Those who have a strong desire to learn and improve take every opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills. Cadets going through this year’s Cadet Summer Training (CST) took advantage of hip-pocket training provided by Master Resilience-Trainer Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) to meet the rigorous challenges of CST.
MRT-PEs accompanied Cadets through each day’s activities providing on-the-spot coaching and training. These future Army leaders gained energy management skills, tools to build stronger team cohesion, and learned how to fortify a positive mindset. The training used a combination of fun and challenging physical activities such as cup stacks, perfect square activity, and stack attacks; one-on-one coaching, and short classes. Cadets from the 5th Regiment took advantage of these opportunities and are returning to their universities stronger and more resilient with new tools to assist them as they serve as leaders in their R.O.T.C. detachments and work towards earning a commission. Contact your local R2PC to do the same.
Army Public Health Command Leaders Take the National Mall
The Army Public Health Command (PHC-A) worked with National Capital Region Ready and Resilient (R2) teams to develop an Amazing Race-like staff ride that had leaders circuiting the National Mall for an exciting day of skills and history.
Divided into teams, each group received a clue that directed them to one of the monuments around the Mall. At each one, Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) provided briefs on several skills linking them to that monument. Leaders participated in an open discussion on effective communication, trust, and administering effective praise. At the end of the brief, teams received a clue to their next monument. At each station, leaders reflected on how their behaviors can impact levels of psychological safety and trust in their organizational environments. After each team made it to every monument, MRT-PEs discussed how participants could actively use the skills in their daily leadership roles.
PHC-A leaders left with a more deliberate and actionable way to build effective leadership styles. Want to enhance your leadership abilities? Sign up for training to challenge your team today!
Cadets Excel at Cadet Summer Training Advanced Camp
As each iteration of Cadets arrives at Fort Knox, Ky. for Cadet Summer Training (CST), Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts provide training and support that assists Cadets and aid in their ability to optimize their performance during CST Advanced Camp.
Mental skills training was incorporated into daily training schedules to help build resilience and meet the many challenges Cadets face during CST. Their resilience was tested during a variety of challenges including the rappel tower, obstacle/confidence course, weapons qualification, and the gas chamber. PEs used skills-building activities such as helium hoop, jump game, focus activity, imagery, kinesthetic imagery, and entourage to help enhance resilience and confidence. During the more challenging events, PEs discussed team building, communication, and provided on-the-spot coaching to assist Cadets in achieving their goals. Advanced Camp concluded with Cadets being stronger, resilient, and able to optimize their physical and mental performance. Contact your local R2PC to do the same!
Improving Cultural Understanding at US Army Japan
A Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert (MRT-PE) provided a full-day workshop to improve effective communication, unit cohesion and cultural understanding for the 826th Transportation Battalion which consists of U.S. and Japanese Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and Japanese Master Labor Contract employees (MLCs).
Working to develop cohesion, teamwork, and enhancing communication, a mix of Soldiers, U.S. Army Civilians, and MLCs participated in the Soft Skills Workshop modeled after a previous successful three-day long workshop for other sections of the unit. The success of the 836th’s mission relies on strong relationships as they support bilateral operations in Japan and the South Pacific Region. Participants discussed components of effective workplace culture, core values, and effective communication. This highly interactive workshop involved hands-on activities, small group discussions, and a participant-generated list of core values that U.S. forces and Japan MLCs can use to navigate complex interpersonal interactions.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Here are reactions from a few of the participants.
“The Soft Skills Workshop was enjoyable, educational, and worth the full-day event.”
“Today’s workshop was a good experience, and I will use this knowledge moving forward.”
“Great training, I truly believe that it is important to talk about such things. It helps to reflect on important matters most people take for granted.”
The 836th will continue working with the U.S. Army Japan R2 Performance Center to continue to develop the effective skillset that assists the unit with accomplishing its mission.
Cadet Summer Training Advanced Camp
R2 Performance Experts (PE) from Fort Knox, Kentucky trained ROTC Cadets from the 2nd Regiment to optimize their performance during the events of Cadet Summer Training Advanced Camp.
Cadet’s resilience was tested during a variety of challenges including the rappel towel, land navigation, obstacle/confidence course, weapons qualification, gas chamber, and a 6-mile ruck march. PEs used activities such as helium hoop, jump game, focus activity, imagery, kinesthetic imagery, and entourage to help build resilience and confidence. During the more challenging events, PEs discussed team building, communication, and provided in-the-moment coaching to assist Cadet’s in achieving their goals. Advanced Camp concluded with Cadets being stronger, resilient and bringing a spirit of enhanced morale back to their school detachments. Contact your local R2PC to do the same!
Best Ranger Competition
To prepare for the Best Ranger Competition the 7th Infantry Division’s Bayonet Academy conducted five month’s of mental skills training with R2 Performance Experts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The competition, held annually at Fort Benning, Ga., consists of two-man buddy teams competing for 62 continuous hours of physically, emotionally, and intellectually demanding challenges in an effort to earn the title of Best Ranger. The 7th Infantry Division teams tested their resilience during 16 in-depth and personalized mental skills training sessions. R2 courses included goal setting, energy management, and building confidence. The two 7th Infantry Division teams finished 26th and 35th overall including being the first U.S. Army Pacific team to finish. This was a significant improvement from last year when the R2 PEs were not involved. Improve your skills by scheduling training today!
Warrior Maintenance Day II
During a second round of events for Warrior Maintenance Day, the 10th Support Group from Headquarters, U.S. Army Japan participated in building resilience training.
Soldiers tested their critical thinking by completing challenging mental puzzles requiring teamwork, problem solving, and effective communication. After solving a puzzle, Soldiers would then complete physical exercises such as hand-release push-ups in the water and bear crawl in the sand. These events helped maintain resilience and build strong unit morale. Find a local R2PC to strengthen your unit!
Weapons Training Qualification
U.S. Army Japan service members participated in M17 and M4 weapon system qualification across three days at an indoor range on Yokota Air Force Base.
To qualify on the M17 pistol, Soldiers needed to hit at least half of the green targets which popped up at distances ranging from 10-31 meters. To successfully qualify on their M4, Soldiers were required to hit a minimum of 23 out of 40 targets. Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts assisted participants prior to the qualification courses by discussing the connection between their thoughts and performance, energy management, and interpreting their fight-or-flight response effectively. With the help of R2 training, every single service member qualified! Sign up for training today.
US Army Japan Workforce Development Workshop
Department of the Army Civilians and personnel from the Japanese Master Labor Contractor from Headquarters, U.S. Army Japan conducted the first-ever combined Workforce Development Workshop.
The goal of the workshop was to improve communication by overcoming cultural differences, not making assumptions of other peoples’ intentions, and working on lack of personal control during interpersonal conflict. Fifty participants practiced problem solving, assertive communication, and avoiding thinking traps. A Family member Master Resilience Trainer with Japanese language skills provided critical translation support, while three additional MRT facilitators played a critical role in assisting in completion of practical exercises during the workshop. Improve your work environment; sign up for training here!
Desert Warrior Week
Fort Irwin and the National Training Center in Calif. designated 2-5 May 2022 as Desert Warrior Week. Events during the week focused on Esprit de Corps, Team Building, Unit Cohesion, and Community.
