[2:01 PM] Pramda Sadhwani
Seeking Help is a Sign of Strength
No matter what problems you're dealing with, there are resources available to help you, and people to lean on for support. As part of the Army Family, you're never alone. You have a strong, supportive community that understands the challenges you face and how you feel because they have experienced the challenges and felt the way you do. Learn about the support services the Army has to help you.
50 Lifehacks for Building Resilience
Building resilience is an ongoing process that takes practice, but the rewards of building your mental agility and resilience are lifelong. Resilience can improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones, helping you to grow and thrive. To get started on this journey of resilience, try some of these lifehacks and make resilience practice a daily habit.
Army to Widen Scope of Legal Counsel Program for Victims of Sexual Assault
The Army looks to expand its Special Victims’ Counsel program this fiscal year, as the need for legal counsel and victim representation increased at some installations. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 extended the SVC program’s pool of potential clients. The SVC program now provides legal representation to certain eligible victims of domestic abuse. The service is adding 30 full-time Special Victims’ Counsel lawyers this fiscal year to bring its total to 74 full-time SVCs. The Army will further increase SVC authorizations by an additional 17 in fiscal 2022.
Handling Stress and Anxiety During the Winter Holidays
With the holiday season upon us, the cold, dark days that winter brings, and the social distancing and movement restrictions brought about by COVID-19, it’s not uncommon for people to feel depressed. Combined, these issues have created sources of stress for most people, but medical experts suggest there are ways to minimize or alleviate those symptoms. Some of these methods include limiting social media exposure, maintain adequate sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet, and spending some time outdoors.
Army Continues to Combat Discrimination Through Project Inclusion
To help foster a culture built on trust, the Army is conducting additional listening sessions at most Army installations as part of Project Inclusion, a senior leader-directed initiative that began in the summer. Project Inclusion, which is part of the Army’s five-year strategic diversity plan, is a holistic effort to listen to Army personnel and enact programs to promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
Army Senior Leader Message to the Force
The issues at Fort Hood exist at other installations. We will not tolerate these behaviors. Leaders at every echelon play a role in driving culture. Respect, trust, and discipline are the foundation of unit cohesion and readiness. Leaders have the responsibility to build and maintain that foundation. They must drive a culture of prevention before, intervention during, and compassion and human decency in the face of a catastrophic event.
SecArmy Announces New Policy, Forms People First Task Force to Implement FHIRC Recommendations
The Secretary of the Army announced a new Army policy on missing Soldiers and formed the People First Task Force to address the recommendations of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee. The Committee found a deficient climate at Fort Hood and recommended staffing and structural changes to SHARP.
Secretary McCarthy Holds Ft Hood Leaders Accountable
The Secretary of the Army directed the relief or suspension of 14 Fort Hood commanders and other leaders down to the squad level based on the findings of an independent review of the command’s climate and culture.
Garrison Council Focuses on Soldier Readiness, Resiliency
It’s one thing for Soldiers and Family members to be told people are the military’s number one priority; it’s another to experience it first-hand. That’s the purpose of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s Commander’s Ready and Resilient Council (CR2C), part of an Army-wide initiative to help Soldiers deal with health, housing, finances, and other issues so they can focus on their jobs and be physically, emotionally, and mentally ready for whatever comes their way. Each garrison runs their CR2C program similarly, but Rheinland-Pfalz has decided to go a step further by taking a more grassroots approach and talking to the people affected.
Sleep: The Force Multiplier
Dr. Tracy Jill Doty, Chief of the Sleep Research Center at WRAIR in Bethesda, Md spoke at the 2020 Performance Psychology Summit, Nov. 12-13, about the effects of sleep and sleep deprivation for the Army. This article discusses the impact of sleep on overall health and its relationship with caffeine, as well as a new online tool to calculate sleep and caffeine intake.
Resilience, Who Needs It?
