GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Just as the sun rose, Soldiers, families and civilian employees of the U.S. Army’s 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command Headquarters Company joined together for a fun run and a “hunt for the good stuff” as part of this year’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training at Hyde Pond, Aug. 1.
With high operational demands over the past decade, which stress Soldiers and families alike, negativity sometimes overshadow the positive things. This training was designed to help people see the good around them by challenging participants to write down three positive things that happen each day. With that, they also have to write down what the effect of the positive action was on them and those around them. It forces people to see the cause and effect of not only actions, but also reactions to the situations.
“Hunt the good stuff is reflecting on positive or negative things that happened in your life and how they made you feel, or how it will make you feel,” said Master Resiliency Trainer Staff Sgt. Louis Tarver, HHC, 7th Army JMTC and Rialto, California, native. It’s being able to look at a situation and find the positive so that the negative doesn’t take over.
The class isn’t designed to teach people a bunch of new tactics, said Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native Staff Sgt. Luquan Smith, master resiliency trainer with HHC, 7th Army JMCT. “It’s training that shows Soldiers and family members the skills they already have, just fine tuning them,” Smith said.
Master Resiliency Trainer Sgt. 1st Class Jose Cuevas, HHC, 7th Army JMTC also a native of Rialto, California, likened the training to a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Situations are broken down into sequences where he looks at the events and tries to evaluate consequences.
“People learn to stop and think. What are the consequences of this and what are the other avenues of approach?”
Being able to stop, think and evaluate a situation before reacting is an important tool. As a way to build mental toughness and resiliency among the military community, the U.S. Army has developed Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Training, commonly referred to as CSF2, which is part of the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign.
Being ready means to accomplish assigned tasks using resilience skills, along with training and leadership, according to the Ready and Resilient Campaign website. To be resilient is the ability to face adversity and cope with change and setbacks, which helps Soldiers grow and learn.
Although required training, this is different than most Army classes because not only is the duty uniform civilian clothes, but families and civilian employees are encouraged to attend. Keeping the atmosphere relaxed is key in ensuring all attendees feel welcome and want to interact in the training.
“This training is important because it gives people a gateway to bounce back from adversity through optimism” said Smith.
This method of assisting Soldiers and families has been shown effective by an evaluation using 3.6 million Global Assessment Tool surveys taken by Soldiers. Army and civilian scientists said the self-assessments of Soldiers who received MRT-led resilience training showed an increase in levels of resilience and psychological health compared to Soldiers who did not receive the training. The GAT 2.0 is not just for Soldiers, however. Families are encouraged to take the self assessment as well.
For more information on the CSF2 program, visit their website at csf2.army.mil.