Soldiers and Family members participated in a variety of competitions such as flag football, dodgeball, softball, spouse kickball, M1 Abrams Tank Pull, and obstacle course, among others. The highlight for the week occurred when six teams of Soldiers completed as many mentally and physically challenging obstacle courses as possible within 45-minutes. Prior to each course, teams were briefed on simple techniques to help them keep their mind focused and control their breathing during periods of high stress and physical exertion. Soldiers developed team cohesion during the physical challenges by working together. The feedback from participants was entirely positive with many requesting to do the course again at a later date with more obstacles. Desert Warrior Week is scheduled to become an annual event at Fort Irwin. Want a challenge at your own installation? Schedule with your R2PC today!
Improving Team Morale at Fort Bliss
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery at Fort Bliss, Texas participated in three team building exercises focusing on optimism.
Soldiers divided into teams to compete in three physical training activities:
The Floor is Lava – two teams competing to complete as many floor grids as possible. The goal of the game is for team members to move from the starting point to the finish without any part of the player's body coming into contact with the floor aka Lava.
Noodle Tag – teams or individuals strategizing to tag opponents with their foam noodles. Tagged players must complete 20 second planks and if they're tagged three times, they are eliminated from the game and take laps around the field.
Tank Commander – teams of two are either labeled Tank or Commander. The Commander instructs the blindfolded Tank to pick up “ammunition” and hit opposing Tanks. When a player is hit, the team needs to leave the field to complete an exercise. If teams are hit three times, they are eliminated.
The training ended with the battalion discussing how they felt physically, mentally, and emotionally about the activities in addition to how the exercises impacts team morale. Want to sign up for these fun exercises? Find your closest R2PC today!
Non-commissioned officers trained in ACE-SI and Engage to obtain knowledge and skills to identify when their Soldiers display norms or behavioral change. When leaders can see risk factors and warning signs in Soldiers, they can quickly get involved and help Soldiers access the support they need. Feedback from the training indicated that leaders felt more confident in how to relate to their Soldiers and unit and how the learned tools will impact their personal and professional lives. Sign up here to improve your engagement skills today!
Health Command - Atlantic Learns Resilience Skills
The Industrial Hygiene Division of the Public Health Command - Atlantic participated in a variety of resilience exercises at Fort Meade, Maryland to improve accountability and adapt to leadership changes in the workplace.
Participants of the Blended Skills Training learned an abundance of resilience tools from Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts. Activities included:
Cube - a team building activity where the goal is for each member of the team to pass through the cube, with the help of other team members, without tipping the cube over.
Activating Event, Thoughts, and Consequences Model - identifying heat of the moment thoughts from an event, the consequences of those thoughts, and learning how to have greater control over emotions and reactions.
Boundaries, Reliability, Accountability, Vault, Integrity, Non-judgment, and Generosity Model - focuses on individual behavior and the different elements of how to build and establish trust.
A capabilities brief at Fort Myer, Virginia was provided to the Command Sergeant Major and other senior leaders of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington featuring the benefits of the R2 Performance Training program.
Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) highlighted leadership skills during the capabilities brief focusing on new training offerings such as the Counseling Enhancement Workshop, Gaining Resilience in Training, and Squad Leader Development. To demonstrate how R2 training is interactive and not just a classroom setting, CSMs participated in the infinite loop activity where they partnered up and worked together to disengage from the ropes on their wrists that were intertwined. Lastly, MRT-PEs discussed the individual zone of optimal functioning (IZOF), a model that focuses on an individual’s preferred level of anxiety that allows them to perform at their optimum. Participants discussed their performances, how IZOF applies, and strategies to be best at their roles. To enhance your leadership skills, schedule R2 training today!
Physical Readiness Training (PRT)
Japan - based platoons from Delta Battery 1-1 Air Defense Artillery participated in Physical Readiness Training focused on resilience.
Dynasty platoons were divided into teams for some friendly competition to test their readiness in adverse conditions. Each team had to work together, communicate effectively, and utilize energy management to prevail against the others during several mental and physical exercises. The Land Navigation obstacle in particular challenged Soldiers’ mental strengths by having them identify 6-digit grid coordinates. After the training concluded, each Delta Battery platoon became more efficient and resilient. Find your closest R2 Performance Center to test your readiness!
Warrior Maintenance Day
The 10th Support Group from U.S. Army Japan Headquarters participated in resilience-focused Physical Readiness Training as part of Warrior Maintenance Day.
Soldiers competed in several physical challenges designed by Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts to enhance team building, effective communication, and resilience. Participants learned to work together while memorizing information to complete obstacles such as transporting kettlebells, walking lunges, and tire flipping. The day also included an award and promotion ceremony, classes on suicide prevention and safety, and concluded with a safety brief. After facing physical and mental exertion as a team, the 10th ended the day with stronger unit morale. Schedule training here to enhance your resilience!
ROTC Spring FTX at Fort Riley
Master Resilience Trainer - Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) taught over 500 Cadets from seven Midwestern universities mental skills during a four-day Spring Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The Spring FTX is an annual exercise to prepare Cadets to succeed at Reserve Officers' Training Corps Summer Camp, continue the development of senior Cadets, and prepare newer Cadets for the program. This year, MRT-PEs were on-site to assist at crucial locations. Cadets learned on the field self-talk/real-time resilience to overcome the confidence course and how to manage nerves with deliberate breathing while conquering the 64-foot Rappel Tower. The mental skills training proved successful with Cadets returning to campus more resilient, prepared, and inspired for future advancements. Sign up to enhance your readiness skills today!
Team Building at Camp Zama
Soldiers from U.S. Army Japan Headquarters worked with R2 Performance Experts to build stronger bonds, increase trust, and enhance morale.
The training focused on a specifically designed unit cohesion exercise where participants rotated through five stations of mental and physical challenges. The stations consisted of energy management, team building, and identifying character strengths. During the After Action Review, participants gave positive feedback of the event and requested a series of seven performance enhancement modules and additional support from R2.
International Women’s Day Conference
The 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), or 10th SFG(A), at Fort Carson, Colorado hosted an International Women’s Day Conference entitled “Break the Bias.”
As part of 10th SFG(A)’s strategy to provide opportunities for mentorship and peer support among its female Soldiers, an R2 guest speaker was invited to discuss resiliency. The event included resilience myths and facts, plus confirmation bias. The conference began with a video of numerous high-ranking women, serving across the Army, sharing special messages of support and included a panel of five local female military leaders.
Continuous R2 Training
The 2-39th Infantry Battalion cadre at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, took advantage of their Basic Combat Training Cycle reset to attend R2 classes for professional development.
The purpose of these classes was to build morale and learn the many tools and services offered by the R2 Performance Center. Members participated in an open discussion on resiliency, character strength, and team building – all needed skills as they put in long hours developing the next generation of Soldiers. After positive feedback on the exercises learned, resilience training will be scheduled in the future for Fort Jackson’s Fighting Falcon team.
The Sky Soldier Toughness Initiative
The 173rd Airborne Brigade also known as “Sky Soldiers” in Vincenza, Italy, are participating in ongoing R2 training across Europe to improve leadership and team cohesion skills.
Leadership of the 173rd Airborne Brigade worked with R2 Performance Experts as part of a toughness initiative to teach, observe, and build rapport with their Soldiers. Each battalion learned exercises in team building, energy management, attention control, and mental skills and incorporated them into unit training activities. The 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion’s Castle Company successfully practiced what they learned during recent blank fire exercises. In the pursuit of resiliency, Sky Soldiers will continue to enhance leadership with strategies to empower and mentally toughen their Soldiers. Sign up for training to challenge your team today!
