October 21, 2013
By Stefanie Pidgeon
FORT BELVOIR, Va., (Oct. 21, 2013) -- Fort Belvoir hosted the Army's first official Executive Resilience and Performance Course for Army leaders, Oct. 17.
"This class teaches that resilience training has most dividends for younger folks, but it has a lot of value for everyone," said Stephen Brooks, the deputy to the garrison commander at Fort Belvoir. "We're all on the same team, and it's not just for military people, but the Army's full of civilians, too, so everybody's got to be resilient together in order for us to be all we can be."
Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness, or CSF2, launched the executive-level course Armywide, Oct. 16, bringing resilience and performance skills to those who have the responsibility of enforcing standards and leading by example.
"[The training] really made me stop and think how I was perceived in my interactions with others, because you have a million things going on, you're going fast, and people are coming up to you and want to talk, and it made me step back and think about how I was handling some of those situations," said Col. Steve Stebbins, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Force Management Support Agency, at Fort Belvoir.
Stebbins received resilience training in September, during a brief course offered at the Pentagon. Following this experience, he brought the skills back to his team, and encouraged them to attend the course offered at Fort Belvoir.
"I think just being more attentive to how we interact with each other can only be positive," he added.
The Executive Resilience and Performance Course is designed to provide Army leaders (company commanders/first sergeants and above, their spouses, GS12 and above) with a better understanding of CSF2 and the skills their Master Resilience Trainers, known as MRTs, learn during the intensive 10-day course that certifies them to teach Soldiers, family members and Army civilians at the unit level.
Command Sgt. Major Clark Charpentier, with the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Battalion, appreciated the condensed version of the course tailored to Army leaders, noting that, "as being more senior in the military, we have more life experience, and have already, through trial and error, realized a lot of these lessons."
He found the training to be a "re-learning or a reminder for [Army leaders] who have experienced [the skills] either through formal education or through life experience to where it reinforces and helps to bring them back to the forefront. Because, a lot of us get forgetful, especially when the daily burden of command continues to wear on us."
The establishment of the Executive Resilience and Performance Course is another step toward creating a ready and resilient culture within the Army, ensuring Army leaders are armed with the same language of resilience that members of their team use.
Those who have gone through the course see its value.
"I didn't really know what to expect," said Brooks. "My initial impression was that it was related to suicide prevention, but I learned that it's really much bigger than that, so the benefits spread 360 around our entire mission. To me, the key to resilience is to be positive, and to look at life as a glass half full. As a result, people are a lot less anxious and focused on how to be better instead of spending energy wasted wringing our hands about what might happen."
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, Texas; 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.
For more information, or to request an Executive Resilience and Performance Course, visit CSF2's website at http://csf2.army.mil.