By Mr. Andrew R McIntyre (Jackson)May 10, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson commanders have a program at their disposal that helps them avert issues like substance abuse, domestic violence or even suicide in their units.
The Risk Reduction Program is designed to identify Soldiers with high-risk behaviors. The RRP is intended to reinforce personal readiness among Soldiers. The Army demands Soldier readiness for effective and efficient training of Soldiers.
The program originated at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1994 to address a series of high-risk incidents. Since then, RRP has expanded to installations Armywide. RRP promotes a prevention-focused approach when dealing with personal problems and promotes focused and coordinated actions on the part of installation agencies and the chain of command in battalions with high risk profiles.
Risk Reduction Program coordinator Laly Rodriguez explains the resources available to brigade commanders in order to help mitigate high-risk behaviors in Soldiers.
"Data on high-risk behaviors is collected on a quarterly basis from prevention orientated installation agencies (ASAP, Safety, Provost Marshal, ACS/FAP, Preventive Medicine, Staff Judge Advocate, etc.) and presented to brigade commanders for intervention resources," Rodriguez said.
Brigade commanders are presented with a full report of high-risk incidents. These reports give commanders the opportunity to take action within a moment's notice of a high-risk incident with Soldiers.
The RRP request Soldiers complete Unit Risk Inventory tests, which are anonymous questionnaires designed to screen for high-risk behaviors and attitudes affecting unit readiness and personal well-being. URIs are mandatory for new Soldiers at Fort Jackson, and also for deploying Soldiers.
Rodriguez explained that when a high-risk behavior is identified, training, workshops and counselors are provided.
"A Soldier faced with suicidal thoughts -- I immediately involve the brigade commander, the chaplain and the suicide prevention coordinator to help the Soldier immediately," Rodriguez said.
As a resource for commanders, RRP provides Soldiers with classes for identifying high-risk behaviors early. Soldiers may be shown a video of prominent signs of suicide and high-risk behaviors.
"We also provide Shoulder-to-Shoulder, a program to help Soldiers identify signs of high-risk behaviors and they can address the issue together with the right help," she added.
Many times suicide is not readily identifiable, she said. Soldiers with high-risk behaviors have resources available through RRP and various installation personal readiness programs.
For more information about the Risk Reduction Program, call Rodriguez at 751-7066.