Dark Horse Troop Succeeds with Performance Enhancement Training
To improve tank gunnery performance, the Dark Horse (DH) Troop 5-7 Cavalry Squadron met with R2 Performance Experts at Fort Stewart, Georgia to practice mental skills such as energy management and attention control.
Training began with participants discussing components of a “mentally tough” Soldier and what makes a great tank crew. Then, during gunnery, Soldiers focused on the following skills:
Thought-Performance Connection – emphasizes how to control your thoughts so that emotions and how your body reacts to them don’t impact performance.
Energy Management – strategies on how to increase and decrease energy so that the quality of performance is not affected.
Attention Control - ability to gain more focus through increased awareness using cue words or phrases and the 3x3 grounding technique (where you use your sight, hearing, and touch to help manage your thoughts).
During the after-action review, Soldiers asked questions and discussed team goals. Compared to their previous gunnery, DH Troop’s average qualification score increased by 13% while having a 25% decrease in second-time qualifying crews. The Troop Commander indicated it was one of the best range densities in terms of morale and performance.
The 9th Finance FMSU Becomes an Even Stronger Unit
The 9th Financial Management Support Unit trained in team building at Fort Riley, Kansas as part of Operation Victory Wellness which supports III Corps and Fort Riley’s People First Initiative.
Soldiers were divided among three timed stations set up to represent the pillars of duty: communication, trust, and commitment. The first station consisted of a “traffic jam” activity where instinctive leaders would “direct traffic” by communicating and finding their way out of a maze. The second station emphasized trust where one leader instructed team members to build a structure, with the leader being the only person who knew how the completed structure looked. The final station required Soldiers to split into two teams and navigate 100 feet “Across the River”. Participants cooperated using nonverbal communication and had to commit to several steps to accomplish the task. Future R2 training sessions have already been scheduled as the unit found these exercises helpful in sharpening their skills.
Improving Communication at Winn Army Community Hospital
The Primary Care Clinic at Winn Army Community Hospital, Fort Stewart, Georgia, worked to build a stronger team and improve their communication skills with the help of R2 training.
Participants initially discussed the various characteristics of what makes a cohesive team. It was concluded that the foundation of a unified team was trust. When a group has an open dialogue and communicates productively, they are comfortable and work better together as a whole. Along with effective praise in everyday interactions, the training highlighted the three Cs of effective and assertive communication:
Confidence – belief in one’s ability
Clear – the message is easy to understand
Controlled – delivery is calm and in a controlled manner
I – Identify and understand the problem
D - Describe the problem objectively
E – Express your concerns and how you feel
A – Ask the other person for his/her perspective and then ask for a reasonable change
L – List the positive outcomes that will occur if the person makes the agreed upon change
Thanks to R2 training, the clinic learned practical, everyday tools to better communicate and build trust amongst their colleagues.
Soldiers Preparing for the Sapper Leader Course
Soldiers from the 570th Sapper Company participated in a week of R2 training to help them qualify for the Sapper Leader Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The course is a demanding 28-day leadership development challenge for Combat Engineers to strengthen and test critical skills.
In a span of four days, Soldiers were trained in a multitude of mental skills techniques:
Day 1: Mindset - mental strengthening to control reactions to an event
Day 2: Energy Management – regulate heart rates, reframe stress effectively, and control energy through breathing
Day 3: Motivation – how to draw motivation internally
Day 4: Attention Control – shift attention effectively using cue words to be in the present
On the fifth day Soldiers had an after-action review and a survey to conclude their experience. Participants not only learned a variety of helpful skills to prepare as leaders but also bonded as a group. Find your closest R2 Performance Center to further advance your training!
19th Surgical Detachment Learns Energy Management
Soldiers from the 19th Surgical Detachment at Fort Stewart, Georgia attended an R2 energy management workshop to learn techniques on how to prevent professional and personal stressors from impacting their performance.
The training began with the group discussing how stress affects their duties as a Soldier and their personal life. Each participant then had their baseline body levels measured using EmWave technology, which recognizes the physical signs and symptoms of stress such as increased heart rate, body temperature, and muscle tension. The group was taught deliberate breathing and practiced the technique. Afterwards, the Soldiers used EmWave again, but this time using deliberate breathing as a tool to lower their fight-or-flight response while being distracted by teammates. Participants learned the relaxation technique helped block out distractions and how it benefited them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Learn how to manage your stress by scheduling training here!
Standardization Week at Fort Irwin
The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) and Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) standardization and testing for Soldiers assigned to Fort Irwin and the National Training Center in California. Both assessments measure a Soldier's physical fitness, competencies of critical skills, and overall combat readiness.
The evaluation started with 260 candidates in the field moving from station to station, first measuring physical fitness, day and night land navigation, then eventually to weapons, patrol, and medical lanes. Throughout the testing phase, R2 Performance Experts worked with small groups building confidence, conveying attention control, and applying energy management. Ultimately, 28 Soldiers finished the last station, the 12-mile road march. The week ended with 19 Soldiers earning their Expert Infantry Badge, and nine Soldiers earning their Expert Soldier Badge. Looking to earn your special skills badge? Schedule your R2 training here!
CBRN School Empowering Female Leaders
Female senior leadership of the Army’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri worked with R2 Performance Experts to conduct highly impactful and interactive training to bring out the best in themselves while mentoring those they lead.
Leaders divided into teams and participated in a “values bracket activity”. The exercise had individuals discuss their values and how they show up in their leadership style before voting on which ones should move up to the next bracket. Hearing how others viewed each value allowed participants to gain insight into how they could work together to foster those values in others. In addition to personal insights the bracket activity built camaraderie and team cohesion. Want to enhance your Army values? Schedule training at an R2 Performance Center now!
Lunch and Learn with Search and Rescue
Due to high turnover and the addition of new members to the Search and Rescue Civilian Team (SRCT) of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, a quick lunch and learn was scheduled with R2 Performance Experts. SRCT leadership wanted team members to develop stronger team cohesion and camaraderie.
Team members were paired together to execute an assessment called “Blind Drawing” in order to identify potential problems and barriers regarding communication. Pairs sat back-to-back, one partner was given a drawing and had to describe the image using only shapes and angles. The other partner would then try to replicate the image to the best of their ability. The pairs would then swap roles and afterwards, one team member would present their drawing to the entire group. In all cases, everyone’s picture looked different. This activity emphasized how messages can be interpreted differently by individuals and fostered a discussion on how improvements in communication can be made. Interested in team building activities like “Blind Drawing”? Schedule R2 training here.
Resilience Training with the Boston MEPS
To better understand how an individual’s thoughts, values, and beliefs impact the larger team’s culture, the Boston Military Entry Processing Station (MEPS) teamed up with R2 Performance Experts from Fort Drum, New York for team building training.
Training began with the resilience skill, “Activating Event, Thoughts and Consequences” (ATC). The training brought awareness of how an individual’s thoughts impact them not only emotionally and physically, but also affects their entire team. ATC highlights a different way of thinking about a situation to achieve the best possible outcome. Discussion moved on to “Detect Icebergs” where individuals identified and evaluated core beliefs or values that are driving their emotions and reactions. During a writing exercise, participants described how well their current team functioned. Afterwards, they described how they thought a great team should function. Lastly, during a “Stand and Divide” activity, participants in teams wrote a collective list of the values of a great team. The team picked three to five values and then presented them to the entire group and discussed their plan to implement them. The Boston MEPS felt this was one of the most engaging training sessions. Find your R2 Performance Center and engage now!
