D.C. (Army News Service) — Some 50 Soldiers will finish up
"master resilience training" in Philadelphia — part of the
Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program.
A Soldier explains how his group
intends on bringing what they’ve learned at the "master
resilience training" class back to their fellow Soldiers. (Photo
by D. Myles Cullen)
resilience training, taught by experts from the University of
Pennsylvania, is a "teaching the teachers" kind of thing.
Close to 100 Soldiers have gone through some iteration of the training
so far, and another course is planned for November.
noncommissioned officers who attended the course will go back to their
home units and teach "resiliency" to their unit’s Soldiers
or basic combat trainees.
learning all the different thinking skills, and how to impart them to
other people," said Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, director of
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness.
resiliency is a way of thinking that allows Soldiers not to fall into
It takes a
developed and resilient mind, she said, to put money problems,
relationship issues, health issues, or tragedy on the battlefield into
perspective, so a Soldier can continue with the mission and with life.
is a way of thinking — you apply optimistic thinking to a
problem," she said. "It is really a difference between, for
instance, when you invite somebody for a date and they say no,
resilient people think ‘their loss — I’ll do better next time.’
What they don’t think is ‘nobody will ever like me. I’m
worthless.’ That’s really what it is. It teaches you to remember
that problems are temporary, that they are local."
some people naturally make the right decisions or develop the right
potential outcomes for situations in their lives. But for others,
resilient thinking will have to be learned.
a pile of people out there that just pick the first thing that comes
to mind," she said.
the master resiliency course in Philadelphia are unit leaders or even
drill sergeants, and will take what they learn back to their units to
impart that knowledge on others, Cornum said.
intention is to have every platoon sergeant and every drill sergeant
to have gone through this," Cornum said. "It’s really like
part of what you do when you take somebody to the range, or when you
are teaching somebody how to have confidence about going into the gas
chamber. It is also about teaching by example in an operational
environment, how to deal with fear, and disappointment. It’s tools,
thinking tools, how not to fall into thinking traps or catastrophic
mental toughness, is part of the Army’s larger "Comprehensive
Soldier Fitness" program, that aims to ensure Soldiers are as
mentally tough as they are physically tough. Cornum said Soldiers will
be taught resiliency in basic training by master resilience trainers,
who themselves have gone through courses like the one taught in
she said, Soldiers will develop mental toughness through self-guided
learning, based on assessments they will take online during basic
training and every two years afterward. Mental fitness, she said, is
like physical fitness; life-long and ongoing.
something you are going to start when you come into the Army; if you
are already in, you start in the middle of your career," she
said. "And it is a long-term process. It is not something that
you can do once, any more than you can get physically fit by one trip
to the gym. This is not an individual single event. It is a way of
looking at your psychological health as important as your physical