Army

April 5, 2012

Army aims to grow more resilience trainers on its own


SMA

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 30, 2012) — About 8,000 Soldiers are now trained as “master resilience trainers,” or MRTs, and the Army wants even more, but it hopes to train them in an Army school.

The MRT course is a “teaching the teachers” type of training. The noncommissioned officer, or NCOs, who attend the course go back to their home units and teach resilience to their own Soldiers. Right now, Soldiers are getting the MRT course in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania. The Army is going to change that, said Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III.

The Army has built the “Warrior University” at Fort Jackson, S.C. The MRT program will eventually be taught there, he said, not in Philadelphia.

“The objective is to create within the Army the capability to produce and generate capacity for a more resilient force,” Chandler said.

The Army’s senior enlisted advisor spoke March 28 during the fourth annual “Warrior Resilience Conference” in Washington, D.C. He said the Army is doing a good job at training Soldiers to be resilient, though there’s always room to improve.

“As an Army we need to do even better than we are right now,” said Chandler. “We are actually doing very well with the implementation of our resiliency programs, specifically MRT. But we have got to do better. And I don’t believe that we’re ever going to be completely satisfied with where we are.”

Those 8,000 master resilience trainers, he said, are distributed down to battalion level in the Army. With more Soldiers trained as MRTs, Chandler said, the Army could have MRTs down to company level.

Also a focus at the resilience conference was access to behavioral health services, and helping service members overcome their aversion to seeking assistance.

Chandler said right now, the Army, all the services in fact, need to do more to make sure that all service members, across all components and services, can get the help they need where they need it. A particular emphasis was placed on ensuring the availability of those services to members of the reserve components who do not always have proximity to military installations.

“I think that we have to have a much more robust discussion about how we access care across the services, and how we make sure that every person that is a service member, [who] serves in whatever capacity and whatever service, knows that there is a resource there that can help them in their time of need,” Chandler said. “It’s about making sure that we take care of our own, no matter what their capacity is. We have to keep pressing that issue and break down some of the stovepipes that are out there.”

Chandler spoke during a panel discussion at the conference that included senior enlisted advisors from the Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard and Air Force. One conference attendee asked the advisors about how to convince service members that it was okay to seek assistance from mental health professionals, as many service members are concerned that seeking care could be damaging to their careers. The attendee suggested that knowing that senior leadership had been to mental health services would be proof that it was okay.

Chandler responded by relating his own experiences stemming from time spent in Iraq. In Baghdad, in 2004, he said, in his room after an eight-hour patrol “I had a nice 122mm rocket come into my room while I was standing there.”

He said the experience “tripped him up a little bit” and that he pushed the experience aside for several years following that.

“Until I got to a point in my life where (I was) pretty much on a downward spiral,” Chandler said. The SMA said he spent 2009-2011 attending weekly behavioral health sessions, seeing a social worker and going through counseling.

Later, when Chandler was being interviewed for the job as sergeant major of the Army by the Army chief of staff, now-retired Gen. George Casey had asked him if there was anything in his past that would cause the Army “embarrassment” if it were to come out.

“The one thing that came to mind was that I was in behavioral health care counseling,” Chandler said. “I felt it was my duty to tell the chief.”

Chandler said Casey told him the counseling was not going to cause the Army any embarrassment, and instead asked the SMA to share his story with Soldiers as a way to let Soldiers see the Army is committed to taking care of them.

“If I can be chosen [as SMA], that shows the Army’s commitment,” Chandler said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Leslie Ozawa

New commander for U.S. Army Garrison Fort Irwin

Leslie Ozawa United States Army Garrison Fort Irwin Commander Col. G. Scott Taylor (left) receives a guidon from Thomas Schoenbeck, director of Central Region for Installation Management Command, during a change of command cere...
 
 
Tarah_and_EricHipple

Army observes Suicide Awareness Month in September

Fort Irwin to host motivational speakers In support of the nation’s observance of Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 7 -13, and World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, the United States Army focuses on a campaign about the import...
 
 
Photo courtesy of VVTA

Your bus ride just got better

Photo courtesy of VVTA The Victor Valley Transit Authority has acquired five new “luxury coaches” which will be used on the commuter routes between Hesperia, Victorville, Silver Lakes, Barstow and Fort Irwin in mid-August. ...
 

 
11th ACR

Bringing connectivity to GCSS-A in the field

11th ACR Staff Sgt. Don Nottingham from Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry sets up the Very Small Aperture Terminal here, March 17. During a field training exercise March 16 to 18, here, Mainte...
 
 
Jason Miller

Commissary awards scholarship

Jason Miller From left: Stephen MacAfee, S & K Sales associate; Qahir Abdur-Rahman, Fort Irwin Commissary store director; Alex Nguyen, scholarship recipient; Michele Nguyen, Alex’s mom and; Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Nguyen...
 
 

Get a refund for gasoline taxes

The California gasoline tax refund could save you hundreds of dollars every year. In order to maintain California’s many highways, the state taxes every gallon of fuel that you put into your car (even gas purchased on post). This is reasonable, because we all know what it is like to drive on poorly maintained roads,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>