Improving Leadership with Strong Knights
To provide unit leaders the skills to create an environment of trust and motivation, R2 Performance Experts trained Soldiers during the 528th Hospital Center’s School of Strong Knights’ two-week team building program at Fort Bliss, Texas.
During the first week of training, Soldiers learned the importance of effective praise. Using techniques from the course, they practiced providing effective praise in a debrief of their battle buddy’s performance during unit physical training. The second week consisted of exercises focusing on psychological safety strategies to build trust and CAR (competence, autonomy, relatedness) to create a motivating environment. Want to sharpen your leadership skills? Contact your closest performance center now!
Military Police Learn to Destress
To better manage stress while on duty, the 252nd Military Police Company worked with Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri’s R2 Performance Center to learn deliberate breathing and self-talk techniques.
Two high-stress team activities were conducted, allowing Soldiers to practice what they’d learned. The first activity, “Nut Stacker”, focused on physical fatigue, finger dexterity, and mental focus. “Nut Stacker” consisted of using a stick to pick up metal nuts and stack them upon one another to build a tower while team members hold a plank position until it was their turn. The second, “Flip Cup”, focused on calibrated throwing, peer pressure, and time management. Team members had to form lines and take turn flipping a cup in a manner that it would land face down on a table. The first team to get everyone through won. Both activities helped participants handle internal stress in a productive and healthy manner. If you’re interested in managing your internal stress in a team environment, schedule your training here.
R2 Awareness at Fort Knox
The benefits of R2 training were demonstrated at Fort Knox, Kentucky as part of the Active Guard Reserve Integration Training (AGRIT) Knowledge Fair and during the Company Commander and First Sergeant Course (CCFSC) at the 83rd US Army Reserve Readiness Training Center (USARRTC).
To prepare Soldiers for the Master Resilience Trainer (MRT) program, Performance Experts led instruction during two events at the USARRTC. The first event, the AGRIT course, covered rights, roles, responsibilities, entitlements, services and benefits for the AGR Soldier and the units and Families they support. The second event, a block of training during the CCFSC, utilized the dice game ‘Stack Attack’ to exercise building mental strength, one of many skills needed as a Command Team. Missed these events or want similar training for your unit? Sign up to learn R2 skills here!
Team Building with Forward Support Company, 2-7 Infantry
To strengthen bonds, increase communication skills, and enhance unit cohesion after a recent personnel loss, the leadership of Forward Support Company (FSC), 2-7 Infantry reached out to Performance Experts from Fort Stewart, Georgia’s R2 Performance Center.
Master Resilience Trainers conducted three team building exercises to improve communication within the FSC. The training consisted of Soldiers sharing personal information to enhance trust, discussion on vulnerabilities, and effective communication when individuals are at a disadvantage. Soldiers learned how to have difficult conversations effectively and the unit commander testified that the team building was exactly what he was looking for. The unit not only learned valuable skills but had fun in the process.
R2 Training During the Iron Eagle Onboarding Program
Performance Experts taught Leadership Strategies and Prosocial Behavior courses at Fort Bliss, Texas during the Iron Eagle Onboarding Program. The holistic program provides foundational skills and resources to incoming Soldiers of the 1st Armored Division’s Combat Aviation Brigade.
The Leadership Strategies class focused on types of motivation using Self-Determination Theory, which encompasses three psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Discussions focused on leaders creating an environment where needs are met and how Soldiers motivate themselves. The second class included learning the three steps necessary to engage in Prosocial Behavior: awareness, responsibility, and planning. These skills and more will continue to be offered in future training programs; learn more here.
Expert Infantryman Badge Preparation with R2 Experts
Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) candidates from the Apache Company, 3rd Battalion 15th Infantry, Fort Stewart, Georgia trained with R2 Performance Experts to learn mental, physical, and psychological skills to improve EIB test scores.
The purpose of the EIB is to recognize Infantrymen’s individual proficiency in locating, closing with, and destroying the enemy. The R2 training focused on increasing confidence, enhancing concentration, and maintaining composure in high-stress situations. Strategies to enhance memory were also included due to the intense nature of memorization needed within the weapons, medical, and patrol lanes of the test. Lastly, candidates were instructed to assemble/disassemble various weapons systems under time constraints while incorporating energy management techniques to lower their stress response and continue to perform optimally while under pressure. The Apache Company Commander felt candidates benefited greatly and the training helped them grow from good to great Soldiers.
19th Surgical Detachment Trains in Mindset Skills
With the help of R2 Performance Experts, Soldiers from the 19th Surgical Detachment at Fort Stewart, Georgia learned ways to improve their professional and personal lives using mental skills exercises.
The Soldiers participated in a two-part mindset training session. The first part focused on the relationship between physical and mental fitness and the second was an in-depth discussion on self-awareness. Soldiers gained greater insight into how these skills affect their overall performance and additional training is scheduled to further unit enhancement.
Preparing for the Ranger Challenge at Fort Knox
R2 Performance Experts trained Cadets from the University of Louisville in preparation for the annual Reserve Officers Training Corps Ranger Challenge. The Challenge consists of a variety of military events focusing heavily on physical fitness.
During the R2 training, teams of six cadets each carried mannequins through a course designed to test both physical exertion and psychological exercises at various cognitive workstations along the route. Deliberate breathing, attention control, and managing sleep were among the many skills tested. R2 experts were praised for the real-world drills and Cadets felt better prepared for the Ranger Challenge and other future competitions. Sign up to challenge yourself here.
Mental Resilience Training with 127th Aviation Support Battalion
Soldiers with the 1-27th Aviation Support Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas used Physical Readiness and Sergeant’s Time Training (STT) sessions to focus on performance enhancement using mental resilience exercises such as a growth mindset and stress management.
Training sessions took place in the 1-27 ASB Motor Pool with the first two focused on a stress management technique called Hardiness. The three C’s of Hardiness: Commitment, Control, and Challenge (opportunity vs. threat) has proved to cushion the mental and physical impacts of stress. The third STT highlighted how performance is affected by awareness and application of a growth mindset. Schedule similar R2 training here.
New NCOs Take Leadership Enhancement Workshop
Fifteen new Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) from the 1-9 Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia recently participated in a leadership workshop.
As part of the Junior Leadership Academy initiative, R2 performance experts led the leadership workshop. The NCOs began by creating performance profiles, listing 10 characteristics of an effective leader, rating the overall importance for each characteristic, and rating themselves as to how effective they are in each one. The exercise led to in-depth discussions on effective and assertive communication and eventually, effective praise. These NCOs felt better equipped to lead their teams with their R2 training and will incorporate the newly learned skills as they assume leadership roles within the unit.
Improving Performance at Health and Wellness Camp
A 10-day Health and Wellness Camp was held at Fort Stewart, Georgia to help increase Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) scores. Due to the challenging nature of the ACFT, which measures physical performance in a high stress combat environment, R2 Performance Experts were invited to assist the New Hampshire Army National Guard in developing and executing the camp.
Soldiers participated in a modified Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS) questionnaire to measure the use of psychological skills and strategies during ACFT. After 10 days of R2 classes on mindfulness,energy management, and goal setting, Soldiers took the modified TOPS questionnaire again to see how effective the classes were. Thanks to the newly learned mental skills applied from their performance training, the TOPS scores increased from 3.05 to 3.37. Soldiers felt the Health and Wellness Camp was successful and feel more prepared for the ACFT due to the help of their R2 training.
Mental Skills Training at The Hammer
Fort Jackson’s senior Command Sergeant Major visited the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment during a challenging field training exercise named “The Hammer.” The event emphasizes basic fieldcraft and survival.