Soldiering can be a tough profession. It can be tough to manage additional responsibilities like parenting, attending college, maintaining a home, finances–basically, life. The past year has brought additional life stressors and separations from loved ones. It is important that we continue to check-in with ourselves, and understand how we are, or are not, coping. How will you not just cope or get by, but learn, grow and thrive? Resilience.
Guard Member Shares Past, Gives Voice to Suicide Prevention
Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Clifford Bauman shares his story of overcoming his suicide attempt after searching for survivors of the 9/11 Pentagon attack. He adopted a new, life-affirming mindset that saved his career. But most important, he learned how to deal with his post-traumatic stress effectively. In recent years, he's taken what he described as his "life promotion" message to Veterans Affairs events, Army and Marine Corps units, and civilian organizations. He's also participated in video projects that raise suicide awareness.
Secretary of the Army Addresses the SHARP Program
In this video statement, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, addresses the current status of the SHARP Program.
Army Breaks Ground on New Soldier Performance Institute
The Army recently broke ground on a new institute that will serve as the base for human performance research at the Soldier and squad level. The Soldier and Squad Performance Research Institute will be located at Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts. The center has long been the epicenter for advanced science on Soldier gear, clothing, chow, tents, individual warfighting equipment, injury prevention, nutrition needs, and more.
Soldiers Benefit from Psychological Health Research
Scientists at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s, now referred to as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory and the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, developed a Hostile Bias Modification Training protocol to reduce hostile attribution bias, anger and reactive aggression in ambiguous social conflict situations, which can jeopardize social bonds, relationships with significant others, team culture, and performance.
Medal of Honor Recipient Stays Connected to Army by Helping Others
Medal of Honor recipient Leroy Petry is still focused on helping Soldiers, “One of the things that I've been focusing on primarily is suicide prevention — veterans and active duty,” he said. “It's something that is continuing to grow, especially with this coronavirus. It's isolated a lot of folks and that's really [increased] the numbers. The worst thing you could do is isolate somebody that's already having mental health issues.”
Army Reserve's New Command Surgeon Focuses on Medically Ready Force
The Deployment Health Assessment Program (DHAP) and the U.S. Army Reserve Command welcomed its newest command surgeon, Col. Kathleen M. Flocke, to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. “I’m excited to work with the Army Reserves and ensure that we provide … the medically ready force that the Army needs to fight and win on the battlefield of the future,” said Flocke. The Command Surgeon has mission command over the DHAP team.
R2 Performance Centers Look to Strengthen Overall Health of Soldiers
From individual Soldiers to entire units, Ready & Resilient Performance Centers, or R2PCs, are at the ready for Soldiers by providing specialized training to help sustain personal readiness, enhance resilience, optimize human performance, and build unit cohesion. Their mission is part of the Army’s new health approach to overall readiness, said Casey Olson, Chief of Training for the Army Resilience Directorate. In the last 10 years, more than 30 performance centers across the Army have equipped upwards of 49,000 master resilience trainers, or MRTs, with tools needed to conduct resilience training at the unit level, and serve as advisers to commanders.
SAPRO Director Pledges 'Zero Tolerance' for Sexual Assault, Harassment
The new director of the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), Army Maj. Gen. Clement S. Coward, hit the ground running after being in the field and hearing firsthand Service Members' concerns about sexual harassment and sexual assault. “Ensuring we have a ready force capable of high-level performance is my top priority. However, that can only come with treating all who serve with dignity and respect," Coward said. "Every Service Member must be able to trust that unit commanders' and leadership's response to sexual assault and harassment occurs with "zero-defects" — we must get this right, every time."
New Tool Aims to Enable Commanders to Track, Prevent High-Risk Behaviors
As part of the Army’s effort in placing greater emphasis on its people, Active Duty command teams now have a new tool to help give them more visibility on Soldiers who exhibit high-risk behaviors, The Commander’s Risk Reduction Toolkit (CRRT), is a web-based system that helps command teams from the company through the corps level assess unit readiness with reports on drug and alcohol use, criminal history, and death by suicide. It also supplements the command teams’ ability to develop a consolidated overview of risk history and unit trends while allowing them to develop strategies to strengthen units, said Randy Lane, Chief of the Army Resilience Directorate’s Assessments Division.
