USAG HUMPHREYS, South Korea - The four graduates of a Master Resiliency Training course taught at the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Army Community Service were taught critical thinking skills and were given pointers on how to persevere, build character, and strengthen relationships.

But more than that, they left with three more friends than when they began.

On the final day, student Tina Chin told her classmates, "You guys open up and tell me about your experiences and I think, 'That happened to me.' I had a great time with you guys."

Another student, Katherine Doehring Simmons, echoed that. "We were able to relate to each other," she said. "We made friends."

A third participant, Charice Enriquez, called the class "very informative," and noted, "There was interaction where we can talk and get to know each other."

Clarence Figgs, one of the course instructors, said the interaction was one of the aims.

"It's not about us," he said. "We encourage the students to participate."

The nine-day course, which ended March 17, had four modules, each focusing on a different skill set. According to Figgs, the Army established the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program to increase the resilience of Family Members and Army civilians. Students are taught critical thinking skills designed to increase traits such as optimism, mental agility and self awareness.

It made for good learning and good times, according to the students.

"It was a blast," said student Tracie Hardy. "I'm glad I took it."

Simmons noted the benefits of the self awareness portion.

"I learned a lot about myself," she said. "I learned how to be a better communicator and learned how to more efficiently deal with being a military spouse."