By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 3, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Army life can present many challenges for Soldiers and families, and the life of an Aviator can bring even more to the table, and that's why Fort Rucker wants to make sure its Soldiers are prepared to tackle any obstacle life may throw at them.
The Ready and Resilient Training Center, located in Bldg. 4305, focuses on Soldiers, families and Army civilians to improve individual readiness, performance and mental toughness through training courses that are custom tailored to meet the needs of individual units, according to Rodel Pasibe, Ready and Resilient Training Center manager.
"We focus on cognitive improvements," he said. "Our curriculum is very general, but what makes it effective and (able to be specifically tailored) is our knowledge of what support is needed here.
"We can speak the language," he continued. "For flight school students, for example, we can relate to the students and show them examples of what flight school is going to be like and how they can be effective in (throughout) before they actually start (Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training)."
This is done through performance training, which encompasses six core performance skills and eight academic performance training skills.
The performance skills include mental skills foundation, building confidence, attention control, energy management, goal setting and integrating imagery; and the academic skills include mindset, plan and prioritize, study effort, memory, active reading, note taking, peer learning, test taking and power strategies.
"If we're able to touch the students and provide them performance training before they start their training … we can help them be more successful," said Pasibe.
"Our resiliency skills are mental tools that can be used in the Army, but are life skills, as well," added Kelly Brown, lead master resiliency trainer performance expert. "Each skill digs into how our thoughts affect our emotions and our performance, so we look at things like putting things in perspective."
One of the ways they're able to achieve this is by teaching students to "hunt the good stuff," which is a means to counter negativity and create a positive emotion to be able to move forward and grow.
"There's a lot of research about what optimism does for people physically and mentally, so hunting the good stuff is purposeful in finding that optimism in our day," said Brown. "For flight school students, one of our goals is to reduce stress, so if we can help them rein that in a little bit, then they can be more effective."
The overall goal is to be able to help the Soldiers cope with mental obstacles during their training, that way they're able to deal with ineffective thoughts and have the tools available to combat those thoughts to overcome their personal obstacle, she said.
"It's a lot of mental preparation," added Pasibe. "Strengthening the Soldiers and helping the Soldiers understand how their thoughts affect the consequences and the outcomes of any task or situation."
The center also focuses on team building to help develop a high-performance team, and promote the ability and importance of working together.
Most recently, the training center conducted a team-building exercise during morning physical training with the firefighters and military police of the 6th Military Police Detachment, where they had to complete an obstacle course together to help strengthen communication and motivation, said Brown.
The center also facilitates the master resilience trainer course, which is a 10-day train-the-trainer course that is intended to build up the resilience of Soldiers as a means to enhance their performance, said Pasibe. The MRT is mandatory annual training that Soldiers must go through each year.
"We all use these skills," said Brown. "At some point or another, we have them available and we can be ready to use them when needed."
"We can touch 2,200 students a year and they can bring these skills out to their units," added Pasibe. "If we can teach (Soldiers) to be more resilient or to perform better, then that improves the readiness of the Soldier and our national defense."