New App Helps Military Families Connect with Resources
Military spouses and Family members who are looking for up-to-date and reliable information from the Defense Department can now access Military OneSource on their new smartphone app, My Military OneSource. Users can easily personalize the app by selecting "Service Member," "military spouse," "Family member" or "other," and then by selecting the closest installation.
Suicidal Thoughts and Actions are Up During COVID-19, Prompting an Urgent Response
In September, six months into shelter-in-place, there was a noticeable shift among the students participating in rigorous language training at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey. Commanders referred to it as “the restlessness,” DLI Commandant Col. Gary Hausman says. That restlessness included an increase in suicide attempts. Hausman ordered a safety stand down to take place in late October, with half-day classes, a motivational speaker and small group discussions. “We are getting ahead of the issue,” Hausman says.
Can Empathy and Emotions Make Soldiers Better Learners? The Army’s Trying to Find Out
The Army wants to know if emotion and empathy can help make Soldiers better learners. To do that, they’re looking for ways to “locate, track and trace” different learning traits through a technology development program known as the xTechSearch Brain Operant Learning Technology (BOLT) competition. Geared to Army medical professionals, the tech development program looks at how to “unlock the brain and maximize performance,” said Dr. Darrin Frye, medical simulation portfolio manager at the Army Medical Research Development Command.
Plans for Vets Suicide Prevention Training, New Three-Digit Emergency Mental Health Crisis Line Signed Into Law
President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a pair of bills designed to help prevent Veterans suicide, including a measure to establish a new three-digit national crisis line similar to 911 for mental health emergencies. In a statement, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie praised the moves as key improvements in efforts to better reach Veterans in times of emotional or mental instability. “People in distress and in need of timely care should face the fewest obstacles possible to get help,” he said.
Brave Rifles Conducts Competition Based Training to Build Trust in Squads
Brave Rifles from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, conducted “Thunder Games,” a competition- based fitness training to build trust in their squads at Fort Hood Stadium October 5-7. The training included eight different team-building stations where troops worked through physical stressful situations. Participating Troops broke their squads down into two groups. Soldiers from Lightning Troop, Mad Dog Troop, and Havoc Troop, along with coaches from Fort Hood’s Ready and Resilient (R2) program, were assigned to each station and observed them as they passed through each event on October 7. The training closed with small group discussions on lessons learned and a Tug of War Competition.
SMA Talks ‘This is My Squad’ with Company-Level Leaders
As the Army’s top enlisted Soldier, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston has worked to build stronger unit cohesion throughout the force by pushing his signature initiative “This is My Squad.” No issue has been off the table. He’s spoken about the positive facets of being a Soldier, how to improve individual readiness like preparing for the Army’s new fitness test, or ways to prevent sexual assault and suicide within the ranks. The TIMS campaign was designed to replicate strong, cohesive teams often found in Special Forces units, he said last October. A year later, TIMS is being implemented at all echelons of the Army, is consonant with Grinston’s vision for a more cohesive force, and even entered the virtual realm with a mobile app on the way.
'The Time is Now’ to Transform the Army, Says CSA
Not only are people the Army’s No. 1 priority but, according to its top officer, they will also play a critical role in transforming the Army as it moves into the future. “The time is now to transform how we take care of our people, our doctrine, our organizations, our training, our equipment, and how we compete around the world,” Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James C. McConville said during the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition. In his recorded remarks, the Army’s chief of staff took the opportunity to address modernization and readiness efforts, while primarily focusing on the force’s new top priority -- its people.
Army Secretary Announces People as Top Priority
Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy recently announced that "people" will now be the Army's top priority, as the force works to give junior leaders more time to build cohesive teams. "As we took a closer look at ourselves over these past couple of months, we understand that the last 19 years of combat operations and global deterrence has come at a cost," McCarthy said during the opening ceremony of this year's Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition. Senior leaders released an action plan that prioritizes people and teams, saying that people are the Army's greatest strength.
