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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2020

MRT: Passing resilience skills through the ranks

By Senior Airman Monica Roybal 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Ready and Resilient Performance Center conducted a Master Resilience Training course consisting of Soldiers, Sailors and civilians at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Jan. 27 - Feb. 7, 2019. 

Service members from the local region traveled here to attend the course, which aims to reduce behavioral health issues by teaching leaders problem-solving skills and stress management to help promote individual and collective resilience within their home units.

“This course is in line with the Army’s mission to build resilience, readiness and a culture of trust among Soldiers and their leaders,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Segun Ayodele, Army Health Promotion Program Ready and Resilient Performance Center program manager. “We want to make sure Soldiers are not only physically strong, but mentally as well. When Soldiers have both strengths, it enhances mission readiness and it can bring a balance to their home life as well as the whole community.”

The 10-day course will allow participants to analyze resiliency myths and effective teaching methods that will nourish personal and team success. Instructors challenged participants to consider different ways to build connections within their teams by discussing various resilience and performance skills including:

  • Avoiding thinking traps                                  
  • Identifying character strengths in self and others
  • Emotion awareness and regulation
  • Assertive communication
  • Detecting icebergs
  • De-catastrophizing
  • Attention control
  • Building confidence
  • Energy management
  • Impulse control

The MRT course was developed in 2009 as a joint effort between Army leaders, the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The program’s main components are preparation, sustainment and enhancement. 

“The program is not only for enhancing your performance at work or enhancing your mental toughness, but we’re teaching skills that can be applied in all facets of life,” Ayodele continued. “We all face challenges in life, including myself, and each time I’m struggling, I think about which skills I’ve learned in MRT can be applied to help ease my stress and which skills can help me overcome the issue.”

Upon completion of the course, participants will graduate as certified MRT instructors and will be tasked with teaching resilience skills, mental endurance and conducting annual MRT training at their home units. 

Fort Eustis leaders support this long-term strategy in the hopes of teaching service members and their families to thrive in the military environment while facing everyday challenges. 

“I hold MRT courses near and dear to my heart because graduates of this course have potential for great impact,” said Sgt. Maj. Abby Macdonald, 733rd Mission Support Group command sergeant major. “They are making sure our Soldiers are taken care of. Whether they’re helping their brothers and sisters tackle financial issues, divorce or whatever struggles a Soldier may face, they know how to build connections to show that their Soldiers have someone to talk to and rely on.”

While MRT’s emphasis is on resilience, the course’s significance relies heavily on each certified instructor’s utilization of their newly learned skills and how to become a meaningful influence to their fellow service members and family members. 

For more information on the course, call the Ready and Resilient Performance Center at (757) 501-7267.