1 March 2013
The United States Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign
The Ready and Resilient Campaign is a comprehensive plan to address the immediate and enduring needs of the Total Army including Active, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers, their Families, and Army Civilians. This Campaign guides the Army’s efforts to build and maintain resilience across the Total Army to improve unit readiness and further reinforce the Army Profession. The Ready and Resilient Campaign Execution Order (EXORD) will follow the Campaign Plan with specific tasks and details for the execution of the campaign. The success of the Ready and Resilient Campaign depends on commanders and leaders at all levels acting with unity of effort and emphasizing the campaign’s importance to sustaining Army readiness in the future.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign seeks to inculcate a cultural change in the Army by directly linking personal resilience to readiness and emphasizing the responsibility of personnel at all levels to build and maintain resilience. This campaign:
Changes the way the Army manages, organizes, and coordinates Army programs and services that affect Soldier, Family, and Civilian resilience. This begins with the creation of a governance structure at the Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA)-level and reaches down to installation/regional/state-level where Community Health Promotion Councils (CHPCs) coordinate and align efforts to handle complex issues. The CHPCs work to improve the effectiveness of the programs and services in order to ensure comprehensive care, including both preventive care and treatment, is available to the Total Force.
Incorporates resilience as a critical component of Soldier and unit readiness, by emphasizing the importance of physical, psychological, and emotional factors in determining comprehensive fitness, and by promoting a deliberate approach to building and sustaining resilience.
Emphasizes the responsibility of leaders at every level to build and maintain resilience and to improve unit readiness. Commanders and leaders promote resilience and readiness through the enforcement of high standards of professionalism and discipline within their formations. The campaign reinforces and empowers leaders at the first line supervisor-level, recognizes the significance of peer support, and highlights the role of the individual in building and sustaining personal resilience and readiness.
Creates a common understanding of resilience and its benefits, as well as the mindset required to make resilience an inseparable part of the Army’s professional culture.
1 March 2013
The United States Army remains engaged in the longest period of combat
operations in the Nation’s history with an all volunteer force. The unprecedented length
and the persistent nature of conflict during this period have tested the capabilities and
fortitude of our Soldiers and the Army as an institution. The Army has grown, changed
in structure, and worked at a high operational tempo that has allowed few opportunities
for our personnel to reset as they face everyday personal and professional challenges
amid combat deployments.
Just as the Army is responsible for preparing and equipping our Soldiers and
Civilians to face potential challenges to our national security while striving to improve
our people throughout their time in service, we are also responsible for caring for our
personnel and helping them to become stronger citizens when they transition out of the
military. Beyond that, the Nation and the Army are both committed to providing
effective assistance and support to our people recovering from wounds, injuries, and
illnesses associated with their service.
Numerous support programs and services currently exist for our Soldiers,
Families and Civilians, some of which are designed to increase resilience and are
preventive in nature, while others focus on providing assistance and support in reaction to
a particular incident or challenge. Some of these programs were developed during this
period of persistent conflict to address the stresses caused by multiple combat
deployments, shortened dwell times, strains from the uncertainty of personnel
drawdowns, tougher re-enlistment standards, and an increase in disability cases – all of
which has amplified incidents of high-risk, negative behaviors, and indiscipline among
Soldiers. While much good has come from these efforts, they are not fully synchronized
and their effectiveness requires further analysis. The lack of a comprehensive framework
in managing these programs contributes to the lack of unity of effort, resulting in
significant information gaps and uncoordinated services and care, and ultimately, less
Reviewing existing programs and further developing effective programs is an
absolute necessity for an institution that prides itself on taking care of its people.
Negative trends in suicides, suicidal ideations, suicide attempts, incidents of domestic
violence, sexual harassment and assault, drug and alcohol abuse, and bullying and hazing
among Soldiers have degraded overall unit readiness and morale, and threaten to
undermine the trust and confidence we maintain with the American people. We must
immediately address high-risk, negative behaviors within our ranks while continuing to
shape and improve existing Army programs and services to support the Army of the
future. Our focus must remain on building resilience in our people, increasing their
professionalism, and equipping them with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and support
they need to maintain strong mental, emotional, and physical health both on and off the
1 March 2013
The Total Army integrates and coordinates Army programs and services, focuses education and training, transforms its assessment of Soldier and Family fitness, and strengthens the Army Profession in order to increase resilience and improve unit readiness.
