FORT KNOX, Ky. -- We all express love in different ways. Learning about the ways in which we love transforms our relationships. Temperament plays a key role in how we communicate at work, with friends, and with romantic partners. The love languages we use and our temperaments determine how we communicate.
These were the main topics taught to a group of 1st Theater Sustainment Command soldiers at a Strong Bonds singles retreat held in Lexington, Kentucky, March 26-28, 2021.
The event, facilitated by Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremy Davis, Special Troops Battalion, 1st TSC, brought soldiers together to strengthen their relationships with themselves and others in a safe, comfortable environment. The 1st TSC Unit Ministry Team also held a separate couples retreat that same weekend.
“Soldiers worked on areas of weakness and showcased areas of strength,” Davis said.
The Strong Bonds program assists commanders in building individual resiliency by strengthening the Army family. The core mission of the Strong Bonds program is to increase individual soldier and family member readiness through relationship education and skills training.
Davis and other members of the 1st TSC Unit Ministry Team discussed Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages” and a temperament sorter with the soldiers to provide an enhanced understanding of different styles of communication. According to Chapman, the love languages explain how our expressions of love help humans connect to one another. Self-love is the main foundation when beginning to learn your love language. Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, physical touch, and acts of service, are the love languages Davis taught. During the retreat, soldiers had the opportunity to identify which love languages they mostly express.
Spc. Demeris Tirado, human resources specialist, 1st TSC, who attended the singles retreat said, “I learned so much about myself and others while attending. I did not know my love language was receiving gifts and spending quality time.”
The temperament sorter reveals a person’s temperament, strengths, and preferences. This survey shows who you are, how you approach situations and communicate with others based on your temperament and preferences. Davis discovered that he was an introvert and other Soldiers were extroverts.
“Retreats are valuable,” Davis said. “I continually learn, and even share information I learn from the singles group with the couples.”
Davis envisions Strong Bonds becoming the Community of Hope to further outreach to the Army community. In addition to retreats, he is working to launch community events such as bowling and hiking events where soldiers can bond while enjoying group activities.
Davis said, “ The Community of Hope is a way to develop resiliency, spiritual, mental, and physical.”
Retreats, Chaplain Chats, table talks, and social media outreach are ways to be more creative with ministry. This is part of the Chief of Chaplains concept to reach more soldiers and build a tighter community using more contemporary methods.
“Soldiers can talk about life issues in a safe environment, and we can work through things together,” Davis said.
This is his intention for the Chaplain Chats the Unit Ministry Team holds once a month. He also wants to help create personal mentorship groups. Having personal mentorship groups available for soldiers provide several ways to help soldiers remain resilient and ready.
Davis wants the community to know that help is available and hope is out there. It is his hope that the Community of Hope brings our Army community together and inspires others to create a culture of trust and growth. Davis said, “ I am in the best position as a chaplain to bring the community closer by providing outreach events and support to Soldiers.”
Additional Strong Bonds events are tentatively scheduled for May and June with separate opportunities for single soldiers, leaders, couples and families.