|By Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, Commanding General,
Installation Management Command
ARLINGTON, Va. — Resilience is the
ability to bounce back in the face of adversity ... it’s mental
toughness! Webster defines resilience as, “the capability of a strained
body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially
by compressive stress” and “an ability to recover from or adjust easily
to misfortune or change.”
The strength of our nation is only as strong as the Soldiers,
Families and civilians who courageously support and defend it. Over the
last eight years, more than 1 million Soldiers have deployed to combat,
more than 3,900 Soldiers have sacrificed their lives, and more than
25,000 have been wounded in service to our country.
Army units and Families across the globe are relocating in compliance
with the Base Realignment and Closure Law, and we continue to transform
our business practices. To remain strong in this dynamic environment,
leaders must proactively maintain and develop resiliency programs and
services to enable the total Army Community (Soldiers, civilians,
Families and retirees) to maintain healthy relationships and happy
Our approach to supporting resiliency for the Army Community is to
enhance their ability to adapt to stress by supporting, maintaining, and
developing programs and services that promote total wellness. As I have
said before, I am convinced that the Army spends too much time fixing
Soldiers after they break, evidenced by the rise in suicide and
substance-abuse rates. We should be spending our time, energy, and
resources to make the Army Community resilient to prevent them from
We will use the Public Health Model of assessment, education,
intervention, and treatment to integrate and deliver services to help
prevent Soldiers, civilians and Families from breaking.
By applying this model before a crisis happens we will be better able to
keep the Army Community strong in all dimensions of resiliency.
Individuals must be fit mentally, physically, and spiritually to
achieve optimum resilience. The Installation Management Community will
provide the best care, support and services for the Army Community by
improving quality of life through initiatives, such as the Army Family
Action Plan, the Army Family Covenant, Army Community Covenant, the
Installation Management Campaign Plan and the Comprehensive Soldier
When I was the senior commander at Fort Hood, Texas, I built a
Resiliency Campus to enable the Army Community to become resilient
before deployments, during deployments and to solve many other
challenges faced by Army Families.
Other Installation Management Command (IMCOM) garrisons also are
focusing on resilience. Fort Bliss, Texas, has a Restoration and
Resilience Center that offers a Warrior Resilience Program and a Family
Resilience Program. Fort Jackson, S.C., is opening a Master Resilience
Training school that will offer a 10-day Master Resilience Training
Course to equip leaders to teach coping skills to unit members.
At Fort Campbell, Ky., the Family Resiliency Council has teamed up with
key organizations to be one of the first installations to publish an
online resource guide to provide accurate and accessible information to
Soldiers, Families and civilians.
These are but a few initiatives under way dedicated to enhancing
Soldier, civilian and Family resilience.
The strain of multiple deployments and other stress factors may continue
into the future.
Therefore, I challenge leaders and personnel throughout the Army
Community to think of new ideas to enhance installation resiliency
initiatives and to send your ideas to your installation leadership or
me. I also challenge each of you to take advantage of existing programs
and services on your installation and in your community to remain
mentally, physically, and spiritually fit.
The Army Community is strength of our nation, and IMCOM garrisons are
the Army’s Home!