By Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown, Army News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The deadline is approaching for
Soldiers to complete the Global Assessment Tool, part of a new Army-wide
holistic initiative focused on building resilience: Comprehensive
Soldier Fitness (CSF).
By May 31, commanders must ensure all Soldiers have completed the
mandatory, confidential 240-question survey.
Incorporating physical, emotional, social, Family and spiritual
strength, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness was created to enhance
performance and build Soldiers’ resilience. The Global Assessment Tool,
or GAT, helps work toward resilient Soldiers by forcing them to take a
closer look at their emotional health, and what can be improved on.
Defined as the “ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and
bounce back from adversity,” resilience for Soldiers is essential in an
environment of persistent conflict, said Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum,
director of the CSF program.
Traditionally, the Army has invested much into ensuring troops are
physically fit, but this program touches all the dimensions of an
individual’s personal development.
“Resilience is the ability to both go through adverse experiences
without letting it negatively affect you, and also the ability to bounce
back faster,” said Cornum.
And she should know. One of only two female Soldiers taken prisoner
during the Persian Gulf War, Cornum survived a helicopter crash and was
taken captive to later go on to write a book, become a urologist, earn a
Ph.D., and be promoted to the rank of general.
Cornum stressed that every Soldier is not the same; each has unique
experiences and needs. She gave the example of a tennis ball. Most
tennis balls when thrown against a wall will bounce back, Cornum
explained. But some, if they are low on air, or have been left outside
in the weather, won’t. CSF is geared toward giving Soldiers as much
‘bounce’ as possible, she said.
“We are giving everybody the opportunity to realize their maximum
potential,” Cornum explained.
Also tied into CSF is the Master Resilience Trainer program.
Currently housed at the University of Pennsylvania, plans are underway
to begin a branch of the school at Fort Jackson, S.C., in April and
eventually move the course to Victory University there.
For now, the course will continue to run parallel at both campuses,
until enough MRT teachers can be trained.
“Ultimately we will be doing this 150 people at a time at Fort Jackson,”
With 622 Master Resilience Trainers already certified, the end-game plan
is to have every drill and platoon sergeant qualified as MRTs.
Short-term, Cornum said the goal of one MRT per battalion in the Army
will be achieved by the end of this fiscal year.
“It’s a deliberate way to imbue the force with those Army-Strong
values,” she explained.
Department of the Army civilians and military Family members are not
being left out of this comprehensive approach — versions of both the GAT
and the MRT program have been created for those supporting Soldiers, and
will be implemented in the near future.
Soldiers in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison
Fort McCoy are required to complete the training, said Maj. Mike Sharp,
Soldiers are allowed to complete the training during duty hours, if
they’ve met all their other requirements.
Otherwise, they can complete the training on post at training areas,
which have computers, such as the Community Activity Center and the
Soldier Computer Center, if they’re authorized, or at home.
Access to the training is available through a link at the Web site