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By Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., (10/18/10) - An in-depth leader’s guidebook to Soldier resilience was recently published by the Army National Guard’s Soldier and Family Support (SFS) division here.

It is a tool to help Soldiers “learn how to [handle] difficult times in their lives, get through those times, and come out stronger afterwards,” said Army Sgt. Maj. Jim Moore of the division.

The book can be used to not only help build individual resiliency, but also resiliency at the unit level and includes strategies to help mitigate suicidal behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and child maltreatment.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, the Army National Guard’s top enlisted Soldier, said that even though suicides are a major concern, “these other issues have been identified as potential risk factors that could compound suicidal ideation and risky behaviors.”

“With the Guard being a cross section of society, issues that are problematic in the civilian world are sometimes carried over into our organization and as leaders, we need to help Soldiers and families to overcome these other not-so-desirable behaviors,” said Burch.

“The guide teaches battle drills to help identify an event, identify what emotions are tied to it, and then how to develop coping measures to get through the event and identify how to be stronger once the event is over,” said Moore.

Moore said the guide is versatile.

“It’s designed for first-line leaders to use one-on-one, but larger groups, such as squads, can go through the battle drills to learn how to help each other identify and get through issues,” he said. “Our Citizen-Soldiers have more issues than their active duty counterparts to deal with.

“They have civilian jobs, are geographically disbursed, or may not have access to the same facilities as our active counterparts, so it is very important to creat that resiliency support network during and away from the drilling environment.”

Burch said the guidebook helps identify some best practices “and build our resiliency from the individual Soldier on up to the unit level. Resiliency is our ability to bounce back from adversity.”

He added that he doesn’t expect Soldiers to memorize the entire book, but he wants them to use it to overcome adversity.

“As the Army Guard CSM, my expectation is that people will ask for help, that we look out for one another and identify risky behaviors, and that we reach out and give help to those who need it,” Burch said. “This book is another step in the right direction.”

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