During an R2 training session, Soldiers learned critical mental skills such as growth mindset and internal motivation. Observing the training, Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier asked Soldiers questions regarding the mental skills materials, emphasized the importance of using R2 training to accomplish the mission, and recognized two Soldiers who answered the most questions correctly with a token of excellence. R2 training opportunities build better Soldiers and stronger units.
Strengthen Team Unity
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 91st Training Division focused on optimistic thinking and team building in preparation for a restructure of the Garden Grove, California unit. Two days of training, led by a Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Irwin, California allowed Soldiers to learn more about themselves and each other.
Divided into groups, Soldiers openly discussed their motivation and core values, the challenges of adversity, leading to feeling further connected with their battle buddies. Discussions on optimism and avoiding thinking traps (such as redirecting habitual thinking) allowed the group to learn growth mindset techniques and how to use their energy effectively. Soldiers emerged with a deeper appreciation for their teammates, the unit, and prepared to meet the challenge of the restructure.
Rakkasan Platoon Leaders Tested
Lieutenants from 1-187 Infantry participated in a mentally and physically challenging four-station, five-hour ruck march in preparation for a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC).
A Performance Expert from Fort Campbell’s R2PC designed and led the training in support of the unit’s Platoon Leader Academy. The training presented officers with a series of challenges focused on problem solving, effective communication, and energy management. Success in these areas equals success at JRTC.
While conducting the march, Platoon Leaders navigated through a series of challenging resilience exercises which tested their leadership abilities including:
Landmine Maze – “Clear Named Area of Interest (NAI)”
3-in-1 Cognitive Challenge Gauntlet – “Conduct Land Use (L/U) with 3-187 IN Platoon”
Heavy Traffic Jam – “Water Resupply Mission”
Leader Pentaminoes – “Establish Objective Rally Point (ORP)”
Leading a platoon through a JRTC rotation is a daunting challenge. Training with PEs helps Soldiers, leaders, and units meet and overcome challenges.
Team Building with the 418th Quartermaster Battalion
Working to develop cohesion, teamwork, and communication skills, Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 418th Quartermaster Battalion headquartered in Red Rock, Arizona, recently spent their monthly drill weekend training with a Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Irwin, California’s R2 Performance Center.
The training focused on unit cohesion, empathy, and effective communication with Soldiers using a combination of in-depth discussions, question and answer sessions, and videos to identify strategies for building better connections, whether at work or at home. Army Reserve and National Guard units can coordinate with their closest R2 Performance Center for customized performance and resilience training and education that enables Soldiers to sustain personal readiness, enhance resilience, optimize human performance, and build unit cohesion. Find your nearest R2PC here.
R2 Training with the Army eSports League of Legends Team
To achieve success, Electronic Sports, or eSports, competitors require many of the same skills needed in more traditional sports. Soldiers from the Army’s Esports League of Legends team recently concluded a six-month-long training program supported by the R2 Performance Center at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The program focused on enhancing team cohesion and improving their overall competitive performance.
League of Legends is a multi-player online game that requires players to build teams and communicate effectively. To improve the team’s performance, members received training on mental skills such as goal setting and mindset, along with several team building exercises. To help replicate their competitive environment, the sessions were conducted via Discord, a platform commonly used for communicating during online gaming. The team’s training included 24 match observations, 15 mastery sessions, and a one day in-person escape room exercise. Data from the program showed positive results, giving Army eSports Soldiers the skills needed for future success and victory.
Leadership and Values Ruck March
During a ruck march, Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion/160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, used performance enhancing exercises to focus on leadership and shared values to motivate each other both physically and psychologically.
Prior to heading out, a R2 Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center assisted Soldiers in developing a list of values. During the march Soldiers took turns leading and carrying the list. Having it inspired leaders to be more encouraging to others and motivated the group to finish at a faster pace. After the march was complete, reviewing the exercise led to further discussions on goal setting, internal motivation, and the importance of values for Soldiers and the unit.
Performance Experts led Soldiers through a series of mental skills exercises at the firing range allowing them to optimize their overall performance. Understanding the challenges in qualifying and using them as opportunities to improve and succeed assisted the Soldiers in attaining a 94% qualification rate.
Improving Passing Rates for the Sling Load Test
During the recent Light Fighter School Air Assault Course at Fort Drum, New York, Soldiers from across the 10th Mountain Division used enhancement techniques to focus on attention to details and identify deficiencies when completing the course’s sling load test.
A Master Resilient Trainer-Performance Expert from the Post’s R2 Performance Center led Soldiers through a series of classes focused on new techniques to identify deficiencies and detect shortcomings during an operation, the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act), and exercises on Imagery and Memory Hacks. The training assisted Soldiers in passing the course with a 90% graduation rate and earning their coveted Air Assault Wings.
All-Army Women’s Softball Team Practice Mental Training Skills
During recent practice sessions, coaches from the All-Army Women’s softball team recruited R2 Performance Experts to educate Soldiers on Deliberate Breathing, Cohesion, and Goal Setting amongst other mental training exercises at Fort Campbell.
Soldiers were taught mental skills in the classroom and during practice in preparation for the Armed Forces Softball Tournament. Learning to handle pressures from competition on the field and building a stronger team environment applies to the sport and Army life. Discussions on the value of culture and exercises on how to overcome the 5 dysfunctions of a team were key components of the training. The team was strengthened with new skills in developing trust, accountability, and team cohesion, and utilized them while winning a bronze medal at the Championship.
Secretary of the Army Observes Confidence Performance Course at Fort Jackson
During a recent visit to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth observed confidence performance and resilience training with Echo Company 3-13 Infantry.
A fanof R2 training, Secretary Wormuth watched as a Performance Expert led Soldiers through a series of classes to include Identifying the Four Sources of Confidence (personal experience, physical state, vicarious experience and persuasion), Training Performance Criteria, Identifying Their Why, and Deliberate Breathing. The Soldiers implemented what they’d learned to successfully complete the challenging confidence course, a significant milestone during Basic Combat Training.
Building Trust Prior to Deployment
Flying and maintaining AH-64 Apache Helicopters require a team effort. In preparation for deployment, leaders from Delta Company, 227th Aviation Battalion reached out to Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center to conduct team-building exercises.
During the company’s Leader Time Training, Soldiers completed physical and mental stations that focused on increasing trust, enhancing communication, and bolstering leadership development. After the stations were complete, Performance Experts from the center debriefed each group, discussing how their experience related to working together to accomplish their mission.
DENTAC Sinks Teeth into Resilience Training
Soldiers and Civilians from Fort Stewart’s Dental Command, or DENTAC, participated in a series of mental skills training opportunities aimed at improving team cohesion in the workplace.
Each dental clinic took part in two different training sessions. During the first session, Performance Experts (PEs) assigned to Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center introduced sport and performance psychology concepts and distributed the Multidimensional Assessment of Teamwork in Sports (MATS). The MATS questionnaire was used to gain clearer insight into the dimensions of each clinic allowing the PEs to tailor follow-up team cohesion workshops to fit the specific needs of each clinic. After scoring each individual questionnaire, a second training was delivered to each clinic focusing on specific areas of team improvement that could be positively impacted by the incorporation of mental performance enhancement skills. During the month-long series of workshops, the DENTAC teams engaged in a wide range of performance-specific discussions that both increased their team cohesion and ability to provide services to the Fort Stewart community.
