Chief of Staff expresses importance of MRT

Yesterday the Soldiers participating in the Master Resiliency Training as a part of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, was greeted by a special guest-Gen. George Casey, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Read reflections and reactions to Gen. Casey’s remarks.

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Training day 2 consisted of briefing and overview from Chief of Staff of the Army General Casey, completion module 2 training and debriefs.

General Casey’s Brief was a good beginning to the days activities.  His overview and insight into how the Army arrived at the training and the need to begin CSF was through and understood by all in attendance.  His brief overview allowed the attendees to understand his thoughts about how the Army will implement the program for the force.  General Casey is passionate about the program and his knowledge and understanding will allow the correct conditions to be established by the leadership for the Army to grow this program and develop resilient Soldiers, families and civilians for both today and the future.

The completion of training module 2 completes the real meat of the resilience training method.  We were reminded that module 2 is a great problem solving module, which allows Soldiers, and family members the ability to solve real issues that they confront everyday.  One of the teaching points learned to day is that is process is not designed to be a finite decision making tool, it is meant and designed to be a process by which we confront issues an solve issues we are confronted with everyday.  The process is ever evolving and is not meant to create a cookie cutter solution to every problem. 

Another point discussed today focused on our ability of instructors to present realistic situations to the Soldiers and families.  The presentation of realistic situations whether they are our own story or a story overheard situations allows us to put a human face on the problem.  The presentation of human dimension then creates a situation of vulnerability and truthfulness to the story and not some made up unrealistic situation.

Overall todays training provided an opportunity for the attendees to grow in our own education of the process of resilience.  The growth was achieved by the modules discussed in our small group classroom and with the exchange with General Casey.

-Major Gerald New

During the Chief of Staff of the Army’s question and answer session at the Master Resilience Training course in Philadelphia on 16 November, a Noncommissioned Officer stated that all Soldiers in the United States Army are all type “A” personalities.  In the dictionary, a person with a type “A” personality can be described as impatient, time conscious, concerned about their status, highly competitive, ambitious, business-like, aggressive, and having difficulty relaxing.  In the 1950’s, a nine year cardiology study by Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and R.H. Rosenman, showed that a type “A” behavior increases the risk of coronary heart disease in otherwise healthy individuals.  If these characteristics are valid about all Soldiers in the United States Army, then it is important that we ensure that we implement the modules of Resilience into our units now, so that we can prevent potential health risks such as coronary heart disease in our Soldiers.  How we implement and quantify the results of the Resilience program is crucial to its success.

Leaders at every level of the Army must be involved in the implementation of the Resilience training program.  They must stress the importance of this program without falling into the trap of making this a check the block program.  This program cannot just be a quarterly or annually training event, such as Safety Stand-down day.  Leaders must understand that this program cannot just be a mass training event, where everyone signs in and sits in an auditorium to receive a PowerPoint briefing from a Master Resilience Training (MRT) trainer.  This is a program that needs to be trained and used everyday by every Soldier in the United States Army, whether it is professionally or personally.  It can be as simple as utilizing the Resilience tools to enhance counseling sessions with Subordinates.  Another way is that an MRT trainer just conducts his or her daily activities in a resilient manner and catches the curiosity of those around him or her.  That curiosity is a way for Resiliency to be passed on from one Soldier to another.     Simple everyday tasks can be utilized to teach and reinforce Resilience in every Soldier. 

Quantifying this program will take time and patience.  Soldiers and Leaders may not see results quickly.  It will take time to see actual results of the program that are quantifiable.  A quantifiable aspect can just be as simple as a how a Soldier relates to his or her spouse or children.  However, Leaders must understand that this program is not about getting quantifiable results now.  The program is about ensuring that our Soldiers have the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and bounce back from adversity.  Trying to quantify this program now could hinder the implementation and the overall acceptance of the program. 

The programs future successes and effectiveness will depend on the ability of our leaders at every level to effectively communicate and influence their superiors and Soldiers to correctly utilize this program.  Leaders must provide the purpose, the direction, and the motivation for success the resilience program.       

-Major Frankie Cochiaosue