Readiness is the ability and willingness to perform an assigned task or mission. The U.S. Army creates and maintains individual and unit readiness by training and preparing our Soldiers and Civilians to deliver exceptional warfighting capabilities around the world. We do this by recruiting and selecting the best candidates and inducting them into the Army Profession, instilling high ethical standards and the Army Values. We prepare them for success by providing them quality training and leadership, and equipping them with unmatched capabilities in order to prevent conflict, shape the security environment, and win our Nation’s wars. We maintain the health of the force by providing quality, comprehensive support and care for our Soldiers, Families, and Civilians.
As an institution, the Army balances the readiness requirements of near-term operational demands with the need to prepare and ready the force for future challenges and adversaries. Traditionally, commanders and leaders have focused on quantifiable metrics in the Unit Status Report (USR) to measure levels of personnel assigned, equipment authorized, and training status of specific tasks, relying on metrics of trained or untrained to articulate a unit’s readiness. These metrics quantify numbers on hand and the technical and tactical proficiency of the unit, but they fail to account for a key component of the health and discipline of a unit when assessing readiness – resilience.
Resilience is the mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, learn, and grow from temporary setbacks. Resilience is produced by a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics found in individuals and groups that are either innate or can be taught and improved through education and training. Soldiers and Civilians enter the Army with existing personal characteristics shaped by past experiences and influenced by sources of strength that may be found in our families, personal relationships, spiritual groundings, or emotional maturity. These foundational sources of strength profoundly affect our perspectives and attitudes when dealing with challenges and adversity, and they also provide us a way to recharge and replenish our resilience when it becomes diminished through constant or persistent challenges and setbacks. People with confidence in their ability to bounce back and recover from adversity, either from training or through experience, are more likely to view challenges as opportunities to grow and succeed. This positive perspective and willingness to overcome obstacles is indicative of the quality of resilience.
1 March 2013
Families and Civilians face challenges and stresses similar to those faced by Soldiers. Their sacrifices and their continued support to Soldiers demonstrates their remarkable strength and resilience, but the stress of more than decade of combat has taken its toll on our Families and Civilians – a reminder that our national security comes at a cost shared by the Total Army. A vital strength of the All Volunteer Force continues to be our Families who provide foundational sources of resilience for our Soldiers. Soldiers are less prepared and ready to cope with the additional challenges associated with the Army Profession when their Families are affected by stressors and high-risk behaviors. Likewise, our Civilians play a crucial role in supporting Soldiers and Families. When they are affected by setbacks, the Army as an institution suffers. Resilience is required across the Total Army in order for Soldiers to remain ready to perform their missions both on and off the battlefield.
The Army as an institution aims to strengthen individual resilience and enhance personal performance. The Army’s Performance Triad of activity, nutrition, and sleep promotes enhanced performance for the Total Army Family. Improvements in individual resilience and performance increase the capabilities and the readiness of collective groups and units, and the Army as a whole. We owe much of our resilience to the training and activities we conduct on a regular basis – robust unit physical fitness programs, intramural sports, specialty schools, field training exercises, deployments, and operations. These experiences build the physical and psychological strengths of individuals, enhance leader abilities, and improve the readiness of units and organizations. Army resilience programs and services like the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) Program also provide us with information to enhance our ability to cope with the stresses of everyday life. Resilience is built and maintained through a range of activities and support that provide education, awareness, and skill-building techniques designed to empower individuals.
While training and education are key elements to preparing our people for stress and challenges, these efforts alone are not sufficient. Army health promotion efforts integrate prevention and public health practices to ensure health, safety, and well-being are part of the way the Army does business. Screening, treatment, and intervention efforts must also be incorporated to provide a comprehensive approach to supporting the Soldier and building resilience. As the campaign progresses, Commanders will track and report refined resilience metrics in their monthly Unit Status Reports, allowing both the leader and the Army to track improvements derived from the campaign.
