Story and photo by Spc. Nathan Thome
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
More than 120 unit leaders from across post attended a Master Resiliency Training course to learn additional skills to help Soldiers, Nov. 30-Friday at the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Headquarters.
Taught by a mobile training team from Washington, D.C., the course covered the five dimensions of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness and the five pillars of resiliency the Soldiers need to know to promote strength and fitness.
“CSF2 is a training program that makes our Army stronger,” said Master Sgt. Michael Ballard, CSF2 noncommissioned officer, Headquarters, Department of the Army. “There are five dimensions to the human being, according to the World Health Organization, which are spiritual, physical, emotional, Family and social.”
Ballard said the Army recognizing the five dimensions signifies its understanding that Soldiers are more than just physical, and uses this program to improve the other four aspects.
Some Soldiers developed metaphors for resiliency and CSF2 to draw connections between the body and military equipment.
“You can look at CSF2 the same way you look at a vehicle. When you get a vehicle, you have to do preventative maintenance checks and services,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gabriel Camacho, detachment sergeant, 2nd Medical Detachment (Forward Surgical), 10th Combat Support Hospital. “You have to do the same thing for your mind; we spend so much time making sure we’re physically fit, but what about the brain; the drive train for that body, we don’t really do mental fitness.”
After learning what it means to be resilient, leaders focused on ways they would be able to teach their Soldiers.
“We want the first line leaders, the ones at the Soldier level dealing with the Soldiers, to be able to teach them; that’s where they get their credibility,” said Ballard. “The more we are able to mentor Soldiers, the more we are able to be resilient, to overcome adversity and find the strength to carry us through those difficult times.”
The program not only applies to Soldiers, but also to Family members and Department of the Army civilians.
“We teach everybody who is a part of the Army Family, because this is a program that can help make them stronger,” said Ballard. “This is a skill they can apply to make their lives better.”
During the two-week course, leaders learned skills that not only applied to teaching their Soldiers, but to their own lives as well.
“This class has taught me how to better problem solve, to look deeper into the heart of the matter,” said Sgt. 1st Class Walter Douglas, battalion fire direction control noncommissioned officer, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “I’ve learned to further engage the Soldiers themselves, to find out what they are thinking.”
Douglas said helping his Soldiers relieves his chain of command from concentrating on himself, his Soldiers, his area of responsibility, and allows them to concentrate on the overall picture.
During the course, some of the leaders reflected on what it meant to be resilient.
“I’ve learned that Soldiers have a lot of things going on, just like I do, and I need to be more aware of it and more involved in my Soldiers’ lives,” said 2nd Lt. Shauna Geier, battalion supply officer in charge, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd BCT.
During the second week of the master resiliency course, leaders developed classes and practiced teaching the course to ensure their understanding of the material.
Once they completed the course, the leaders went back to their respective units and prepared to teach their Soldiers and pass on the knowledge they acquired.
“This training gives us the skills to make ourselves and our Soldiers better and stronger,” said Geier. “We try to build resilience skills, and through teaching this, we’re showing the Soldiers that we care about them like our leaders care about us. We become an extra avenue to go through when they need someone to talk to.”