KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Nearly 45 Soldiers stationed at Rhine Ordnance Barracks and Sembach Kaserne participated in the weekly U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz’s Army Substance Abuse Program training on resiliency Tuesday.
Since June 7, members of ASAP’s prevention team have been providing short sessions to Soldiers from 167th Medical Augmentation Detachment; 512th Field Hospital, Headquarters, Headquarters Company; and, 519th Hospital Center, Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment. ASAP’s Raegan Patrick-Mudd and James Honeycutt led Tuesday’s training.
For this type of training, ASAP use small sessions – or “R2 Nuggets,” resiliency talks that last about 15-20 minutes, according to Patrick-Mudd. Each talk can be on anything from mindful breathing techniques to avoiding thinking traps. Honeycutt said offering a robust series of trainings as opposed to one longer annual training session is effective.
“Think of it like medicine, exercise or dieting,” said Honeycutt. “I don’t exercise hard for only two days a year and expect results.”
Soldiers and units are responding.
“Often times Soldiers will come up to me after a training and talk about how the training impacted them personally. They may not have necessarily felt comfortable sharing what they share with me with the entire group,” Honeycutt said. “We also often are asked to come back and provide more trainings or longer trainings on one of our R2 nuggets.”
Patrick-Mudd noted that the nugget sessions are quick and analog by design.
“The sessions are meant to be short and without technology - intimate,” she said.
Tuesday’s session focused on personal character strengths and how those strengths can be used to strengthen not only oneself but also strengthen a team.
The Soldiers were handed a list of 24 strengths and were asked to rate each one. Soldiers then took a couple minutes to discuss with a buddy on why he or she may have ranked open-mindedness, humor, self-regulation over forgiveness, wisdom, or hope, for example.
After the buddy talk, Patrick-Mudd and Honeycutt led a group discussion on how focusing on personal qualities could strengthen their team. One Soldier took a different approach to reach his conclusion.
“I need to understand my own blind spots and build on those characteristics,” said one Soldier assigned to the 167th MAD.
After some discussion, Patrick-Mudd said the ability to look within oneself and to act on that introspection is a strength. She said it’s these type of discussions she wants to bring to these sessions.
“One of our main goals is to create dialogue in a safe space where people feel comfortable articulating their feelings and thoughts,” said Patrick-Mudd. “In the day to day, our Soldiers do not really have ample opportunities for that type of exchange, and therefore one of the intents of these sessions is to provide a platform for introspection.”
Next week, ASAP has arranged representatives from Army Community Service’s financial readiness section to help Soldiers ensure they have the tools they need for financial health. The Soldiers will complete their series of training in September.
Any unit or individual seeking ASAP guidance can call DSN 541-1500 in KMC or DSN 531-3143 in Baumholder. More information on the Army Resilience Directorate can be found at: https://www.armyresilience.army.mil/