The purpose of the Ready and Resilient Campaign is to establish an enduring cultural change that integrates resilience into how we build, strengthen, maintain, and assess total Soldier and Family health and fitness, individual performance, and unit readiness. The campaign is inclusive of the Total Army – Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers, Families, and Army Civilians, with priorities directed at improving Soldier resilience and unit readiness.
1 March 2013
The campaign continues to provide care and assistance to our wounded, injured, and ill, reverses negative trends in high-risk behaviors and lapses in discipline, and reduces the population of Soldiers not available for deployment. The campaign also directs the refinement of the governance, policies, and coordination of proven programs and services that enable the chain of command to effectively manage readiness and resilience. In strengthening the Army Profession, improving unit readiness, and increasing Soldier resilience, we maintain the trust and confidence of our Soldiers, Families, Civilians, and the American people.
Preserving existing efforts and initiatives that are effectively creating resilience is imperative. These best practices should, to the greatest extent possible, be standardized across the Total Army in order to provide quality support for every component, and to ensure additional challenges faced by our Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers, Families, and Civilians are recognized and addressed.
The four key tasks the Army must accomplish to achieve the campaign’s proposed endstate are:
1. Structure policies, systems, resources, and processes to provide effective physical, psychological and emotional resilience support to Soldiers, Families, and Civilians,
2. Integrate resilience support across the spectrum of recruitment, training, development, and transition,
3. Strengthen the Army Profession and promote trust between the Soldier, leader, and the Army,
4. Communicate the campaign to leaders, Soldiers, Families, Civilians, and external audiences.
The endstate for the campaign is achieved when the Army’s culture has embraced resilience as part of our profession and as a key and critical component to readiness. Leaders, Soldiers, Families, and Civilians receive quality assistance through the coordinated efforts of Army programs and services, thus reinforcing a command climate of trust, mutual respect, and self-discipline. Soldiers enter the Army strong and become stronger during their service, and the campaign’s efforts are incorporated into the Army Campaign Plan’s processes and management activities producing enduring change for the institution. Ultimately, the Army maintains its capability to rapidly deploy and sustain ready and resilient forces to prevent conflict, shape the security environment, and win the Nation’s wars.
The challenge of synchronizing and coordinating efforts to build and maintain resilience in our people while changing our culture requires a focused unity of effort toward an achievable, desired endstate. In the near-term, our progress must be demonstrated by reductions in high-risk behaviors, successful interventions in potential
1 March 2013
suicides, greater respect among fellow Soldiers, Families, and Civilians, and a decrease of Soldiers in non-deployable status.
To focus work toward the desired endstate, the campaign includes four mutually supporting lines of effort (LOEs):
LOE#1 - Refine Policies and Prioritize Resources to Improve Soldier Resilience
LOE#2 - Build and Maintain Resilience and Readiness in Soldiers and units.
LOE#3 - Strengthen Army Professionals
LOE#4 – Communicate/Lead the Change
The follow-on Ready and Resilient Campaign Execution Order (EXORD) will provide detailed and specific tasks to organizations and directorates responsible for each line of effort and the achievement of their associated objectives.
To prioritize efforts, the campaign is organized in three phases to focus on immediate objectives first and to arrange efforts for mid and long-term objectives. Campaign phasing is based on concurrent progress along each line of effort, allowing efforts to move to a subsequent phase and objective without causing delays in other lines of effort. It is possible that we are still completing tasks in Phase I along one of the four lines of effort, while we progress to Phase II along the other lines of effort progress.
Phase I, Immediate Actions, begins with the issuance of the campaign plan and focuses on the near-term objectives necessary to reverse negative trends, promote leader involvement, and reinforce current Army efforts to build resilience. Phase I tasks are detailed and specific to allow responsible organizations and leaders to take action immediately.
