A new installation course covering teambuilding and resiliency skills produced its first crop of graduates Sept. 3 on the Ordnance Campus.
Twenty-four Soldiers earned level 1 certifications and additional skill identifiers as a result of completing the 80-hour Master Resilience Trainer Course taught at the Ordnance Resiliency Training Center.
In the past, local troops traveled to other installations to undergo the training intended to improve individual performance and that of the graduate’s sphere of influence. Sgt. 1st Class Korento G. Leverette, CASCOM Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program Manager, said the MRTC will pay dividends now and well into the future.
“This is a great asset to Fort Lee,” he said. “We were sending Soldiers out to different locations for training, which was costly. Having the training here saves time and money.”
The Master Resilience Training concept was born around 2011, and emerged out of a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center. Using a “train-the-trainer” approach, it is designed to reduce behavioral health problems amongst the rank and file through courses of study emphasizing resiliency and performance-enhancing skills such as goal-setting, energy management, problem-solving and effective communication.
MRT ties together a wide variety of skills Soldiers need – on personal and professional levels – to effectively navigate the trials and tribulations of military service as well as to thrive in any endeavor, according to Leverette.
“In my career, this is one of the best courses I’ve taken,” said the 20-year Soldier. “One of my course suggestions upon graduation was that each and every Soldier should undergo level 1 training. It’s a great course.”
The odds Soldiers will find themselves in crisis or high-stress situations are great due to the nature of military service, Leverette observed. MRT introduces coping techniques that prevent or mitigate problems as Soldiers go about their duties and personal lives.
“No matter the MOS or duty location, we all have stresses that are either work-related or personal,” he said. “This class really deep dives into skills that can help you get through those hardship moments.”
MRT is a component of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, which is “designed to build resilience and enhance performance of the Army Family – Soldiers, their families, and Army Civilians,” according to its website. Additionally, it provides hands-on training and other tools to help constituents deal with various challenges. Services are offered through the R2 Performance Center.
Prior to MRTC establishment here, Fort Lee-assigned Soldiers typically attended classes at nearby Joint Base Langley-Eustis or through mobile training teams at other installations, said Alli May, Ready and Resilient Performance Center manager.
“To be here permanently supporting the entire permanent party and training population at Fort Lee on a fulltime basis is extremely exciting,” she said. “We are delighted to be here, and it’s just a stronger infusion of resilience support for this population than we’ve been able to offer in the past.”
May heads a team of contract performance experts who teach cognitive and mental skills to ensure consistently high levels of performance.
“The Readiness and Resilient program focuses on creating mentally strong and resilient Soldiers, families and civilians through a prevention model,” May said. “We want to get to people early and teach skills that will help them to not only grow but also thrive in the face of adversity and challenge.”
R2 services are available to other DOD entities on a space-available basis, May confirmed.
Those interested in R2 training need to specify the type of resilience or performance challenge the organization is facing and whether the instruction is for individuals or groups.
The MRTC is scheduled to take place here four times a year and graduate 30 Soldiers per class. The course is open to Army Civilians and spouses on a space-available basis.
The R2 Performance Center hours of operation are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. It is located in building 6046. The staff can be reached at 804-734-4108.