By Capt. Chad E Cooper (35th Signal Brigade)April 17, 2018
FORT GORDON, Ga. (Apr. 12, 2018) --35th Signal Brigade held a Spiritual fitness Prayer breakfast at the Bicentennial Chapel as one of the several components aimed at promoting health and well-being in the U.S. Army's way of life.
The Army defines spiritual fitness as the development of the personal qualities needed to sustain a person in times of stress, hardship and tragedy. These qualities can come from religious, philosophical or human values, according to Army Regulation 600-63, and form the basis for character, disposition, decision making and integrity.
Recognizing its potential value, the Army has begun to incorporate avenues to develop spiritual fitness in its soldier support programs and resources. The program is designed to build resilience in soldiers and their families through online training modules and helping resources. It focuses on five dimensions of strength: physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual. Within the program, spiritual fitness is deemed on par with physical and emotional health. Prayer breakfasts are one of the ways the Army emphasizes spiritual resilience.
During the Prayer breakfast there was the friendly gathering of military, civilians and family members where Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Florio Pierre, 35th TTSB's Command Chaplain, encouraged a packed house of attendees to embrace "Investing in the Spiritual You" as a means to enrich the lives of yourself and others.
"Why have these breakfast carried on? Because there is a need for prayer," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Florio Pierre, 35th TTSB's Command Chaplain. "You will be amazed at what the Lord can do for your emotional, psychological, and spiritual you when you invest in the spiritual you."
As military life is physically challenging, Soldiers were reminded by Pierre just how important taking time not only to care for our body daily, but also, caring for our mind, and spiritual self is just as important. Col. Christopher O'Connor, 35th TTSB's Commander, also reminded the audience that spiritual readiness is an intricate part of whole package of CSF2 and plays a vital role in Soldier readiness.
"I dare want to say that yesterday's spiritual giant is the worst enemy of the today's inner man, the spirit within. You must daily cultivate a habit of acquiring new strength from God just as you need air every day to sustain your lungs' capability to keep you alive. It is that important" said Pierre. But we do not have to stay at the same stage through life. Spiritual growth will be different for each person--what works for one person may not work for another--but activities such as belonging to a worship community, prayer and meditation, and deliberate study can help contribute to growth.
You might get an idea of your own level of spiritual fitness from a source such as the "Spiritual Dimension" on the Global Assessment Tool, or GAT. Soldiers have to take the GAT each year. But there are many ways to gauge your spiritual resilience. The "Spiritual Fitness Inventory" Technical Guide 360 available from the U.S. Army Public Health Command Spiritual Health website is another tool. Whenever you step on the scale or monitor your exercise, you are taking stock of your health. Shouldn't your spiritual health be just as important?