Alaska Soldiers Explore Core Values to Build Stronger Connections

By Erik Moshe, (contractor), Ready and ResilientFebruary 26, 2024

Soldiers from the 1-25 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB) at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, participated in a Women’s Leadership Conference, an initiative for the women’s mentorship program. Capt. Mikayla Stewart contacted the United States Army Alaska (USARAK) Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Center to request a Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Expert (MRT-PE) to conduct a breakout session at the conference to give the women of 1-25 ARB a chance to discover their own values and how core values help build stronger connections.

In the R2 breakout session, MRT-PE Lindsey Hopson guided participants as they selected their core values from a list of 24 character strengths and discussed how those values can help to build new connections and strengthen existing ones. Participants then learned about the meaning of authenticity and how to display it when communicating with others through active constructive responding.

“Character strengths and active constructive responding foster stronger connections and enhance leadership skills by teaching Soldiers that living by their core values and being authentic to themselves and those around them increases trust, teamwork, cohesion and the quality of their connections made with others,” Hopson says. “Without authenticity in communication, intent can be misunderstood really quickly.”

Hopson mentioned that her favorite aspect of the conference was the discussion on character strengths. “This was my favorite part because, in both sessions, this is where the women really got to reflect and discuss what aspects of themselves reflect their core values.”

"This discussion brought out the authenticity of each woman. Being able to witness a realization of self, as well as perception of others as the women discussed their values, was beautiful because some women exhibited values that they did not even know they held. I truly enjoy watching people discover their own strengths, but then also being told by others what their perceived strengths are,” Hopson says. The leadership conference was well-received by both presenters and participants. “The Women’s Leadership Conference provided a safe and relaxed space for Soldiers to take the time to refresh and network,” Sgt. Lakayla Hampton says. “The breakout sessions were really great. I also enjoyed the icebreakers and resiliency training.”

“The Women’s Leadership Conference allowed Soldiers to be authentic and genuine,” Stewart says. “Keynote speakers and breakout group leaders such as Chief Catron, Ms. Hopson and Capt. Goldberg hit on key themes and topics that brought out ways to effectively communicate, build resiliency and build cohesive teams.”

“The 1-25 ARB conference was awesome. It’s so great to see so many women leaders in one room, all working toward a common goal to make the organization better. I loved every bit of it and hope that we get invited back next year,” Amy May, a professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks, says.

To schedule training that will increase your team’s performance and cohesion, contact your nearest R2 Performance Center. Visit to schedule training.

If you want to learn about your character strengths, visit and take the VIA institute on Character survey.