FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Oct. 1, 2020) -- You may have noticed the “Value of Life” signs while driving around post and wondered, “What’s up with that?”It’s actually two separate programs with the same slogan, “Value of Life – Living with Purpose.” Both are two-year initiatives that kicked off here in September. Why two years? Because that’s how long Soldiers typically stay in an assignment before moving on.One started with the United States Army’s I Corps and III Corps just recently started using it last year, according to Col. Robert Glazener, senior installation chaplain. The Chaplain Corps runs this one under the auspices of the Fort Sill Commanding General’s office.“It’s really a program to remind Soldiers that they have value. It doesn’t matter what job they have, it doesn’t matter what rank they have. Without them on our team, we are unable to defend our country and do what the American people need us to do,” Glazener said.“And in this program, it’s tailor-made for each unit. So it begins by having forums. And these forums are small groups of about a platoon-sized element, about 30 people. There’ll be some subject-matter experts. There’ll be a chaplain, and there may be a community health nurse or psychologist or MFLC (military and family life counselor) – anyone in the unit can use them to talk to,” he continued.These professionals do have to report on certain topics like sexual assault or suicide, but otherwise what they say is confidential, Glazener noted.“It’s not in the Army system, it’s a little bit outside the Army system,” he added.Forty-eight hours before the forum begins, participants write down questions about things they wish they knew – about how to get help, what struggles they’re having – and then the experts discuss it with this small group. Taking whatever information emerges, the battalion command team, with the help of the chaplain and any behavioral health professionals who might be assigned to it, will come up with a way ahead for how to build up that team and enhance its resiliency.“The Army has five dimensions of resiliency: mental, spiritual, physical, social, and the family. And so, how can we build each of these people in those five areas?” Glazener asked.Dea Schmidt, suicide prevention program manager for the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) here, said she liked the new Army program so well that she developed a separate program for the Fort Sill Suicide Prevention Office with the exact same motto: “Value of Life – Living with Purpose.”“This is new because it’s each brigade taking charge of a program to build up their Soldiers. And it’s a suicide prevention program, but they’re not talking about suicide per se, they’re talking about life,” she said.“I think it’s probably not about suicide prevention as much as developing life skills, so that we mitigate the potential for not just suicide but assault,” Glazener said.He sees it as improving communication and marriages as well.“Really just improve the person overall,” he summed it up.After the forum there might be a physical activity that’s also connected to a mental activity, so that presenters are doing multiple things at once to develop the Soldiers.Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville’s idea is to give purpose and meaning to Soldiers and their families so they will place a higher value on life.“As it continues, we’ll help people develop goals and look to the future. But first, we need to develop life skills,” Glazener said.“Another part of this is to make sure everyone knows what resources are available on post, and that’s what Dea’s signs that she’s put out are: Know your resources. That there are tons of resources on post that people aren’t always aware of, and don’t use, even if they are aware of (them),” the chaplain said