(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Sgt. James Sowell III is a self-professed “country boy” at heart who has never met a stranger.

His friendly, welcoming demeanor makes him a perfect fit as an instructor and Soldier Family Readiness Group coordinator at Fort Hood, Texas. However, it is his experience as a Master Resilience Trainer which has allowed him to weave together his best qualities and make a remarkable impact during his 14-year career.

“I have the personality, which is a sword. But the sword was dull. MRT training sharpened my sword,” explains Sowell.

Early in his career, Sowell had his personal readiness put to the test while deployed. He was able to utilize the R2 lessons he had learned to build his resilience.

“My mother got really sick, and I was stationed in Turkey, and I was having to make medical decisions for her and being stressed and deployed and away from my mom while she was dying. I used small skills that I could remember … It got me through my year and a half away, got me through being away from my sick and dying mother, as well as just handling the stresses of the Army and all that.” Sowell reflected.

Many years later, Sowell was recommended for the Master Resilience Training Course by a superior. The course not only opened his eyes to new skills, but also pushed him to be a better trainer and mentor.

“I incorporate everything from my life (and) other people's lives that I have experienced (into the

MRT lessons), and I put a bow tie on it to make it more interactive and not boring. And when you create that (environment) where it's not boring you plant more seeds that we can harvest.”

He also believes MRT has given him a more positive mindset. He looks for opportunities to pour back into his community and credits modules like Hunt the Good Stuff, which is the skill to notice and analyze what is good around you.

“If it wasn't for the MRT training that I received I don’t think my outlook would be as bright. It's allowed me to keep things in perspective. And it's made me a better and more approachable leader.”