Key to Phase I and the overall campaign’s success is developing and implementing a governance plan and management structure for resilience programs and services at our installation and HQDA Staff levels where prioritization and resourcing take place, and immediately addressing short-term challenges. The numerous programs and services presently available must coordinate their activities, synchronize their efforts, and adapt to provide effective training and quality care for Soldiers, Families, and Civilians.
The integration and effective networking of programs and systems must also occur at the installation/regional/state level. At this level, the resourcing, coordination, and synchronization of installation and off-installation elements provides effective support to Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. The Army must ensure we remain good stewards of our available resources while finding the best way to provide resilience support through education, training, and treatment to the Total Army.
1 March 2013
Determining how these programs support Army needs is essential to ensuring we have the right prevention and intervention services targeted to the right populations. There is a need to transition many of these programs from an output-based assessment, for example, the number of Soldiers seen for appointments, to a more outcomes-focused assessment that demonstrates a program’s effectiveness in meeting Army goals and supporting the needs of Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. The current focus of these programs must also broaden from intervention and treatment to encompass preventive and life-skills education, providing our people with the tools needed to address personal life issues before incidents occur.
Some commanders have taken on this challenge and created organizations to better coordinate and synchronize efforts on cross-cutting issues. Other leaders at the unit level face the task of coordinating and synchronizing the capabilities of multiple programs and services after a complex incident has occurred. There is a need to provide a standardized and coordinated effort across programs from the Department of the Army level through the installation, regional, and state-levels to assist Soldiers, Families, Civilians, and their leaders in closing gaps and ensuring the needs of the Total Army are met. Programs and services must continue to support our personnel during transition, with improvements to the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) and the integration of Soldier for Life opportunities.
Formal and informal support systems outside of the Army also contribute to the overall health and resilience of Soldiers; however, these have the potential to complicate a leader’s efforts to gain full visibility of an issue or problem. Assistance may be sought through family members or close friends, community help centers or private care provided through employer benefits for Reserve and National Guard members. Leaders must be familiar with and encourage these other support systems while maintaining an environment of trust with their Soldiers and Civilians that enables open communication and continued situational awareness.
The Community Health Promotion Council (CHPC) provides a fusion capability to work cross-cutting issues, provide complimentary and enabling support, and to present Senior Commanders, Installations, Army Commands, and Headquarters, Department of the Army with a common operating picture of readiness indicators and trends. The CHPC is responsible for bringing program leaders together to achieve coherent results. The CHPCs also identify and share best practices to improve the campaign, its governance, services provided, and ultimately, readiness across the Total Army.
Phase I activities include full implementation of the Army’s existing Global Assessment Tool (GAT) in order to demonstrate the benefits of resilience education, training, and support to the individual Soldier and Civilian. Commanders and leaders at every echelon must be aware of existing programs and services like Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) training and must deliberately integrate resilience into formal home-station and deployment training requirements in Phase I. Key to this effort is the identification of and direction for quality training that focuses on preventive and proactive engagement with Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. Training tasks must be
1 March 2013
standardized and reporting requirements established and communicated to the Total Force in Phase I. Resilience training guided by legal, moral, and ethical standards is intended to span the Soldier and Army Civilian lifecycles, beginning with their recruitment and reaching beyond transition or retirement.
Phase I also includes the development of an echeloned series of Commander Dashboards to allow leaders to see trends and outcomes affected by community ready and resilience efforts. Additionally, methods of capturing and communicating best practices in resilience training must accompany training development to ensure training improves and remains relevant.
Immediate actions in Phase I result in Soldiers, Families, and Civilians experiencing active leader involvement and the reinforcement of Army standards and discipline across the formation. First line supervisors are charged with remaining directly engaged with the Soldiers and Civilians placed under their care and leadership, and indirectly with their Soldier’s Families. These leaders must be empowered, supported, and held accountable. This will require additional education, training, and coaching for junior leaders, and the institutions and schools must promote engaged and active leadership across the ranks, but specifically in our junior noncommissioned officer and Army Civilian education.