3-8 CAV Tackles Obstacle Course
Troopers from Fort Hood’s 3-8 CAV Squadron completed a physically and mentally demanding obstacle course as part of the People First Focus Week, or PFFW. The week focuses on building cohesive teams through trust, standards, and accountability.
To complete the obstacle course, Troopers worked in teams to successfully navigate three stations that challenged them both physically and mentally. Unit leadership worked closely with Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Hood's R2 Performance Center to design the course. PEs observed the teams as they worked together to execute the task and debriefed the teams’ experience at the end. Completing the course reinforced the importance of teamwork and the idea that each member of the team is an asset that impacts unit readiness and lethality.
6th LOD Finds in Favor of Resilience
Over 200 Soldiers attending the 6th Legal Operations Department Annual Conference at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) participated in resilience training to strengthen their physical and mental wellbeing.
Based on feedback from last year’s conference, Performance Experts from JBLM’s R2 Performance Center led Soldiers through a series of classes and exercises that provided insights into how their thoughts affected their emotional and physical responses, how to effectively combat the negativity bias which affects ascertaining an accurate picture of events, and the basic neuroscience of the brain. Soldiers also learned how to use a deliberate thought process to focus on positive goal setting and prevent creating blind spots and focusing on the wrong goals.
PEs Support Cadet Summer Training
ROTC Cadets from around the country come to Fort Knox, Kentucky every summer to go through Cadet Summer Training, or CST, several weeks of rigorous exercises that challenges them both physically and mentally.
Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Knox’s R2 Performance Center, and PEs from other installations, work right alongside the Cadets providing vital skills training to assist them with successfully negotiating and completing each task. If the challenge is going off the rappel tower, PEs are there to provide tools for visualizing or talking through rappelling down the wall. ACFT at 0400? PEs are there providing insights on energy management and other skills to aid in passing the test. Whether the challenge is Land Navigation, dealing with CS gas, completing the confidence course, or excelling in a leadership position, PEs are providing support wherever and whenever Cadets are training.
Jumpmaster Candidates Learn Memorization Skills
Alaska-based paratroopers jumped at the chance to add mental performance skills to their kit bags in preparation for attending the rigorous Jumpmaster School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Performance Experts (PEs) from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s R2 Performance Center provided training on enhancing memorization, test and note-taking strategies to aid in increasing Soldiers’ ability to execute pre-jump commands from memory and to increase scores on the nomenclature and written exams. PEs also taught mental performance skills to address the high cognitive load and stress present during the Jumpmaster course.
Mental Fitness Course During PT and Collaboration with H2F Team
At 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, R2 collaborated with the Holistic Health and Fitness strength coaches to create a physical training plan, specifically incorporating two cognitive lanes to score and rank top performers among participating lieutenants.
R2 skills trained included attention control and energy management. The team was later invited to the unit’s “Saddle Call” and was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for its efforts and support in training the paratroopers. Directly following this training, the Commander and Performance Expert coordinated and planned additional R2 performance training sessions for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment.
Effective Communication = Crew Coordination
Effective communication is vital to the trust, teamwork, and crew coordination needed to fly Chinook helicopters. Soldiers of the 2/501st Aviation Battalion conducted team-building physical training led by Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Bliss’ R2 Performance Center aimed at enhancing these skills.
The PEs separated the unit into small teams to complete separate tasks that helped the entire unit solve a final puzzle. Each time a team completed a task successfully, they were given a clue needed to complete the final puzzle. The unit was given a time deadline to complete each task, acquire all clues, and communicate to solve the final puzzle together. Teams needed to rely on trust and communication that their battle buddies on separate teams were doing their part to enable the unit to successfully complete the mission.
Best Sappers Use Mental Skills to Win
The Best Sapper Competition is tough. It’s meant to be. It not only challenges the competing teams’ physical strength and tactical skillset, but also their mental toughness and resilience.
Based on the results of previous competitions, the 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion teamed up with Fort Campbell’s R2 Performance Center to provide skills training on deliberate breathing, control the controllables, teamwork/communication, and positive imagery. During the month prior to the competition, the battalion’s four teams integrated the skills training into their morning physical training regimen alternating physical and mental challenges. The results were impressive: the 2021 Fort Campbell Best Sapper winning team and three of the top 20 teams were all from the Bull-Strike Battalion.
Victory Starts Here
As part of Fort Jackson, South Carolina’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day (MSAD), the Post’s R2 Performance Center shared the services available to Family Members, specifically spouses.
Insights into available resources included: Academic Performance Training, Expectation Management, Mindsets, Team Building, Master Resilience Trainer Skills, Stress Management/Energy Management, other Performance Enhancement skills and training, and Engage. The MSAD, hosted by Fort Jackson’s Commanding General and Command Sergeant Major, emphasizes the importance of spouses, different types of marriages, and the roles and impact of spouses on military service.
Performance Skills are Range Qualified
To maximize weapons qualification success for Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) Soldiers, the commander asked the USARJ R2 Performance Center to provide Performance Skills training during recent M4 and M9 weapons qualification at Camp Fuji, Japan.
Soldiers were provided training in Energy Management, Building Confidence, and Attention Control. Sixty-eight Soldiers from other units including the 35th Combat Support and Sustainment Battalion, I-Corps Forward, USARJ Band, and members from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Bilateral Co-Operative Exchange Program also took advantage of the training leading to a day of successful weapons qualification ranges.
Effective Communication Help Saves Lives
Effective communication between personnel involved in a vehicle roll-over, whether in training or combat, can make the difference between life and death. Soldiers from the 78th Signal Battalion conducted training in the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT), which simulates conditions that occur during a vehicle roll-over.
Performance Experts (PEs) from U.S. Army Japan’s R2 Performance Center provided training on the importance of managing expectations, skills to maintain composure, the value of watching other groups execute the roll-over battle drills, and team communication. Groups that worked closely with the PEs were able to exit the vehicle in a timely, efficient manner, with zero injuries, highlighting the importance of communication skills in an emergency.
R2PC Supports U.S. – Japan Co-Op Exchange Program
The USARJ R2 Performance Center collaborated with the Strategic Effects Division of U.S. Army Japan to provide Leadership Training for 10 Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) Leaders participating in the Co-Op exchange program.
Class 100 of the Co-Op program received training on effective coaching, providing effective feedback, and motivation. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for JGSDF Officers and NCOs to improve bilateral relations, enhance English comprehension skills, learn about the U.S. Army and American culture, get familiarized with U.S. Army doctrine and techniques, and educate U.S. Army Japan NCOs and Officers about Japan and JGSDF. The long-running program is celebrating its 26th year.
USARJ Preps for ACFT
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) challenges Soldiers both physically and mentally. To assist Soldiers in succeeding on the ACFT, the leadership of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) reached out to their local R2 Performance Center (R2PC) for customized mental skills training.
R2PC Performance Experts taught Soldiers strategies to structure physical training (PT) to be more enjoyable, develop a growth mindset about physical training, and how to craft a mental game to distract themselves from counter-productive thoughts during challenging exercises including solving a combination lock puzzle while holding a plank. HHC USARJ plans to incorporate future iterations of the training with the company’s PT program to provide Soldiers both the physical and mental skills and toughness needed to not just pass but excel on the ACFT.
FSU Tackles Metacognitive Obstacle Course
In preparation for Cadet Summer Training (CST), 109 Florida State University ROTC Cadets completed a challenging metacognitive obstacle course created by Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PE) from Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC). The obstacle course included an introduction to mental skills training and five stations that included a physical task, as well as a more challenging mental task.
