FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The military trains Soldiers on a multitude of tasks during their tour of duty. Some common training is geared to forge Soldiers into warriors. Some training is not as common yet still very important.

Single and married Soldiers alike are offered voluntary training that can educate and inform them of options they might have to assist them in making the right decisions professionally and personally.

The 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion hosted a Strong Bonds Single Soldier Retreat on June 23 at Niagara Falls to educate Soldiers on relationship skills in order to potentially avoid falling in love with a person who might not be right for them.

Chaplain (Capt.) Jesse Hunt, primary instructor and 10th SBTB chaplain, said the retreat was meant to help single Soldiers sharpen their relationship skills, especially right before a deployment, to increase the chances of being successful in a relationship.

The training was divided into five sessions and took two days to complete. Discussions, sharing personal experiences, classroom instruction and workbooks were used to facilitate the training.

“Participation was very good,” Hunt said. “It’s not very often that you have a class that’s this outspoken.”

Soldiers learned about and discussed some warning signs of difficult partners, persistent resistance to change, compatibility potential, and skills for building and maintaining relationships, just to name a few topics.

“I learned a lot about the different qualities that you need to look for in a mate,” said Sgt. LaDiedre Benjamin, a brigade supply services NCO assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th SBTB.

Soldiers had some time to explore the surrounding areas after the first day’s lessons were complete. They had the choice to go their separate ways but decided to go sightseeing as a team.

Hunt said his favorite part was when the group went to see the waterfalls.

“Everybody stuck together, went down to the falls and kind of acted like a Family,” Hunt said.
The battalion’s goal is to conduct two retreats every quarter, one tailored for single Soldiers and the other for couples.

Soldiers really seemed to learn, while in class, and enjoy the retreat.

“I definitely would recommend this class to other people,” said Spc. John Counts, a brigade administrations clerk assigned to HHC, 10th SBTB.