Phase I objectives also include a comprehensive understanding of and broad support for the Ready and Resilient Campaign across the Total Army and with external audiences as well. This requires a clear appreciation of Soldier resilience and the intent for the campaign plan. Communicating the significance of the campaign to our present cohort of leaders and gaining their support is critical to the campaign’s success and will require a different approach from the one employed with our junior Soldiers and new Civilians. Support from external audiences, including Congress, state representatives, state agencies, and community partners is key to securing long-term support for the campaign’s efforts and will require senior Army leader targeted engagements.
Phase II, Change the Force, begins upon completion of all Phase I tasks but no later than 31 March 2014. This Phase encompasses the activities to restructure Army systems and processes and incorporate resilience in our holistic assessment of Soldiers and unit readiness. Tasks at the beginning of Phase II may be detailed and specific, however, required actions later in this phase are necessarily broader in scope, allowing for actions taken in Phase I and early in Phase II to produce results and inform our subsequent actions later in Phase II and in Phase III.
Resilience-focused metrics for programs and individuals are refined and implemented in Phase II, allowing initial data and leader feedback to refine and improve resilience outcomes. These metrics must be objective and measurable, and permit commanders to make informed decisions. This will also assist Army efforts to attract, assess, recruit, train, and retain resilient Soldiers. The constant flow of information and feedback across levels from HQDA down through the installation/regional-levels to first-line supervisors allows resilience metrics and their uses to be continually refined. Phase I
1 March 2013
and Phase II actions, research, and analyses will continue to inform additional policy and program decisions.
The Army begins its efforts to secure resourcing and support for our long-term resilience and readiness efforts in Phase I, but completes the task in Phase II. Efforts along all lines of effort and their associated outcomes demonstrate the Army’s commitment to resilience and enable senior leadership to gain support and funding for resilience programs and services directed at Soldier resilience and unit readiness. Ready and Resilient efforts are integrated into Army strategy documents, funding processes, and the Army Campaign Plan in Phase II.
Phase III, Sustain, focuses the Army’s efforts to ensure resilience support to Soldiers, Families, and Civilians is continually reassessed and improved and that the Army’s cultural change is enduring. This Phase begins upon completion of all Phase I and II tasks but no later than 1 June 2015. Tasks in Phase III remain conceptual given the dynamic nature of the environment and the need to assess the campaign’s progress over time. Phase III continues the improvement of programs, services, and proactive training for resilience and promotes leader and Soldier acceptance of resilience as a desired strength and a key component in unit readiness. Research and analysis of actions in Phase III continues to drive refinement of the campaign. In Phase III, the Army must demonstrate its continued commitment to building Soldier, Family, and Civilian resilience. The continuing nature of Phase III reveals the need to continually reassess the campaign’s progress and to remain steadfast in our commitment to caring for our most precious resource – our people.
At the HQDA-level, the Director, Human Resources Policy Directorate (HRPD) provides daily management for the Ready and Resilient Campaign, within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1. The Director organizes, manages and synchronizes the campaign and its associated lines of effort as a comprehensive and integrated process to achieve the desired campaign end state. The HRPD is charged with implementing the campaign plan, conducting activities to assess programs and functions and making recommendations to ensure appropriate resources for competing Ready and Resilient requirements.
To manage and execute the functional element of the campaign plan, the Director, HPRD will organize to support the Ready and Resilient Campaign with dedicated personnel for policy, monitoring, and oversight and update Army senior leadership as required. The Army G-1 is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the activities of, and setting the agenda for, the HRPD.
The campaign repurposes the present Health Promotion Risk Reduction (HP/RR) Council activities and forums at the HQDA-level. The Army Ready and Resilient Plans and Operations Governance Group (R2POG), Council (R2POC), and Huddle (R2POH) serve as senior level collaborative forums that promote cross-functional, Ready and Resilient related coordination among senior officials making recommendations on
1 March 2013
improving readiness and resilience, promoting health, and reducing risk. At the top echelon, the Huddle will be co-chaired by the Under Secretary of the Army and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. The Huddle will provide quarterly updates and present decision briefs to the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army as required.
