Resilient leaders yield resilient soldiers

41st Field Artillery Brigade
Story by Sgt. Garett Hernandez

Date: 12.11.2013
Posted: 01.15.2014 17:06
News ID: 119215

FORT HOOD, Texas - Senior leaders from Task Force Pegasus Fires took time out of their schedule to learn about resiliency here at the Soldier Development Center recently.

Commanders and first sergeants from TF Pegasus Fires attended the Executive Resilience and Performance Course, which is designed to train Army leaders on some of the skills soldiers learn in Master Resiliency Training.

The course, available in four, eight and 16-hour blocks of instructions, is designed to teach leaders content, such as avoiding thinking traps; providing active, constructive responses; and giving effective praise, just to name a few, said Staff Sgt. Randell Traxler, MRT trainer for TF Pegasus Fires.

Master Resiliency Training, a part of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, focuses on five areas of strength: physical, spiritual, social, family and emotional. The resiliency program teaches soldiers the skills needed to cope with adversity, adapt to change, and recover from emotionally challenging life events.

The leaders' class gave senior soldiers a glimpse at what their soldiers learn in MRT, said Arlene Bauer, MRT trainer and performance expert with the Soldier Development Center on Fort Hood.

“I think one of the things we are trying to do is show just how important and impactful these skills can be, especially when applied on a regular basis,” Bauer said.

Along with giving leaders insight into resiliency training, the course offered them tools to lead by example.

“If the command at this level is not engaged, is not using the language or talking the terms (of MRT), we will never have a climate of change,” said Traxler, a native of Gladwin, Mich. “A brand new private is going to look up to his squad leader and platoon sergeant. They are also looking at the sergeant major and colonel; and if the leader isn’t talking the talk, the soldier isn’t going to take the training serious.”

The training struck a chord that resonated among the leaders – the power of positive thinking.

“I think attitudes are contagious,” said Capt. Ogden Nash, commander, Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery Regiment, TF Pegasus Fires and native of Hilton Head Island, S.C. “The more resilient soldiers are, the more optimistic they are. It’s about being able to see the silver lining in certain situations.”

To find out more about the Executive Resilience and Performance Course, see the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness website at