As suicide cases rise, Army leaders encourage Soldiers to recognize warning signs
The Army reported that the active-duty suicide rate has risen in 2020, following the implementation of stay-at-home restrictions in March. Army leaders cannot definitively attribute COVID-19 as the reason for the spike, but acknowledge the timeline coincides with the pandemic’s spread. Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville told Soldiers recently during a livestream from the Pentagon, “All of us go through adversity in life. And all of us need a helping hand.” Senior leaders have met each month to address suicide prevention and how to mitigate cases.
Army Senior Leader Statement Regarding the 2019 Annual Suicide Report
Suicide is a national public health problem from which the Army is not immune. People First is our philosophy. People – Soldiers, DA Civilians, Families, and Soldiers for Life – are our most important asset, and we are losing too many to Suicide. The Army is committed to identifying and providing services and support to our teammates who may become vulnerable. In the face of additional stress of a pandemic, we are working to improve access to behavioral health care while enhancing our resilience training and stigma reduction efforts.
Army’s new SHARP Director emphasizes change, role of commanders in preventing sexual assault
Jill Londagin became the SHARP Director on September 14th. She brings her previous experience as the Program Director for Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care (SUDCC) and Suicide Risk Management at the Office of The Surgeon General, as well as a Behavioral Health Red Team member, to the SHARP program. Ms. Londagin plans to address recent public concerns with the program through openness, honesty, and transparency.
New Training Developed for COVID-19 Stressors and Combatting Suicide
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness month, which makes it an opportune time to adapt training to fit new situations caused by the pandemic. Billy Hallmark, Army Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention Programs Manager for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command Detroit Arsenal, is working on training to help those feeling the pressure from isolation and social distancing.
New Army website offers latest resources to promote resilience, readiness
The Army Resilience Directorate officially launched its new website Sept. 18 at ArmyResilience.army.mil. The robust website is the Directorate’s hub for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention, Ready and Resilient, Army Suicide Prevention, and the Army Substance Abuse Program, making it an all- inclusive site for information and resources on these programs.
Sergeant Major Reflects About Almost Ending Life, Sought Help
Sgt. Maj. Patrick S. McGrath II, 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, contemplated suicide in 2019. McGrath’s story goes back to his childhood. He said this was a relevant point because the Soldiers he serves with in the Army come from all walks of life. This article tells his story of resilience and overcoming thoughts of suicide by seeking help.
Amid pandemic, Army program helps Families get back to school
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, parents are faced with deciding whether to send their children back to school for possible part-time, in-class instruction or commit to distance learning from home. A military spouse and mom turned school program manager at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is working with Master Resilience Trainers to help support Families with children to maintain their resilience and connection.
MRT Skills Can Help Soldiers Prepare ‘Outside the Box’ for the ACFT
Imagery has been scientifically proven to strengthen neural pathways; it’s a technique that changes our habits and behaviors by training our brains to convince our bodies that we can “do it.” Treva Anderson, Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert at Fort Jackson, S.C., has taught imagery to hundreds of Soldiers, helping to prepare their bodies by using their minds, for boot camp and the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT).
Updated Regs Identify Online Hazing as Harassment; Add Synthetic Drug Testing for “Spice” and “Bath Salts”
July 2020 revisions to two key Army Regulations (AR), AR-600-20, and AR 600-85, identify a new form of harassment and add two synthetic drugs to the list of substances that Soldiers are screened for during drug testing.
Reminder to Commanders: The CSSER is a Valuable Tool for Suicide Support Resources
When a service member attempts suicide or dies by suicide, the trauma and grief in the aftermath has a ripple effect on the lives of fellow Soldiers, their Family, the unit, and the Army. To provide the resources and support needed to help those struggling, it is important that commanders remember to submit Section 3 of DA Form 7747, the Commander's Suspected Suicide Event Report, or CSSER.
