A collaborative effort between five Army commands is aimed at giving individuals personal tools to help guide them through life’s difficult times. This 13-week series, available online through Microsoft Teams, is titled “How to Thrive During Life's Challenges: Charting Your Course to Improve Performance and Resilience.”  Participants will learn how to deal with stressful and challenging times in their lives.  (Read more)
A collaborative effort between five Army commands is aimed at giving individuals personal tools to help guide them through life’s difficult times. This 13-week series, available online through Microsoft Teams, is titled “How to Thrive During Life's Challenges: Charting Your Course to Improve Performance and Resilience.” Participants will learn how to deal with stressful and challenging times in their lives. (Read more) (Photo Credit: Greg Wilson) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – A unique collaboration between Army commands is aimed at giving individuals personal tools to help guide them through life’s difficult times here.

“How to Thrive During Life's Challenges: Charting Your Course to Improve Performance and Resilience” is a 13-week online series of presentations that started Oct. 7 and is a combined effort between the U.S. Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Contracting Command, U.S. Army Security and Assistance Command and Garrison Redstone Arsenal Army Community Service.

The series is being presented weekly through Jan. 27. The sessions are held on MS Teams every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time.

Valerie Francis, AMC’s Health Promotion program manager, initiated the effort and said the need to conduct the training stemmed from discussions on how to transition the workforce back to onsite work.

“The transition was causing stress, anxiety and uncertainty, so tools and resources were needed to address the issue,” she said. “We already had the Army’s resilience training program, so I just needed to move the training to a virtual platform and collaborate with AMC master resilience trainers to devise a plan.”

Francis said the other commands were eager to help, which proved to be helpful.

“A collaborative approach builds camaraderie and leverages strengths and creativity from those outside your own command,” she said, adding that this initiative allowed team members to understand challenges other commands face, resulting in a better product that meets the needs of all AMC personnel.

Master resilience trainers Nick Osterhaus and Lori Owens will represent ASC in several of the presentations. They are both master resilience trainers within the ASC’s G1 Ready and Resilience team.

Osterhaus is leading two of the sessions.

“I am presenting ‘Focus your energy, manage your stress’ and later on ‘Don’t fall down the rabbit hole’,” which he said is meant to help people avoid getting too wrapped up in relatively small problems.

Owens said she also is instructing two sessions -- “Identify and build your strengths” and “Leverage strengths to build a better team.”

Owens said there are two basic reasons for the presentations.

“The first is very practical,” she said. “It’s an augmentation of installation/unit master resilience training designed to provide our Soldiers with an opportunity to complete their mandatory annual master resilience training.

“The second reason is that all of us – Soldiers, families, civilians, and contractors alike – are facing difficult, high stress times. This series is an opportunity for all of us to come together and learn vital life skills – both from the curriculum and from each other – that will help us better navigate and handle that increased pressure.”

“Even though we are presenting the master resilience skills, we are also showing the workforce how they come into play in their lives,” Osterhaus said. “We give the information then show how and where it affects them.

“We want to make it relatable, so they can walk away with the knowledge of how to use the skill we just gave them.”

According to Owens, the program is targeting a worldwide audience.

“The audience is anyone within AMC -- to include the entire ASC footprint,” she said. “The training is open to anyone. While the material adheres to the Army Resilience Directorate curriculum, thus allowing Soldiers to receive their annual training credit, it is geared to fit civilians as well.”

The sessions are interactive, Osterhaus said, adding “the chat feature is not enabled for most participants, but microphones are open and the instructors do take questions or comments.”

Owens said working on this project has been very fulfilling.

“Not only do I believe in what we are doing, I’ve had the honor of doing it with great people. Each one brings a strength to the table, believes in the mission, and has a great work ethic,” she said. “I’m thankful to be a part of this!”

Francis said the response from participants so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We continue to receive comments each week of how individuals can use these ‘life skills’ in their own lives.” She said their goal is to reach as many people as possible to enhance their resilience and readiness.

Each session is being recorded, to allow anyone in the Army to watch them at their convenience.

For more information, contact Lori Owens at lori.e.owens2.civ@army.mil (309) 782-7835, or Nick Osterhaus at nicholas.l.osterhaus.civ@army.mil (309) 782-3162.