KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — "Providers" taught soldiers how to lead a satisfied life by offering financial management fundamentals and other sound advice, Feb. 1, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The 3rd Sustainment Brigade is continuing its efforts of strengthening Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness with Provider Wellness — a resiliency workshop hosted quarterly.
“When we host Provider Wellness [at home station] we focus on how we can affect our high-risk soldiers and the difference we can make,” said Capt. Dana Cook, master resilience trainer for the 3rd Sustainment Brigade. “So what better time or place to host it in a stressful environment? In a deployed environment we are under stress. We are all taken away from our normal way of life where we don’t know what is going to happen from one day to another.”
Cook, who helped teach the brigade’s third Provider Wellness workshop, focused this session on money and satisfaction. The event was intended for an open discussion amongst leaders and soldiers on the two topics.
“I enjoyed the discussions, it is something that I can put in my toolkit when I’m talking to soldiers,” said Chaplain (Capt.) John Schreier, 495th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Montana National Guard. “I discuss a lot of topics with different people. If I can use these things in my toolkit when I speak with soldiers about things going on in their life, then I am doing my job.
“The more I learn, the more effective I am as a chaplain,” he said.
The workshop began with a discussion on finances. Sgt. Maj. Ricky Davis, senior enlisted adviser for 3rd Sustainment Brigade’s support operations, and Capt. Paola Davila, deputy of supply and service, initiated the discussion of money management by telling their testaments financial success. They taught soldiers how to save money and obtain financial goals.
“You have to set goals to get the things you want done, or paid off,” said Davila, a Miami, Fla., native. “Being patient is the key for the things you want in life; setting long-term and short-term goals help you see the progress.”
The discussion smoothly transitioned into satisfaction.
“What ties money and relationships together?” Cook asked those in attendance. “If you are happy in those areas, then you have satisfaction.”
Cook, a Richmond Hill, Ga., native said that leaders can encourage satisfaction by being optimistic.
“We make each day more bearable by helping each other find the good stuff even in the environment we are in,” she said.
Cook said that resilience is the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenge and bounce back from adversity. Adversity allows one to learn how tough he or she is mentally, and being mentally tough coincides with a holistic life and accomplishing the mission.
Schreier said that the efficiency of accomplishing the mission has everything to do with taking care soldiers.
“When we put the five pillars [of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness] in front of soldiers, you are training them how to stay more balanced and keep themselves from being discouraged when things are not going the way they thought it would be,” he said. “The better job that you can do to take care of the soldiers the easier it is to make your mission happen.”