News: Resiliency key part of Army Reserve’s Yellow Ribbon events
Story by Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Resiliency is an essential tool in any Soldier’s toolkit, making it a little easier for him or her to cope with some of the more demanding aspects of military service.
During Yellow Ribbon events hosted by the Army Reserve’s 99th Regional Support Command, resiliency is a key topic for attending Soldiers and their families.
“Resilience is important in every aspect of our lives because resiliency is, basically, bouncing back in the face of adversity,” explained April Millington, 99th RSC Yellow Ribbon Program manager. “We’re all going to have some challenging situations – how do you bounce back, how do you carry on?”
Answering these questions is one goal of the Army Reserve’s Ready and Resilient Campaign, which is a collection of comprehensive and far-reaching programs designed to guide the Army's efforts to build physical, emotional and psychological resilience in its Soldiers, families and civilians, and directly enhance personal and unit readiness.
Resiliency training is a natural fit for Yellow Ribbon, which is a Department of Defense-wide program that addresses service members’ and families’ concerns before, during and after deployments through a series of scheduled weekend events.
“With Soldiers coming back and trying to reintegrate with their families, there are two different mindsets,” Millington explained, noting that Soldiers’ minds are often still “downrange” when they first return home, while family members have made necessary adjustments at home in the Soldier’s absence that may take some getting used to.
“The tools for resiliency help to handle those types of things at home,” she added.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign helps ensure the health and well-being of the entire Army Reserve team by building upon the natural resilience within its Soldiers, families and civilians to help them deal with the rigors and challenges of a demanding profession.
“Sometimes the rocks they’ve got in their ruck sacks are too heavy for them,” said Chief Warrant Officer Five Phyllis Wilson, command chief warrant officer, U.S. Army Reserve Command, speaking metaphorically of Soldiers in need of a helping hand. “You have to step up without them asking, recognize they need the help now, pull that rock out of their ruck sack for a while, and when they’re strong again they’ll take it back.”
The 99th RSC hosts monthly Yellow Ribbon events throughout its 13-state region in an effort to provide valuable services and skills to its Soldiers and families.
“The Yellow Ribbon program is very beneficial to the Soldiers and family members,” Millington said. “It’s rewarding when you know you’re teaching the right things that are going to help someone along the way.”