A soldier will encounter many stressful situations through the course of a military career. Perhaps the most mentally taxing time for a soldier is the time spent on deployment to a combat zone, especially for the first time.
Soldiers assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade (1CD RSSB), several of whom are first-time deployers, have found effective ways to deal with stress and remain in a positive state of mind through the skills taught in Master Resiliency Training (MRT).
"MRT works to change a Soldiers' thought processes in order to deal with negative situations, so they can accomplish any mission," said Sgt. 1st Class Tracey Brown, master resiliency trainer, 1CD RSSB. "It is a guide to positive thinking."
MRT teaches Soldiers how to handle situations in an effective manner, to build optimism, positive emotion and mental toughness. This results in more optimal performance, sustained motivation and increased effort, and helps counteract the tendency to focus more attention on negative events than positive ones.
Brown said she enjoys helping soldiers find something good to get them through their day, because it puts a smile on their face and helps them keep a positive mindset throughout the day.
Spc. Jamal Rodman, brigade promotions clerk, 1CD RSSB, has been in the Army for nearly one year, and this is his first deployment.
"MRT teaches you to find your own way to stay positive, and find the good in every situation," said Rodman. "I stay positive by volunteering and participating in every program I can and attending many events as possible."
There are a number of problems that Soldiers, especially younger Soldiers, deal with on a deployment, the most common being relationship issues and loneliness, said Brown.
She said that is why we teach soldiers how and why they should "Hunt the Good Stuff."
"MRT helps you look at the positive side of things, especially on deployment, because you are away from family and friends," said Spc. Roxanne Stevens, signal supply systems specialist, 1CD RSSB. "It gives me a certain level of comfort knowing we are all dealing with the same issues, and we have each other to help us in being resilient."