Self-care essential for maintaining mental health and well-being during COVID-19
Making physical, mental and spiritual health a priority can help those struggling with the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic. People can use self-care in multiple aspects of their life to gain resilience in stressful times.Exercises, sunlight and breathing techniques are three ways to improve physical health that also benefit mental health.
Army clinic ensures readiness amidst COVID
With a patient empanelment of over 4,200 Service members and Family members, Kleber Army Health Clinic’s mission is far from small.From physicals to mental health assessments, Kleber Army Health Clinic’s role in Soldier readiness is undisputed and essential for Army units in the Rheinland Pfalz region.
During Social Distancing Soldiers Can Still ‘Engage’ to Help Those Struggling
Since the country began practicing social distancing in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Army Resilience Directorate’s Master Resilience Trainer–Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) have been creating weekly digital content to continue to educate, inform, engage, and train the Army community on strengthening their resilience.
13th ESC SHARP Team Helps Create Culture of Trust, Resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic did not impact Fort Hood's efforts to observe Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and promote the message “Building Cohesive Teams through Character, Trust and Resilience. Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission."
Lifelong Army Civilian Organizes Sexual Assault Awareness Program
Crane Army Ammunition Activity’s greatest strength is its people and making sure they are supported and protected from threats. That’s why CAAA invests in a strong Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Program. Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Donaval Avila Martinez organized SAAPM events that included encouraging employees to wear denim and teal, SHARP’s official color, and drive with car headlights on to “shine a light” on sexual assault.
Fort Bragg created a sexual assault ‘escape room,’ but it’s not what it sounds like
The 16th Military Police Brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C., put on an escape room to test Soldiers’ knowledge of SHARP procedures and resources. The escape room, held during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month was created as a training event for a squad or team to come together in a non-traditional learning environment.
Fight to Prevent Sexual Assault Protects Army Employees, Mission
Awareness and prevention of sexual assault is still needed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Army Materiel Command and Redstone Arsenal employees won’t be able to participate in face-to-face SHARP events in April, there were virtual opportunities to grow awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
New Troop Support Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Encourages Virtual Awareness, Prevention Observance
With most of the workforce teleworking, and large social gatherings being canceled in effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, SAAPM observances have been postponed indefinitely. Even during these unique circumstances, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia welcomed its new Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Gina Ingrao.
501st Military Intelligence Brigade Trains SHARP Ambassadors
501st Military Intelligence Brigade held its fourth 3-day Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Ambassador training at its headquarters on Camp Humphreys. A performance expert from the R2 Performance Center taught components of the Engage about helping bystanders commit to help someone that needs assistance.
DoD recognizes Fort Lee suicide prevention efforts
The Defense Suicide Prevention Office recently announced the Fort Lee's selection for a Suicide Prevention Month Recognition Citation. The accolade highlights the “innovative and diverse range of work” it did in support of military members, their families and DoD Civilians while promoting activities for the 2019 Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month observance’s theme, “Small Steps Save Lives.”
Service Academies Focus on More Robust Sexual Assault Prevention
The Defense Department released its annual report on sexual harassment and sexual assault at the military's service academies Jan. 30. According to the report, the academies have each developed their own, robust response programs for sexual assault, but all three schools need to better integrate, resource and evaluate their efforts.
Army leaders laid groundwork to combat rising suicide numbers nearly year ago
While suicides among active-duty Soldiers reached their highest levels in a decade last year, Army leaders have already executed measures to bring those numbers down. The Army is testing two pilot programs at two Texas installations, Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, and also at Kentucky's Fort Campbell.
Program offers proactive measures to assess health of Soldiers, Army civilians
The U.S. Army's Deployment Health Assessment Program (DHAP) identifies deployment-related health problems and connects Soldiers and Army Civilians with the right care when needed and ensures that Soldiers are assessed pre and post combat.
Updated regulation encourages Soldiers to utilize performance, health experts
The same resources and expertise the Army is using to build high performing units and ready and resilient Soldiers can now be utilized by Soldiers, commanders and leaders in executing the Army Body Composition Program (ABCP) according to the updated version of Army Regulation 600-9.