JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska - Passion – it’s a word seldom heard in Army training, but it was used frequently by Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program instructors in Master Resilience Trainer classes at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
Soldiers, airmen and civilians from the course will take the knowledge they learned about scientifically-proven resilience techniques, which can help service members and their families weather the storms of life, back to their units and give frequent resilience training, officials said.
“Resilience is learnable,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Gantt, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness. “Not everyone is born resilient. No matter how old you are, no matter what gender or religion, resilience is learnable.”
“Hunt the Good Stuff” was one technique the class practiced to become more resilient, where soon to be MRTs actively identified positive moments, ideas or personal interactions in their daily lives.
“What we try to instill into the Master Resilience Trainers is the passion,” Gantt said. “If you believe it, then others will believe it. What you put into it is what you get out of it.”
Students like Army 2nd Lt. Robert Parrish, HHC, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, Alaska Army National Guard, gained a better understanding of resilience from the course and learned how to effectively teach it to others.
“I think there are a lot of people with their own definition of what resilience is,” Parrish said. “I think there are a lot of assumptions going on and until you actually go through some of this training there’s a big question mark of what it is.”
Techniques like hunting the good stuff are going to pay dividends personally and professionally, Parrish said.
Teaching the material to his fellow students helped him better grasp the concepts, Parrish said.
“I think it’s going to be a great benefit because a lot of the stuff that we’re learning is preparation for dealing with adverse situations,” Parrish said.
Parrish said he will give resilience training to Alaska Army National Guard soldiers who are scheduled to deploy in the next year.
The CSF program calls for a minimum of two hours of resilience training every three months, before, during and after deployments, Gantt said.
U.S. Army Alaska soldiers will receive 20 hours of resilience training each year, according to Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Palumbo, USARAK commanding general.
“The biggest thing we want the trainers to take back to their units is definitely the skill set to empower their units, empower their soldiers, so they become more resilient,” Gantt said.
The Army has been equipping Master Resilience Trainers since 2009, so there is an established community of instructors the latest MRTs can reach out to, Gantt said.
Even though the initial phase of training is over, the CSF program will continue to be a resource for students, Gantt said.
“They can always reach out and touch us (Comprehensive Soldier Fitness) and someone will be available,” Gantt said. “We give them all the tools they need to be successful as a Master Resilience Trainer in their unit.”
Students were encouraged to teach their first resilience class within 30 days of MRT course completion, so the skills stay fresh.
“Because this program has been going on roughly two years now, many of these people will be falling into programs already established in individual units and they’re going to be more of a helper asset to that program,” Gantt said.
The CSF program has a Facebook page where the resilience community can network to share information.