The course induced stress and frustration by adding additional rules and creating an atmosphere of ambiguity. After completing the course, the MRT-PEs led an in-depth debrief linking three topics, confidence, concentration, and composure, to the obstacles the Cadets endured. To enhance the lessons learned on the course, Cadets participated in classroom discussions on the Thought-Performance Connection: how to use thoughts more effectively and increase confidence, how to shift attention from distractions to targets by using cue-words, and techniques to increase or decrease energy activation based on any given performance, including priming emotions and deliberate breathing. These tools will enhance the Seminole Cadets ability to complete this summer’s CST.
Green Thumb Resilience and Purpose
With Spring in the air, Soldiers in Transition (STs) from Fort Bragg’s Soldier Readiness Unit (SRU), with help from the installation’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC), revived the SRU’s dormant Gardening Program. STs spent a day rebuilding two gardening beds and planting flowers and plants in the unit’s courtyard. STs will monitor and provide upkeep of the gardens and have plans to construct two more beds.
The program’s goals include instilling a sense of purpose and providing formal and informal opportunities to integrate skills on Goal Setting, Communication, Mindfulness, Energy, and Connection in an outdoor setting. Without a sense of purpose, STs can suffer from behavioral health issues or physical ailments that often prolong their recovery. Hands-on activities such as gardening can provide a much-needed sense of purpose and build resilience.
Going forward, a collaborative effort between the Fort Bragg R2PC, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, and the North Carolina State Agriculture Department will bring in Master Gardeners to provide lectures on gardening and growing plants to provide opportunities for ST’s who are hoping to make farming part of their life and career after transitioning from the Army.
Saddle Up! For Resilience
Fort Riley’s 1-4 CAV conducted a Spur Ride to build esprit de corps and resilience within squadron members. A long-standing tradition among U.S. Army Cavalry units going back to a time when they were horse-mounted, Spur Rides challenge Soldiers, known as Troopers in the CAV, to overcome a series of mental and physical challenges before they can earn their spurs.
The 1-4 CAV’s Chaplain reached out to the post’s R2 Performance Center to incorporate resilience and performance skills during the ride. Performance Experts from the center provided instruction and feedback as part of the Mental Challenge Lane. Troopers were trained on Energy Management, Attention Control, Stress Management, and Communications skills aimed at helping them meet the different challenges and earn their spurs.
Steel Dragons Excel with Performance Skills
As the M109 Paladin’s maneuvered into position and the Fire Direction Center (FDC) finalized the computations for a fire mission, Soldiers from Charlie Battery 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, utilized recently learned performance skills to prepare for this crucial mission. In preparation for the Battery’s Table XII Certifications, unit leadership requested skills training from Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC).
Soldiers learned techniques for Action Control, Energy Management, and Effective Communication. Each is vital to success during the highly fluid and dynamic training environment found during certification. Field Artillery units are required to shoot, move, and communicate on a continual basis and require clear and concise communication, particularly between the FDC and the gun line. A 24-hour mission, Table XII is intended to create a realistic, stressful training environment. Training from the R2PC on energy management allowed Soldiers to lower their anxiety and focus on their performance. When the call came down, “rounds complete,” the Steel Dragons of Charlie Battery were fully qualified and ready to perform their real-world mission.
Mental Skills Training Equal First Run Qualifications
“This is the first time in five years that all of Able Company had everyone qualify during their first run. seven total crews were distinguished, four crews shot superior, and one shot qualified,” according to Able’s commander Cpt. Zachary Ricketts. The foundation for April’s Gunnery success was laid month’s earlier when the company and platoon leadership reached out to Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC) to schedule training.
Tailoring the training for specific groups, Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert John Avritt delivered classes on Mental Skills, Goal Setting, Attention Control, and Mechanical and Motivational Cues. Transitioning from the classroom to the gunnery range, R2PC experts provided mini lessons on Deliberate Breathing, Imagery, and a review of Attention Control techniques. The results were impressive with every team qualifying on their first run and the Goons of 3rd Platoon scoring the highest average in the battalion; the only platoon to average distinguished. Third platoon bought-in to the skills training from the start and were rewarded for their focus. The 1-5 CAV commander Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong recognized the company’s efforts stating that they outperformed the other companies and that 3rd platoon stood out for their distinguished scores. Focused training that includes Mental and Performance Skills equals successful mission accomplishment.
SRU Band Rocks Mindfulness
Music filled the quad outside Fort Bragg’s Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) as Soldiers in the unit’s Music Wellness skills development program celebrated the culmination of the 8-week course with an open-air concert. In addition to teaching musical skills, the program incorporates Mindset training taught by Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts from the installation’s R2 Performance Center.
Classes on Imagery, Mindfulness, and Academic Performance skills supplemented the musical skills development. Several Soldiers developed a strong sense of connection with the band, with one mentioning that the course helped with reintegrating into working with a group, a goal his therapist had encouraged him to pursue, and another hoping to continue to perform with others after transitioning from the Army. The 6th iteration of the program is currently underway.
Deliberate Breathing, Communication Equals Success During Platoon Live Fire
Focusing on deliberate breathing techniques and communicating effectively helped the Soldiers of Alpha Troop, 2-7 CAV in successfully completing their platoon live fire exercises at Fort Hood. Identifying the stressful nature of the exercises, the Troop leadership requested on-site support from the installation’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC).
Prior to executing the event, Soldiers were given classes on communicating effectively, vital to success while conducting high-tempo operations. During the actual live fire, Soldiers were taught deliberate breathing techniques to bring their anxiety levels down, helping them to perform optimally and effectively. Troop leadership specifically highlighted the efforts of Fort Hood’s R2PC as an important component of the unit’s successful completion of the exercises and in for use in future operations.
More R2-Trained EIB Candidates Earn their Badge than Those Without
In support of the 1st BCT 101 ABN DIV (AASLT) Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) and Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) train-up, Embedded Performance Experts (EPEs) from Fort Campbell’s R2 Performance Center provided mental skills training including energy management, attention/refocus techniques, imagery, and segmenting a task into smaller chunks - to decrease anxiety associated with a graded event.
During previous EIB/ESB iterations, the unit leadership had identified that mental skills training plays a role in a Soldier’s success at EIB or ESB. Incorporating the mental skills provided by the EPEs, the Soldiers identified areas and EIB/ESB tasks that may require mental skills to be successful and were given the opportunity to practice the skills with specific tasks such as land navigation, and weapons disassemble/reassemble. Following testing, data demonstrated that R2-trained candidates had a higher pass rate than those without. Most notably, R2-trained E1-E4 EIB candidates were twice as likely to earn their badge than those without R2 training.
NTC Readiness Road to War Program Helps Iron Soldiers Prepare for Training
The National Training Center (NTC) Readiness Road to War Program provides leaders and Soldiers with mental and physical readiness skills in preparation for the high-intensity training conducted during a rotation to NTC. The program was developed in collaboration with Fort Bliss R2 Performance Center MRT-PEs, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade Holistic Health and Fitness, and the 3-6 CAV Command Team.
Over the three-day program, Soldiers alternate between a one-hour physical readiness training with H2F SCC or H2F AT and a one-hour mental readiness training with MRT-PE, H2F OT, or H2F RD. During Mindset and Energy Management sessions, Soldiers participate in physically active challenges centered around the day’s topic, followed by a brief lesson, discussion activity, and strategies to take away. An informational handout including topics and strategies from all three mental readiness trainings throughout the week is provided on the last day of training.
