JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. – “I hate my life,” can be a thought dwelling in the mind of a soldier during a deployment, while working late or when fronted by any unpleasant circumstance.
When soldier’s are caught in those violent storms of misery, anger and negativity they can confidently make it through when applying the skills offered by the Army’s Master Resilience Training (MRT).
“I think when life happens, and you don’t have the tools to deal with problems, then you will find yourself in a bad place,” said Sgt. 1st Class Bryant O. Thomas the Master Resilience Trainer for I Corps. “If Soldiers are able to understand the skills of MRT it will change the way they handle things.”
I Corps’ MRT program continued to build upon the resilience skill-set of its Soldiers on July 27, with instruction on avoiding thinking traps given at the Cascade Club at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
“It’s changed my life,” said Thomas who now avoids the habit of falling into the trap of ‘jumping to conclusions’. “I became a more positive person. Now I look for the good in life instead of concentrating on the negative, and a good attitude is contagious.”
Master Resilience Training is a part of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and is split up into seven training modules that encompass the ‘pyramid’ of resilience.
“MRT breaks it down so you can pinpoint what your deficiencies are and work on it,” said class attendee Spc. Tae Y. Kim a supply specialist for Bravo Company, I Corps. “If you don’t question yourself you will have those negative thoughts and you won’t know how to fix your own problems.”
Master Resilience Training offers ammunition to combat suicide, abuse and other destructive decisions said Thomas.
“This training helps people open up more and talk about their problems,” said Kim. “It will help me think about the consequences more before reacting to anything.”
The personal basis of the instruction can be both refreshing and intimidating to soldiers, especially considering the large variation in rank among class attendees.
“I think MRT is going to break a lot of barriers,” said Thomas. “A lot of Soldiers look at MRT as ‘touchy-feely’ stuff, but once they get in and they see the skills, it changes their minds. They come in against it but as the training goes on they really see that it is beneficial.”
After learning the skills, soldiers openly discuss personal experiences where application of resilience would have made for a better outcome.
“Teaching this class is like sharing good news,” said Thomas. “I enjoy seeing the light on their faces when they understand it. If you can change the way people look at life it makes them more productive for themselves and others then it’s all worth it.