KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – In support of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s partnership with the Kaiserslautern High School, several of the command’s master resiliency trainers conducted master resiliency training with ninth- and 12th-grade students at KHS here, Oct. 17.
Master resiliency training is designed to enhance a soldier's mettle, mind and mental thinking and focuses on the five dimensions of strength: emotional, social, spiritual, family and physical.
However, these resiliency skills have proven effective in contributing to the success of teams and leaders, families, students, executives and military personnel. Skills learned include emotion awareness and regulation, impulse control, de-catastrophizing, putting it in perspective, effective communication, challenging negative beliefs, problem solving, and real-time resilience.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Veronica Short, a MRT for the 21st TSC and a Portland, Ore., native, the idea to conduct MRT training is an initiative by the 21st TSC leadership. The partnership between the 21st TSC and KHS provided a good opportunity to be able to conduct the resiliency training with the students.
“We were invited out to the high school to talk to our seniors and freshmen to give them some insight on the training that their parents are going through and to provide them tools to use as they progress throughout the school year for the freshmen and then on to their adult lives for the seniors,” said Short.
The training was given to the students as a way to help them deal with the adversity and challenges that they may face in their lives. It can help them think about their situations and evaluate situations with a clear head instead of over reacting or responding without thinking.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website, suicide among young people is a serious problem. Each year in the United States, thousands of teenagers commit suicide. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to-24-year-olds, and the sixth leading cause of death for 5-to- 14-year-olds.
Teenagers experience strong feelings of stress, confusion, self-doubt, pressure to succeed, financial uncertainty, and other fears while growing up. For some teenagers, divorce, the formation of a new family with step-parents and step-siblings, or moving to a new community can be very unsettling and can intensify self-doubts. For some teens, suicide may appear to be a solution to their problems and stress, according to the website.
The resiliency training provided by the MRTs was intended to help students cope with some of those issues.
“This training for the students, I think is much needed, because sometimes they need help understanding how to bounce back from situations and how to deal with adversity,” said Master Sgt. Gary Weir, a MRT, contracting officer with the 409th Contracting Support Brigade, and a New York native.
During the training, the MRT’s taught the students about activating events, thoughts and consequences, thinking traps, "putting things into perspective," assertive communication and "hunting for the good stuff."
“The main thing that I learned, was about our thought process and the different traps that we get into when it comes to jumping to conclusions,” said Britney M. Hall, a 12th-grade student at KHS and an Auburn, Ga., native. Hall is the daughter of Staff Sgt. Rukeya Hall from the 627th Movement Control Team.
“I am glad the 21st TSC MRT’s came out here because it shows that there are people that do care about the community and also care about the students,” said Hall.
“[The] Class was pretty good, the students were very interactive, they asked a lot of questions and they understood the material that we spoke about,” said Weir.
According to Short, being military children gives the students at KHS a head start. She said that while giving the training, a lot of the students already knew about some of the areas that were talked about.
“Hopefully this training can become an annual event. There is a resilience week that takes place in March, and we have been invited to take part in that also and so hopefully if all the feedback is good then we should be coming back again next year for the same two events, if not more,” said Short.
This work, 21st TSC soldiers conduct resiliency training with KHS students, by SSG Michael Taylor, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.