By Mari-Alice Jasper, Fort Campbell CourierFebruary 2, 2018
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Family members, civilian employees and retirees can receive the same Master Resiliency Training as Fort Campbell Soldiers by attending free "Keeping it R.E.A.L" classes 9-10 a.m. every other Wednesday at Army Community Service, 2601 Indiana Ave.
The next class, "Being the Best of Who You Are" is Feb. 14.
R.E.A.L. stands for "Relationships Enduring Army Life." The series of resiliency classes focuses on promoting healthy and safe relationships, said P.J. Rawlins, Army Community Service-Family Advocacy Program specialist. The discussions are not limited to romantic relationships, but also address Family and professional connections, Rawlins said.
"Whether you are married, single, or just working on your day-to-day job, relationships are challenging and you have to be able to build relationships and we want them to be stable," Rawlins said. "For some people it comes easy, but for others it doesn't, especially when you are working and living in a diverse community."
Each class focuses on a particular skill, such as energy management and positivity.
"The skills taught during the classes will enhance communication and help people make connections," she said. "It begins with self-awareness. We have a class dedicated to encouraging people to take a look at themselves, be honest with themselves and to evaluate themselves."
People can gain a better understanding of their peers by acknowledging each person has different character strengths, Rawlins said. Character strengths are the traits and behaviors that come to a person naturally.
"When both partners are speaking the same language in regard to the signature strengths and understanding what assertive communication is versus what aggressive communication is, you have an awareness," Rawlins said.
Adding deployments and long trainings can cause a relationship to suffer if the partners do not possess strong communication skills, Rawlins said.
"When we are connecting and we care about a person, we don't have to care about what they are sharing in order to show that we care about that person," she said. "You want to be engaging because you care about that person. You want to be there for them to build trust in the relationship."
During the classes, participants struggle most with problem-solving and goal setting, because those skills require patience, Rawlins said.
"There are multiple steps to those skills and it takes a while. It is very engaging because there are a lot of moving pieces to those skills," she said. "It depends on the person, everyone is different."
The classes are open to adults older than 18 years old, and these classes are administered by ACS to promote mission readiness for the entire Family, Rawlins said.
"The Soldiers are getting this information through the Master Resiliency Training course, so it's only fitting that the Family members would receive the same information so everyone is speaking the same language and on the same page," she said.
Rawlins has lead the course at Fort Campbell for about five years. She began teaching after she was certified in 2013. She had to complete two weeks of rigorous training on post to earn her certification. She relies on her resiliency training skills every day to overcome obstacles in the workplace and at home.
"These are wonderful, valuable skills," Rawlins said. "Please invest in yourself. Once you get to the class, the experience is invaluable. Everyone needs these skills. If you are interested in personal growth, this is your opportunity."