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Army Launches Executive Resilience and Performance Course

By Brian Feeney

October 17, 2013

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WASHINGTON — The Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program launched its Executive Resilience and Performance Course Armywide this week.

“Our vision is to have a physically healthy and psychologically strong force — Soldiers, family members and Army civilians. To get there we need Army leadership buy-in; that’s why we created this course,” said Col. Kenneth Riddle, director of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, or CSF2.

CSF2 defines resilience as the ability to grow and thrive in the face of challenges and bounce back from adversity. To increase the resilience of the Force, CSF2 trains and launches Master Resilience Trainers, known as MRTs, across the Army to bring the skills to their duty station or home installation.

To become a Master Resilience Trainer, select Soldiers, spouses (statutory volunteers) and Army civilians participate in an intensive 10-day course, where they learn the skills, then practice teaching them to others. The Executive Resilience and Performance Course is a tailored version of the MRT course, designed to train Army leaders (company commanders/first sergeants and above) in these same skills, so they can better understand how to utilize their MRTs and can reinforce the language of resilience to members of their team.

“This course showed me that it is within our ability to develop a more effective Soldier and develop a more positive attitude at the unit level,” said Lt. Col. Hunter Marshall, commander of the 3-25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

Marshall participated in a pilot course at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in September.

“Taking the executive training, I also could see the personal value in it for me as a commander. The Energy Management skill taught me to identify where to focus my energy when I am juggling several tasks at once. The Avoid Thinking Traps skill helped me to understand other people’s thinking process so that I can communicate with them more effectively,” he added.

As a key component of the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign, known as CSF2, recognizes that Army leaders set and enforce high standards, lead by example, and establish a climate that fosters resilience and trust. The Executive Resilience and Performance Course supports leaders by providing them additional tools to help them lead by example.

“The course was relevant and there is a definite need for it for our warriors at all levels, including senior leaders at every echelon of command or responsibility,” said Sgt. Maj. Willene Orr, Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region Command career counselor, and attendee of a pilot course. “It provided real-time and hands-on experience and facts to which all attendees could relate.”

Master Sgt. Jennifer Loredo, one of the trainers during the pilot course at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., in August said, “I felt I was able to provide the leaders attending the course a tangible sense of what their MRTs are teaching, as well as providing them skills they can apply to their own lives, both personally and professionally. I was also able to demonstrate that the Army is investing in its most valuable resource, its people.

“The difference between the [Executive Resilience and Performance Course] and the standard 10-day MRT course is that in the executive course, you have to engage [leaders] by hour two; you don’t have the luxury of time. However, they understand how much emphasis the Army is placing on resilience and performance, so they know why they’re there and are eager to learn more,” Loredo added.

This summer, CSF2 completed pilot courses at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, Fort Bliss in Texas, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, and Schofield Barracks. The pilot proved that a condensed version of the MRT course can effectively convey to Army leaders the value and the importance of having MRTs deliver Resilience and Performance Enhancement Training at the unit level.

Having incorporated best practices and lessons learned, CSF2 is now taking three versions of the Executive Resilience and Performance Course on the road — a four, eight and 16-hour version, in an effort to bring Resilience Training to leaders Army-wide.

CSF2 Training Centers offer the three versions of the Executive Resilience and Performance Course. CSF2 Training Centers are located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Fort Bliss; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga., the National Capitol Region and Schofield Barracks. For those who do not have a CSF2 Training Center, Mobile Training Teams are standing by to support.