Army Commands (ACOMs), Army Service Component Commands (ASCCs), and Direct Reporting Units (DRUs) are responsible for consolidating feedback from the command/installation/regional/state-level and for tracking and analyzing trends. These commands also provide valuable feedback to the HQDA-level on issues with the implementation of Ready and Resilient policies, current trending, and recommendations on the prioritization and resourcing for high-demand programs and services. This echelon also provides policy guidance and reporting requirements to installation/regional-level Community Health Promotion Councils (CHPCs).
The Ready and Resilient Campaign at the installation/regional-level is the Senior Commander’s program and campaign activities are synchronized and assessed through the Senior Commander Community Health Promotion Council (CHPC) with representation from all installation/regional/state service providers and tenant organizations/units commanders. The CHPC is chaired by the Senior Commander or designated representative. Garrison/Regional Commanders and Medical Treatment Facility Commanders work with the CHPC to organize efforts to address cross-cutting issues for the community and to integrate proactive measures. The council also provides feedback on policy implementation issues, current trends at the installation/regional/state-level, and recommendations for adjustments to priorities and resourcing. The council is also a forum to present best practices to be shared across the community and the Total Army. Council members serve as subject matter experts within their program or service, and must be empowered by their organizations to collaborate with other stakeholders to solve complex issues. Regular council meetings at the installation/regional/state-level must include unit commander participation in order to solicit leader feedback, share trend analyses, and to emphasize updates and changes to campaign policy, governance structure, and reporting processes.
The key figure to ensure Ready and Resilient efforts are integrated, synchronized, and focused on outcomes is the Community Health Promotion Council Coordinator (CHPC-C). This full-time Coordinator is responsible for working with the Garrison/Regional Commanders and Medical Commander to build consensus among stakeholders, ensure the coordination of complementary efforts across integrated programs and services, and advise the Senior Commander on health and resilience campaign issues. The CHPC-C organizes the CHPC, standardizes reporting, and analyzes trends across programs and services. The Senior Commander determines the CPHC Coordinator’s positioning and reporting chain in order to best facilitate the execution of Ready and Resilient Campaign efforts.
Councils provide Senior Commanders and higher echelons with updates and trending data through the Ready and Resilient Dashboard. The dashboard consolidates and balances information at the installation/regional/state-level and allows Senior
1 March 2013
Commanders to visualize and assess the overall health of their units and trends in resilience issues. Dashboards are reported to the ACOM, ASCC, DRU, Regional-level, where they are consolidated with other reports to determine trends across commands and regions. The dashboard ensures that the campaign’s lines of effort are continually refined and resources are directed toward priority efforts. The Dashboard will require some modification for Army Reserve and National Guard Commanders to account for gaps in information related to community based support and local community resources that assist in producing resilience. The Ready and Resilient Campaign Director will coordinate with the USAR and ARNG to ensure the Ready and Resilient Campaign is integrated into their existing community-based support programs and to develop appropriate reporting mechanisms.
At HQDA, the dashboard information is used to build knowledge of existing trends at each level and across the Total Army. All levels of governance are required to measure the progress of campaign lines of effort and the effectiveness of programs and services at each level. Data must be collected and analyzed, but just as important, the information must be acted upon to improve the campaign. The recording and analyzing of data to improve our ability to see our people in a holistic way and provide them coordinated care must be balanced with the need to preserve the rights of the individual in consideration of potentially sensitive, personal medical and treatment information. Commanders and health providers must continue to work together to maintain this balance.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign seeks to create a change in how the Army currently defines readiness and total Soldier fitness. This will require changes in the way the Army recruits, assesses, trains, and develops its Soldiers and Civilians in the future. These collective changes will contribute to an Army culture where Soldiers and Civilians are viewed holistically and readiness is assessed in a comprehensive manner.
