By By Staff Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 41st Fires Bde. PAOOctober 20, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas-The Rail Gunners master resiliency team taught its 14th master resiliency training class at the Fort Hood Education Center, here, Oct. 12-15.
"The 41st Fires Brigade is currently the only brigade on Fort Hood running a MRT program," said Sgt. 1st Class Bryant Trapp, native of Saginaw, Mich., an MRT instructor with 589th Brigade Support Battalion, 41st Fires Bde. "This class is important for Soldiers. With the rigors of everyday; life comes at you fast. With all the constant deployments, field problems or what have you, Soldiers need to have the ability to bounce back," said Trapp.
The average Soldier deploys three to four times during a single four-year enlistment with the deployments ranging from 12 to 15 months. During World War I and II, the average Soldier deployed for the entire length of the wars.
With the changing infrastructures around the world and within the U.S., the Army has encountered changes as well. Along with those changes more demands and stressors are placed on the today's Soldiers. The Army Chief of Staff, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has enacted a resiliency program to help Soldiers overcome stressors within their lives.
"Resiliency training is important to the Army," said Sgt. 1st Class Ivan Geter, the brigade's master resiliency training instructor. "MRT embraces the ideology of the five dimensions of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness."
The MRT program is an adaptation from the Positive Psychology Program offered at the University of Pennsylvania. The program began November, 2009 and is scheduled to be taught Army-wide by 2011.
"I believe this program will redefine areas within the Army," said Trapp. "This class will teach you how to have balance in your life. Trying to have a family, kids, or relationships in the Army is tough. Some people will get knocked down and won't know how to get back up. Teaching this course has even taught me that I have to check myself every day."
More than 20 Soldiers from the 41st Fires Bde. and several with the 1st Cavalry Division attended the latest 26-hour MRT course. The course is an interactive course broken down into four modules.
"Now-a-days, the Army asks so much of Soldiers, so it's important for them to be able to think clearly when no one is around," said Geter.
Geter also said they do reverse role play and allow the Soldiers a chance to become the leaders and for the leaders to assume a subordinate role.
"I'm not big on being in front of the class," said Spc. Hunter Shumard, from Paragould, Ark., a paralegal specialist with 41st Fires Bde. "I'm kind of timid, but I worked through some of that. This class is good; if everyone took this training serious, the Army could change tremendously, for the good."
From the first day of class, the Soldiers sat wide-eyed and began to receive newfound information about themselves said Trapp.
"I've learned to have better self-control and how to view situations from other people's perspectives," said Spc. John Scarver, of Pensacola, Fla., a forward observer. "I think this training is good for everyone; Soldiers and civilians. I think we all need to go back to the basics, take a good look at ourselves and see how much our negative thoughts and reaction influence a situation."
As resiliency becomes more important in Soldiers lives and today's society, the 41st Fires Bde. started a couples resiliency course, held in the Stetson Room in the 1st Cav. Div. headquarters, every Tuesday at 6 p.m.
"A resilient Soldier becomes more effective; therefore, a resilient family becomes a greater asset," said Scarver. "I've talked it over with my wife and we're going to try to make it to one of the couples' classes."