AUSA-Day 2

Good Morning! Day two has kicked off at AUSA and I am still in amazement at all the great events going on. I still have not made it completely around the exhibit floor, but that is my goal before today’s end.

The first session I attended today was the Second Family Forum. The theme for today’s forum was “Army Families: Thriving in the Midst of Challenge.”

The common theme for all the family forums has been “Building Resilience in Soldiers and Families.” One of greatest focuses in resilience building is making connections-connections with individual families, families in the Family Readiness Groups and families around the world.

There were two very dynamic speakers who expressed a sincere devotion to promoting the well-being of Soldiers and their families.

Brigadier General Colleen McGuire, Director of the Senior Leader Development Office of the Chief of Staff, spoke on Suicide Prevention and the Army Health Promotion and Risk Reduction Campaign. The mission of the campaign focuses on the direct actions necessary to implement immediate actions and to improve and immediately promote prevention and reduction in programs that already exist.

BG McGuire highlighted the importance of recognizing increasing indications of risk, including sleep deprivation, that must be addressed.

Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum, Director of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness spoke on the launching of CSF and the great importance of resilience training.

Gen. Cornum is a strong believer in the concept of training and prevention. “When Soldiers come to basic training, they already have a wide spectrum of physical strengths, but have a program to make them all better; this is what we want to do for mental resilience.

General Casey defined CSF as “A structured, long term assessment and development program to build the resilience and enhance the performance of every Solider, Family member and DA Civilian.”

General Cornum discussed many of the skills learned from the resilience training taught through CSF:

Resilient Mental Skills:
Detect Icebergs: Identify and correct deep beliefs and core values that fuel out-of- proportion emotion and evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of these beliefs.

Strength and Relationship Skills:
Praise: Learn to praise effectively to build mastery and winning streaks.
Assertive Communication: Learn how to communicate clearly and with respect through the use of the 4C’s: calm, confident, clear and controlled.

The Family Forum was very informative and touched on subjects that can be very sensitive to discuss. Nevertheless, Gen. McGuire and Gen. Cornum outlined the steps the U.S. Army is taking to continue its commitment to the Army Family Covenant.