ATEC works to build its resiliency program

By Lindsey GrubbApril 30, 2024

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Earlier this year, trainers from the Army’s Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Centers conducted a Master Resiliency Training, or MRT, Level 1 Training Course, or MRT-C, for 18 Soldiers and Civilians of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, enterprise-wide at APG.

According to Army’s R2 homepage, MRT-C provides Soldiers with an opportunity to enhance their leadership and effectiveness and to learn how to teach resilience skills to Soldiers, Family members and Department of Army Civilians. The course includes immersion in core concepts and skills as well as instruction for training others.

“ATEC has a robust MRT program,” said Diana Reeves, ATEC’s R2 program manager. “We offer MRT/resilience skills to our Soldier and Civilian teammates bi-monthly. We want to give our teammates several opportunities to attend MRT/resilience training, whether virtual or face-to-face.” It’s exciting to see the new and the seasoned MRTs come together; and more importantly, to hear the exchange of experiences and challenges of teammates across the enterprise, who have never connected with one another before the training sessions. We are promoting relationships while enhancing resilience.”

A training that was scheduled for 10-days was compressed to seven days due to weather delays and a holiday. Although this presented additional challenges for the class, it was an opportunity for the trainers and participants to demonstrate resiliency through first-hand experiences.

MRT-C students were taught 14 distinct skills that allowed them to develop themselves and others in the six MRT competency areas: self-awareness, self-regulation, optimism, mental agility, strengths of character and connection. With these skills, students develop the ability to understand their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, as well as the thoughts, emotions and behaviors of others.

Thereasa Alvarez, management and program analyst at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, was a participant during the course and she stated that what she enjoyed most about the course was the people.

“I enjoyed meeting everyone across the ATEC enterprise. We don’t often have an opportunity to work side by side with the Soldiers outside of testing or interact regularly across subordinate organizations,” said Alvarez. “The way the facilitators led the training allowed for a lot of open dialogue and we were able to hear different perspectives and the dialogue started building relationships, even when we had opposite views. When we were partnered with each other 1:1, small groups, and large group discussions, there was so much value in the different ways we were looking at the same question because of the current roles we hold or our backgrounds and experiences.”

Alvarez mentioned that the course benefitted her personally and professionally. “For my personal life, in the course we had to take a deeper dive into each skill and examine things like the science behind it and why the steps are important in the order. By the end of the course, the content and the experiences continued to remind me to be kinder to myself. We are our own worst critics, and the class was a safe space to learn how to examine those thoughts and challenge them on a more regular basis. Professionally, there is a part of the course where we must teach back the materials. I think as a collective group we were dreading that experience since public speaking is so uncomfortable for most of us. The feedback we received from our teams and from the assistant facilitators is information I can apply in the future in many work settings.”

Congratulations to ATEC’s recently certified MRT trainers:

·        SFC Joshua Winston – ATEC HQ

·        SGT Dakotan Hutton – ATEC HQ

·        SGT Savannah Purdy – ATEC HQ

·        CPT Adam Kochara – U.S. Army Evaluation Center

·        CPT Nicholas Longaker – U.S. Army Evaluation Center

·        Lauren Louisaire – U.S. Army Evaluation Center

·        SFC David Myers – U.S. Army Evaluation Center

·        CPT Blaise Staub – U.S. Army Evaluation Center

·        Thereasa Alvarez – U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

·        Scott Ritz – U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

·        SFC Clifford Kersten – U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

·        SFC Michael Johnson – U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center

·        Sean Natoli – U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground

·        Herbert Davila – U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground

·        Scott Hadfield – U.S. Army Electronic Proving Ground

·        Minda Federmeyer – U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

·        Michele Dominguez – U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

·        Amanda Chavis – U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

The next resiliency training is scheduled for May 9 at 10 a.m. through MS Teams. The training will focus on ‘Identify Character Strengths – Self and Others’ and ‘Identify Character Strengths – Challenges and Lead.’ The make-up session is scheduled for May 21 at 1:30 p.m.

For more information on the Army MRT-C, visit