranging in background from instructors/writers to drill sergeants and noncommissioned officers, learned personal coping skills.
Sgt. Imilie Mccutchen, Company A, 795th Military Police Battalion, drill sergeant, said she took the MRT course because teaching resilience is one of her job duties, and she sees entry-level Soldiers who regularly experience anxiety, test anxiety and everyday stressors.
"There's a misconception that the course is going to be two weeks of talking about feelings," Mccutchen said. "It's more about analyzing the brain and how it works and how we think and react to various situations. It applies to Soldiers and anybody. I've already developed ideas as to how I can implement this back at my unit."
Mccutchen, an Ardmore, Oklahoma, native, added that the training will not change her expectation for Soldiers.
"I now have an extra tool that I can use," she said. "I'm still going to expect Soldiers to meet the standard, however, I now know there's a better way I can motivate them and approach them. I can teach these Soldiers deliberate breathing, give them visualization of succeeding, action words to motivate and help them with goal setting and staying focused. So many of the skills that we are taught can apply to any given situation."
The real-life scenarios are based on experiences that students and instructors bring to the classroom, allowing for the students to reflect on what happened and how to change their process of thinking, to help control the reactions to situations.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Carter, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officers Academy, small group leader, said that, as someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD, the MRT course permitted him to apply his own personal experiences so that he can now teach others. He can focus more on what is going right and help prevent negative behavior, he added.
"I had to learn a lot of this stuff the hard way -- the wrong way," he said. "When I was going through issues, everything was negative. Now, I tell students it's not weak to be resilient. It shows more confidence. It's a good skill to have."
The course is designed for Families and Army civilians too, and can be applied to many situations.
Hauserman recommends that Soldiers, Army civilians and Families visit the CSF2 website to learn more and take the Global Assessment Test within ArmyFit (CAC/AKO log-in required), at www.armyfit.army.mil.