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Anyone who’s been a part of or around the military over the last few years knows that resiliency is a high priority. After more than a decade of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has had to battle its own demons on the warpath, including spikes in post-traumatic stress, drug and alcohol abuse, and suicides. Recognizing the need to build a stronger, well-rounded force, former Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey Jr. founded the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, later named Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program. This program is focused on helping soldiers and their families bounce back from challenges and adversity by building all five dimensions of strength: social, emotional, family, spiritual and physical. In 2013, the Ready and Resilient Campaign was launched, further emphasizing the importance of resiliency to a soldier’s readiness.
As a part of CSF, the military set forth to create a force of master resilience trainers. Soldiers who graduate from the 10-day course learn the resiliency skills of the program, how to use them, and how to teach them to other soldiers in their units.
In 2010, I received an e-mail requesting volunteers to attend the MRT course. The e-mail provided little information about the course or the concept, and there wasn’t much more when I searched online. But what I did find, I became very excited about. It seemed the Army was finally shifting in the right direction and realizing that a soldier’s mental health is just as important to maintain as his or her physical health. I quickly volunteered to attend the course.
The opening day of class kicked off with a very powerful presentation by the former director of the CSF program, Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum (now retired). Cornum was the military’s face of resiliency, and rightfully so. Her stories of overcoming experiences as a prisoner of war after being captured during the Persian Gulf War when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down, made her an ideal soldier to lead the charge in training a more resilient force. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt a surge of energy and excitement to be a part of such a new and positive forward movement in Army training.
After attending the course, I realized these weren’t just skills to help in my military career, these were skills to apply to every aspect of my life. Here are the top five that every soldier should consider.
- Focus on self-awareness. Being aware of negative patterns in your thinking or core beliefs that might get in the way of rationale will help you regulate your reaction.While you can’t always control what situation you might be faced with, you can control what you say to yourself in the heat of the moment.
- Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. “Hunt the Good Stuff,” or take a moment to write down a few things you’re happy about or grateful for each morning. There is likely something there that will make you smile and get your day started on the right foot!
- Make it a habit to re-evaluate all of the information when problem solving. It is easy to jump to a conclusion when you can’t see the big picture. Identifying missed information can help with understanding a problem and put you on a better path to finding a solution.
- Focus on learning about your own top strengths as well as the top strengths of others. Knowing these strengths will help with identifying how best to work with each other (at work, home, and socially) and to perform at your best and overcome challenges individually and as a team.
- Be aware of different styles of communication. Just like anything, different communication styles and approaches are important to master to handle different types of people and situations. Be aware of outcomes and keep track of what works. This will help with building relationships.
There are studies done by the CSF2 program that show that resiliency training taught by MRTs has improved soldiers’ lives, particularly younger soldiers just coming out of the military. Now when I do an internet search for CSF or Army resilience, the information and resources are endless, and the program has been extended to directly involve military spouses and families.
I defend this program to the ground. I was blown away by the training, and continue to be impressed by the CSF2 program’s progress. Every soldier needs to be trained in resilience from the start and throughout their military career. It is very promising to see the military taking an active role in the mental health and well-being of its personnel. While some people might remain skeptic, every service member should be on board with ensuring soldiers are the best that they can be.
At least one Air Force base is on the lookout for a sinister new threat: angry men who can't get laid.
Personnel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland were recently treated to a threat brief regarding an "increase in nationwide activity" by self-described "incels," members of an online subculture of "involuntary celibacy" who adopt an ideology of misogyny, mistrust of women, and violence in response to their failed attempts at romantic relationships.
The brief was first made public via a screenshot posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page on Tuesday. An Air Force spokesman confirmed the authenticity of the screenshot to Task & Purpose.
"The screenshot was taken from a Joint Base Andrews Intel brief created following basic threat analysis on an increase in nationwide activity by the group," 11th Wing spokesman Aletha Frost told Task & Purpose in an email.
A Navy installation blasted 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at high volume for 3 days straight, scaring the crap out of its neighbors
From Long Beach to Huntington Beach, residents were greeted Saturday, June 15, at precisely 8 a.m. with "The Star-Spangled Banner." Then 12 hours later, the "Retreat" bugle call bellowed throughout Seal Beach and beyond.
At first, people wondered if the booming sound paid tribute to Flag Day, June 14. Seal Beach neighbors bordering Los Alamitos assumed the music was coming from the nearby Joint Forces Training Base.
But then it happened again Sunday. And Monday. Folks took to the Nextdoor social media app seeking an answer to the mystery.
Key witness says Eddie Gallagher stabbed wounded ISIS fighter in the neck but does not remember specifics
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The main thing to remember about Navy SEAL Chief Craig Miller's testimony on Wednesday is that he didn't seem to remember a lot.
Miller, considered a key witness in the trial of Chief Eddie Gallagher, testified that he saw his former platoon chief stab the wounded ISIS fighter but was unable to recall a number of details surrounding that event. Gallagher is accused of murdering the wounded fighter and separately firing on innocent civilians during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
Navy SEAL under investigation for allegedly manipulating (and hitting on) the widow of the Green Beret he helped kill
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.