By Mr. Shawn Morris (99th RSC)December 3, 2015
PARSIPPANY, N.J. - Having Soldiers who are able to bounce back from adversity and function while under great stress is one of the keys to the Army Reserve's success as part of the nation's Total Force.
While this resiliency is important on the battlefield, it is just as important on the home front when Soldiers return from deployment and rejoin their families.
"It's important for Soldiers to get those (resiliency) skills, especially coming back," explained Trey Nichols, Yellow Ribbon program manager for the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command. "Studies show that 90 to 180 days (after returning) is when suicide rates start spiking, so that's when the resiliency training comes into play so they can get those skills and not react negatively to those life events that happen."
The Yellow Ribbon Program is a Department of Defense-wide program that addresses Soldiers' and Families' concerns before, during and after deployments through a series of scheduled weekend events.
"It's important for Soldiers and Family members to come to the Yellow Ribbon events because it allows them to reintegrate, reconnect and get their lives back into focus," Nichols said. "Having resiliency training at Yellow Ribbon events adds value to the program because everybody needs to know how to bounce back, everybody needs to know how to put it into perspective.
"If Soldiers and Families get the skills that are being taught here at Yellow Ribbon, they'll be able to take those skills home and use them in a broader spectrum for every facet of their life," he added.
The DoD launched the Yellow Ribbon program in 2008 to ensure reserve-component Soldiers have access to the information and resources they need to reintegrate with their families, their communities and their employers effectively.
Unlike their active-duty counterparts who return to the extensive support of an installation after deployment, reserve-component Soldiers return to communities that may not understand the depth of their experience and to families that may be unfamiliar with military demands.
"When you come back from deployment, everything has changed," said Maj. John Broderick, master resilience trainer with the 99th RSC. Whether you intended it to, no matter how much you stayed in touch while you were deployed, it has changed.
"Not only do you have to recognize that change is there, but you have to connect with your family member, your battle buddy who maybe didn't deploy, your friends back here who don't know what you went through," Broderick explained. "You need to reach out to them in an effective manner so that they have some understanding of where you're coming from so they can be there for you, because you're not going to be able to do it all on your own."
The 99th RSC's mission is to provide facilities, programs and services to Soldiers, civilians and their families in the Northeast Region, to support Army readiness, to sustain the All-Volunteer Force and to ensure infrastructure for current and future mission requirements.
The 99th RSC provides vehicle maintenance at 26 Area Maintenance Support Activities, equipment storage and maintenance at nine Equipment Concentration Sites, administrative support at 14 Regional Personnel Action Center hubs and satellite offices, and training support at more than 250 Reserve Centers located throughout its 13-state region stretching from Maine to Virginia.