News: 'Bounce back, don’t crack' - Spouses learn resilience
Story by Sgt. Valerie Lopez
“As senior leader spouses we think we can do it all, but sometimes we need a reality check,” said Lucille Pittard, wife of Fort Bliss Commander Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard. “This class helped me put things into perspective.”
After completing a resiliency training course, Fort Bliss senior leaders’ spouses gathered at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center at East Fort Bliss, March 9.
“I definitely did not think I needed this training, but [I was convinced otherwise] in the first 10 minutes of the class,” said Kristin Murray, Family Readiness Group senior co-advisor for 1st Battalion 35th Armored Regiment.
The luncheon, sponsored by Tri-west, celebrated the completion of the first Resilient Leaders Spouse Academy, said Tracy Broomfield, Army Community Services Extension Agent.
This RLSA is specific to the senior leader spouses of CSM and O-5 and above, but the resilience training is open to all military Families and Department of Defense civilians, said Broomfield. The training teaches Families and civilians to “bounce back and not crack” from the everyday stresses of life.
During the lunch, Karen Twitty, wife of Fort Bliss Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Stephen Twitty, recapped on the six competencies learned in the class: self-awareness, self-regulation, optimism, mental agility, strength of character and connection.
Twitty said she was thankful that Pittard brought the program here and that it was the best thing she’s ever been to.
“I just helped to bring it here,” said Pittard.
Pittard said that mental health has been a sensitive subject; some spouses would act perfect in front of others and go home behind closed doors to fall apart. After talking to others on this post she realized the training was needed here.
During one of the sessions the class did some role playing: one person was the spouse and the other a soldier, said Murray. “That was my big aha moment.” It really helped to understand why the soldiers say certain things, she said.
Resilience training is a part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program and was previously not offered to Families and civilians on Fort Bliss.
CSFP is a structured, long term assessment and development program to build the resilience and enhance the performance of every Soldier, Family member and DoD civilian.
Murray said the training was a lot of fun. “I’m grateful to the instructors and Mrs. Pittard for making it happen for us.”
Pittard said that after hearing about this course she contacted the Fort Irwin Army Community Services and the Fort Bliss ACS; then the two ACS’ connected.
Broomfield who coordinates all resilience trainings provided by Fort Bliss ACS said the first resilience class for Families and Department of the Army civilians was in Jan. Soldiers’ resilience training is done through their chain of command as part of the CSFP.
Currently the classes are held once a month for dependants and civilians and twice a year for senior leader spouses, said Broomfield. The feedback that we’ve received from the classes has been positive.
“When we came here, it was a lot of stress,” said Pittard. “We had just moved from [Virginia] and still paying a mortgage, it felt like my life was not settled.”
Pittard said that this class was a reminder to stay positive. She is not in control of everything, but she just has to deal with what she is in control of.
Resiliency helps one to “bounce back” and not take out the stress on anyone, said Pittard. Do not dwell on the bad stuff, but understand that bad things can happen.
“We must take advantage of ALL the programs the Army has for us,” said Pittard. “We ought to empower ourselves, be part of the solution, be proactive and educate ourselves, because knowledge is power.”
To learn more or to sign up for resiliency training please contact Tracy Broomfield at (915) 568-7088 or firstname.lastname@example.org