Intuitive leaders understand the value of viewing their people in a holistic way. They understand the stress of persistent conflict and multiple deployments demand sustained resilience from members of the Army Profession. They realize that Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scores, weapon qualification scores, and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) proficiencies are no longer adequate measures to fully assess Soldier readiness. Leaders must see their Soldiers and Civilians through the lens of resilience, understanding whether their people are mentally and emotionally prepared and ready to conduct their assigned mission. The aim is to make this consideration deliberate in nature.
Despite efforts to reduce stigma associated with seeking help for behavioral health issues, there still exists latent tendencies to view seeking behavioral health care as weakness. Leaders at all levels must continue to resist this culture by associating help-seeking behavior with strength-seeking behavior and by embracing the benefits of increased individual resilience. Unit attitudes must evolve to accept resiliency as
1 March 2013
important to readiness as physical strength and physical health. Commanders and leaders at all levels should demonstrate a balanced work-life strategy for their Soldiers and Civilians and recognize the importance of balance in building and maintaining our foundational sources of resilience.
Cultural changes are often indicated by shared terminology or common vocabulary to express new concepts and ideas. As the Army continues to focus on building resilience, our culture will reflect these changes in new vocabulary that adds depth to the ways we already discuss the psychological aspects of Soldiering in terms of “mental toughness” or “emotional stamina.” As the Ready and Resilient Campaign progresses and our lexicon develops, leaders, Soldiers, Family members, and Civilians will develop a common understanding of the campaign and will be able to more effectively communicate the benefits.
Change is difficult for large institutions such as the Army. Ongoing contingency operations will continue to place demands on the formation, and fiscal realities will require us to promote resilience and increase our readiness with finite resources. It is important to maintain a mission first mindset while remaining good stewards as we take care of our people
The Role of Leadership
Leaders demonstrate and promote resilience by setting the example, encouraging help-seeking behavior, and by remaining actively engaged with their Soldiers, Families, and Civilians. Our leaders must first reflect on and understand their own levels of resilience, and then learn how to assess and build resilience in their people. We know leaders foster an environment of trust and respect when they demonstrate genuine care for their subordinates and exemplify the Army Values. An environment of mutual trust and respect is required in order to promote and preserve the benefits of resilience education and training.
Over the past decade of war, our focus on preparing units for combat operations, short dwell times, and personnel turnover have allowed our leader skills in the garrison environment to atrophy. Our junior leaders must be capable of conducting monthly performance counseling, using leader books, and conducting in-ranks and barracks inspections, all of which are necessary skills for engaged leadership capable of enforcing Army standards and discipline. First-line supervisors must know how to talk to their people about personal challenges and adversity, and also know how their people individually respond to adverse situations. Armed with this knowledge, leaders can recognize the signs and symptoms of behavioral change. The Army’s Soldier Leader Risk Reduction Tool (SLRRT) can be used to begin this level of discussion and trust building with Soldiers.
This active, face-to-face leadership is essential if leaders are to truly know their Soldiers and if those Soldiers are to fully trust their leaders and feel confident enough to report breaches of professional conduct. Modern technology has enabled connectivity,
1 March 2013
but, in some ways, has the potential to reduce personal interaction between Soldiers and their leaders. Social media, texting, and emails can be helpful when used as tools to connect with others, but cannot replace the understanding, trust, and respect of the leader-led relationship. Impersonal contact and a sense of isolation can compound Soldier stresses and undermine sources of support and resilience such as family relations and social friendships. These conditions are more challenging within our Reserve and National Guard units where first-line supervisors may only see their Soldiers once a month.
Leaders can operationalize resilience through education, training, and activities such as comprehensive fitness programs including robust physical fitness standards, demanding Soldier field training, work-life initiatives, and team and Family building events. Soldiers will not embrace training that is merely theoretical and classroom-based; they require relevant and practical training they see as empowering, improving their strength, and enhancing their personal health and performance. Our recruiters and initial entry instructors must select and screen for resilience and be able to create a solid foundation for our Soldiers and Civilians.
