|By Crystal Lewis Brown, Fort Jackson (S.C.) Leader
FORT JACKSON, S.C. — About 30 Fort Jackson Soldiers and civilians
participated this week in a course at the University of Pennsylvania
designed to help Soldiers and their families develop resilience.
But they did it from more than 600 miles away.
Richard Keller, Walter Reed Army
Institute of Research, speaks to a group of students attending
Fort Jackson’s 10-day Master Resilience Trainer Course.
(Photo by Mike Glasch)
The group joined via video teleconference (VTC) 200 Soldiers and
civilians studying to be Master Resilience Trainers. The class was
addressed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
A Nov. 16 VTC was one portion of the 10-day resilience course that ended
today with the group being certified to teach resilience concepts to
Basic Combat Training (BCT) Soldiers.
“The Master Resilience Trainers who are here now actually are receiving
the same training as BCT Soldier so that they understand (the training)
the Soldiers will go through,” said Capt. Tracy Johnson, of the Walter
Reed Army Institute of Research. Johnson was one of the course
BCT Soldiers will receive resilience training during the “Red Phase,”
and ideally during their first week, Johnson said. Because the training
involves a lot of new terminology, she said, it was important to
introduce the various concepts of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness
Program to the Soldiers and civilians who will interact with the
The newly certified trainers are not currently expected to teach the
training, but now can do so should it become necessary, Johnson said.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sharon Mullens, an information systems
technician with the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, came to Fort
Jackson to set up the VTC.
“Everyone knows that General Casey is extremely enthusiastic about the
program,” she said. “He wanted to have some face time with the Soldiers
... to reinforce how passionate he is about the program.”
She said she thought it was important that Fort Jackson’s Soldiers got
the chance to see the emphasis senior leaders were putting on not just
making Soldiers physically fit, but mentally fit, as well.
“I think it was great. They were elated that they were able to have that
experience,” she said, referring to the Fort Jackson students.
Casey’s address was an open forum, she said, and allowed the students to
ask questions and share experiences. Casey emphasized during the VTC
that the students were at the forefront of the Army’s new strategy to
provide more preventive tools to build resilience and enhance
“You will be the first group to go out and help me bring this way of
thinking to the Army,” Casey said during a news conference and in an
interview. “I firmly believe that this effort to build resilience and
enhance performance is fundamentally necessary if we are going to
sustain this force over the coming years.”
Mullens said the training is the first step of many aimed at easing
Soldiers’ stress in the face of multiple deployments.
“We realize we’re not going to change the mindset overnight,” she said.
But she added, the goal is to “not only make us Army Strong, but
(Editor’s note: Jim Garamone, Armed Forces Press Service, contributed
to the report.)
(See related story.)