Representatives from 15 Army garrisons and installations attended the inaugural Community Ready and Resilient Integrator course March 19-22 in San Antonio, hosted by Installation Management Command R2/Army Substance Abuse Program.

The CR2I is the staff proponent for the senior commander that provides execution and management of the Commanders Ready and Resilient Council and the garrisons' five supporting work groups: physical, behavioral, social, spiritual and family preparedness-military life, which together form the five dimensions of personal readiness and resilience.

A leadership triad -- the senior mission commander, garrison commander and medical treatment facility commander -- provides guidance for the CR2 Council process. In many garrisons, the CR2 Council has replaced the Commanders Health Promotion Council. The Community Ready and Resilient Integrators are responsible for offering the senior mission commanders in their communities recommendations to identify efficiencies, note redundancies, and ensure integration efforts.

A gap was identified in overall program knowledge for the Community Ready and Resilient Integrators and the course was built to provide increased program knowledge. The location for the training, adjacent to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, provided a unique training opportunity as subject matter experts from Army Medical Command and IMCOM provided program information on mission and requirements to enrich the attendees' training experience and knowledge. The gained knowledge will support them within their communities while building coalitions to tackle R2 initiatives.

Those who provide the Commanders Ready and Resilient Council mission have been provided the "how-to" by the Army Public Health Center per Army Command. This was the first opportunity for these Army professionals to converse with Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command and U.S. Army Europe. They shared best practices and cross-pollinated efforts.

Course attendees represented the following Army installations: Dugway Proving Ground, Fort Gordon, Fort Huachuca, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Meade, Fort Rucker, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Redstone Arsenal, USAG Ansbach, USAG Benelux, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, USAG Wiesbaden, West Point and Yuma Proving Ground.

Among the guest speakers were Pamela Budda, chief, R2/ASAP, HQ IMCOM, and Lt. Col. Amelia Duran-Stanton, R2 chief, who opened the course and welcomed attendees.

Scott Malcom, director of IMCOM public affairs, and public affairs specialist Susan A. Merkner provided information on leveraging local public affairs opportunities.

Tim Higdon presented information regarding Healthy Army Communities and the efforts being made to provide Soldiers, civilians and Family members healthier choices in their communities.

Lucinda Geeslin, deputy chief, Family Advocacy Program, spoke on family advocacy clinical services.

Dorothy Seabrook, chief, Army Community Service, presented information regarding the Army Family Covenant to Total Army Strong service delivery.

Derek Farrell with the suicide prevention program provided an overview of mission requirements and discussed data collection, which is of particular interest to the CR2I.

John O'Sullivan, program manager for outdoor recreation and Warrior Adventure Quest, provided insight into the WAQ program and how it can be used at garrisons to provide unit cohesion and team-building.

Dr. Fran Measells, prevention specialist, HQ IMCOM, provided a training segment on the use of a prevention planning tool, the Strategic Prevention Framework.

Overall, the four-day gathering was well received, with comments such as, "Best course I have attended in nine years," "Best course I have ever attended," "This course should be mandatory for all suicide prevention program managers and Army substance abuse program specialists" and "This course far exceeded all my expectations."