Commanders and leaders at all levels enforce Army Values and the standards of the Army Profession and they are responsible for enforcing the Army’s standards pertaining to the ethical treatment of others. Sponsorship and integration of new Soldiers, Families, and Civilians arriving to new assignments facilitates a smooth transition and effectively integrates them into our formations, workplaces, and communities. Supporting Soldiers, Families, and Civilians during their transition between components, installations, or units, requires a positive handover between losing and gaining organizations, and as they transition from the Army to civilian life.
Leadership plays a major role in building resilience and sustained unit readiness; likewise, peer relationships can provide important sources of support. Peer relationships are more likely to reveal problems or concerns before leaders have a chance to recognize warning signs. All personnel should act as responsible peers and utilize the education, training, assistance, and treatment provided by Army programs and services focused on improving the resilience of Soldiers, Families, and Civilians.
Risks to the Campaign
Risks to the campaign include an abortive start to resilience training resulting from lack of understanding or support by commanders and leaders. Our new Soldiers and Civilians entering the service will receive initial resilience education and training that could be stifled or negated upon encountering an organizational environment unsupportive of the campaign’s efforts. Building resilience in our Families and Civilians may also be challenged by the strictly voluntary nature of this kind of engagement.
Other risks to the campaign include unintended consequences and erroneous perceptions about the purpose for the Ready and Resilient Campaign. Our efforts to measure, screen, and evaluate Soldiers and Civilians based on metrics not yet fully
1 March 2013
developed and uniformly applied could result in unintended consequences for individual Soldiers and Civilians. Misperceptions about the goals of the campaign could include, for example, the perception that the Army is using resilience metrics to discharge specific Soldiers in order to reduce our numbers of personnel suffering from post traumatic stress. As the campaign is refined, we must continue to balance our efforts to find effective and efficient ways to build resilience with an eye toward implications for both the individual and the Army.
Ready and Resilient for the Future
The Army of the future will continue to require tactically proficient Soldiers and highly adaptive problem solvers capable of overcoming challenges and making decisions with strategic consequences in ambiguous situations. Future Soldiers will have more information, capabilities, communications, and firepower at their disposal and will be largely dispersed from fellow Soldiers and direct leadership. These capabilities and the environment must be matched with the intellect, temperament, and resilience skills to confront these challenges and prevail. Determining the optimal way to build and maintain resilience in our Soldiers and Civilians for this purpose is imperative.
The Army will continue to refine training, doctrine, processes, and incorporate resilience as a key component of total Soldier fitness and overall unit readiness. Continuing research in the area of neuroscience that will help us learn about the process of decision making will increase our understanding of how the mind works and provide opportunities for new approaches for building resilience. Improved methods of analyzing data will help to identify resilience trends and highlight the attributes desired in our Soldiers and future recruits. Science will improve our understanding of resilience and assist us in determining best practices for developing and maintaining resilience, but it cannot, by itself, create or sustain resilience. The building and maintenance of resilience and readiness remains more art than science, grounded by trust built through peer relationships, support networks, and active leadership.
The Ready and Resilient Campaign creates the conditions for a broad cultural change within the Total Army that recognizes resilience as a key component of sustained readiness and improved individual and unit performance. The campaign is comprehensive in addressing near-term issues of effectively organizing resilience programs and services from HQDA through ACOMS, ASCC and DRU command/ installation/regional/state-level, down to the unit/organizational-level where leaders and individuals use these services. This synchronized approach will meet the needs of our Soldiers, Families, and Civilians and address the need to reinforce professional discipline and standards.
Active leader involvement and unity of effort across programs and services with refined authorities and responsibilities combine to effectively strengthen and enhance the performance of our Soldiers on and off the battlefield. The campaign also addresses the
1 March 2013
long-term needs of the Army by establishing systems and processes to continually refine the campaign and its lines of effort.
Our efforts are focused toward building stronger and more resilient Soldiers, Families, and Civilians and enhancing individual and unit readiness now and in the future. The Army will continue preparing and equipping our Soldiers to adapt and meet potential challenges to our national security and continue to improve our people throughout their time in service and beyond.
Welcome to the Official Facebook page of Community Health Promotion at Ft. Bliss! Visit often for the latest happenings related to Health Promotion.