The Fort Leonard Wood Ready and Resilient Performance Center assisted the 795th Military Police Battalion with a company-wide team-building event that was executed at the conclusion of their 14-day controlled monitoring phase due to the pandemic.
The event, coined “Hammer Drop”, was designed to showcase military platforms and equipment in hopes of sparking excitement while building camaraderie. The “Corporate” helium stick team-building activity was developed with three target areas in mind. The first target area was designed to teach teamwork along with resilience and performance enhancement skills. The second and third target areas involved observing trainees executing the exercise while the drill sergeants involved observed trainee communication, self-awareness, mindsets and character strengths. This event served to motivate Soldiers, thus giving them something to look forward to as they exited isolation and commenced their BCT training.
Soldiers Develop Mental Skills for Special Ops
The R2 Performance Center at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii conducted performance training for 10 Soldiers preparing for Special Operations, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations Selection. SORB requested training to help Soldiers develop mental skills that will help them during preparation for selection at Fort Bragg for the different SORB specialty areas.
The Attention Control (Segmenting) skill was particularly emphasized because it is extremely effective for Soldiers to use during highly challenging physical activities of relatively long duration. Other R2 skills trained included deliberate breathing, proactive ATC, motivation, imagery, and mental cues.
Developing Mental Skills to Improve ACFT Results
1st Sgt. Stegman wanted to enhance his Soldiers’ Army Combat Fitness Test performance, so he worked with Ft. Drum’s R2 experts to set up a prep day with all 10 sections in the unit.
During the prep day, mental skills and techniques such as imagery (mind-body connection) and body awareness to help refine motor skills to lessen error range, were taught to help with the Deadlift and Standing Power Throw events of the AFCT. After skill application, a discussion took place about fighting against counterproductive attitudes how they can sabotage time and effort in the gym.
Team Building Through SOAR Training
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Scher, Battalion Commander of the 3-160th Special Operations Aviation Regimen, requested a team-building session with battalion officers combining the exploration of values while conducting challenging physical training.
Leaders were asked to identify six values, and while paired up with a partner, discuss their values while completing exercises at five various exercise stations. Once all stations in the circuit were completed, leaders were given strategies on how to maintain a strong team. Leaders walked away understanding the importance of developing stronger and more meaningful connections across companies to bring the battalion closer together as a high-performing team.
New Interactive Course Helps Leaders Enhance Counseling Skills
Leaders at Fort Sill were concerned about issues contributing to low morale and lapses in discipline in their units. Thus, they reached out to Master Resilience Trainers-Performance Experts to teach the Counseling Enhancement Course, an interactive training designed to enhance how leaders counsel and improve their overall relationships with their Soldiers.
The course includes learning fundamental counseling techniques, resilience skills, and practical activities that are based on the skills outlined in ATP 6-22.1. Participants are involved in scenario-based counseling sessions for each skill, encouraging practical application of concepts while receiving ongoing feedback, and improving their understanding of human behavior.
Ft. Benning Conducts Leader Development Course
Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts from the R2 Performance Center at Fort Benning, Ga. conducted a Leader Development Course that focused on performance enhancement skills.
Soldiers could use to enhance the way they coach, teach, and mentor those they lead. The R2 skills trained included: mindset, philosophy of excellence, authentic performances, motivation, goal setting, effective praise, attention control, cue words/phrases, WIN, AIR, building confidence, reinterpreting pressure, purposeful thinking, selective perception, energy management, sleep, deliberate breathing, control the controllables, and Engage.
Army Europe Soldiers Learn Resilience Training Assistant Skills
VILSECK, Germany — Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) Daren Koehler and Andrew Kantor, from the US Army Europe (USAREUR) Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Center at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, conducted Master Resilience.
Trainer Resilience Training Assistant (RTA) Certification training with Soldiers of the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade using a virtual platform. Students learned the theory behind the MRT skills, conducted a practical hands-on exercise, and discussed what would be expected of students as RTAs and ways they can incorporate the MRT skills to enhance their readiness and resilience. The MRT-PEs have also been training Soldiers from various locations across Europe.
R2 Training Improves Communication, Leadership Skills
FORT HOOD, Texas — Embedded Performance Experts (PEs) joined Soldiers during a Brigade training exercise, Pegasus Forge V, to help sharpen communication between teams, develop leadership skills and maintain motivation while out in the field.
Battalion training activities included challenging missions such as Bradley dismounts, route clearance, maintenance and security. PEs observed and provided on-the-spot feedback, effective communication strategies and guidance on the negative effects of stress. Before going on the mission, Bradley crews practiced identifying potential threats and communicating those potential threats to leadership. Soldiers learned how deliberate breathing can help them regain composure and how to restore effective communication with the crew, as well as ways that PEs can help them with future training exercises. The R2 skills trained included: communication, energy management, and imagery.
Warrior Transition Unit Learns to Boost Positivity, Well-Being
FORT HOOD, Texas— Soldiers, cadre, and civilian workforce members from the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) participated in a well-being initiative comprised of interactive workshops which began in November 2019. Performance Experts (PEs) from the R2 Performance Center taught attendees how to create and maintain healthy mental and physical habits, and effective life and coping skills.
The workshops help to support and accelerate the Soldiers’ recoveries and impact the effectiveness of their coping processes. Attendees reported feeling positive changes in their emotional states, saying they felt more determined, hopeful and optimistic following the training. The R2 skills trained included: motivation, goal setting (WOOP), fixed and growth mindsets, deliberate breathing, and cultivating gratitude (Hunt the Good Stuff).
Performance Enhancement Training Helps Tank Crews
FORT STEWART, Ga. — Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) provided classroom performance training to 12 tank crews participating in the 2ABCT, 3rd ID gunnery training. The MRT-PEs supported crew simulated gunnery exercises, preliminary gunnery training and provided support during the live-fire M1A1SA Crew Qualification.
The gunnery included tank crews from 3-15 IN and 6-8 CAV. This brigade-level training allowed for a comparison between tank companies with and without Performance Experts (PEs). While causality cannot be determined, the company utilizing PEs averaged 63 points higher than those without support. In addition, the company receiving performance training had a significantly higher first-time qualification rate at 66% as compared to the company without performance training at 44%.
MRTs Utilize Bowling for a Unique Team Building Opportunity
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The unit Master Resilience Trainers (MRTs) from 1st IO Command conducted monthly resilience training in a fun, creative way in conjunction with Master Resilience Trainer–Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) from the National Capital Region.
R2 Performance Center team. Fort Belvoir’s bowling center provided a unique opportunity to conduct a monthly training while instilling team building. The unit MRTs reviewed the resilience skills of Activating Event, Thoughts, Consequences (ATC), Real-Time Resilience (RTR), and Effective Praise and Energy Management. Soldiers were then divided into four teams where they competed against each other by lobbing counterproductive thoughts at other bowlers while themselves utilizing RTR to remain focused on their own bowling.
Team Building Exercises Help Soldiers Before the Holidays
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — R2 MRT-PEs at Camp Humphreys provided team building exercises to 70 Soldiers from 4th CBRN Company as a way to boost team dynamics prior to the holiday season; especially helpful for young Soldiers overseas for the first time.
Team tasks focused on trust, vulnerability, getting outside one’s comfort zone, belonging, coping with “uncontrollables,” and effective communication strategies. The company commander commented: "The exercises effectively addressed what first sergeant and I were looking to train: teamwork, espirit de corps, connectedness and leadership.”