News: Warriors train for the emotions of war
Story by Sgt. Ryan Hohman
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – Soldiers with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, commonly known as the Lancer brigade, began the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program Jan. 30 to ensure soldiers with the Lancer brigade are not only physically and mentally ready for any upcoming deployment, but emotionally ready as well.
2nd SBCT Master Resiliency Trainers and Resilience Training Assistants began the CSF program with pre-deployment resiliency training designed to help trainers prepare soldiers for the emotions and stresses that come with prolonged exposure to combat.
“The concept for pre-deployment resiliency training is we train soldiers to be technically and tactically proficient, and how to be physical tough, but how do we train their mind?” said Staff Sgt. Marko Milosevic, who serves as the Master Resiliency Trainer with the 2nd SBCT.
“The pre-deployment resiliency training is geared toward taking guys who have deployed and putting them with soldiers who haven’t deployed so they can have a better idea at what to expect.”
The CSF program provides a system for soldiers to master the skills necessary to build resiliency in order to thrive in an area of high operational tempo and persistent conflict.
The program is made up of two MRTs, one acts as the officer-in- charge and the other as a non-commissioned officer-in-charge, and two MRTs who serve as the primary and alternate, who work at the battalion level. Each company and platoon within the battalions has an RTA as well. The MRTs and RTAs will take what they have learned from this training and train their own soldiers.
“I want [non-commissioned officers] to talk to their soldiers and tell them about things they have seen, emotions they have felt and how they dealt with them,” said Milosevic. “I want the soldiers to know [what] they are thinking and feeling are no different then what other people feel when facing extreme adversity. I want them to know they are not alone.”
During the training, Milosevic not only stressed a standard for the MRTs and RTAs to base their own training, but he encouraged them to tailor the training specifically to the soldiers within their battalion and company.
“Each soldier from a medic to an admin guy will have different experiences, but all the points within the training are the same no matter what job you do,” said Milosevic.
This training strengthens new soldiers and combat veterans alike.
“While taking this training I have learned more about myself and gained a better understanding of what I am capable of, and where to go for help,” said Staff Sgt. Matthews Adkins, who serves as a MRT with the Headquarters Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd SBCT, 2nd ID. “This training is important so we can prepare soldiers for what they will face and help them cope with it.”
With the training complete the MRTs and RTAs can now ensure every Lancer within the 2nd SBCT will be just as emotionally prepared as they are physically for any mission they are given.
“As we continue to develop a strong self-sustaining CSF program within the battalions, Lancer soldiers will be stronger, more resilient and better prepared for combat operations,” said Milosevic.