Defender 6 Sends: Remaining strong requires resiliency

| April 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch
Commander, Installation Management Command

WASHINGTON — Resiliency is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. It’s mental toughness, or, as Webster defines it, the capacity “to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”

LynchArmy units and families across the globe are relocating in compliance with the Base Realignment and Closure Law, and we continue to transform our business practices. To remain strong in this dynamic environment, leaders must proactively maintain and develop resiliency programs and services to enable the total Army community (Soldiers, civilians, families and retirees) to maintain healthy relationships and happy lives.

Our approach to supporting resiliency within the Army is to enhance the community’s ability to adapt to stress by supporting, maintaining and developing programs and services that promote total wellness. As I have said before, I am convinced that the Army spends too much time fixing Soldiers after they break. 

What we should be doing is spending our time, energy and resources in improving the resiliency of the Army community, and helping its members avoid the breaking point.

We will use the Public Health model of assessment, education, intervention and treatment to integrate and deliver services to help prevent Soldiers, civilians and families from breaking. By applying this model before a crisis happens, we will be better able to keep the Army community strong in all dimensions of resiliency. 

Individuals must be mentally, physically and spiritually fit to achieve optimum resilience. To assist, the Installation Management community will continue to provide the best care, support and services for the Army community by improving quality of life through initiatives, such as the Army Family Action Plan, the Army Family Covenant, Army Community Covenants, the Installation Management Campaign Plan, and the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program.

When I was the senior commander at Fort Hood, Texas,  I built a Resiliency Campus to enable the Army community to become resilient before deployments, during deployments and to solve many other challenges faced by Army families. 

Other IMCOM garrisons are also focusing on resilience. 

Fort Bliss, Texas, for example, has a Restoration and Resilience Center that offers Warrior Resilience and Family Resilience programs. 

Fort Jackson, S.C., meanwhile, is planning to open a Master Resilience Training school that will offer a 10-day course to equip leaders and teach coping skills to unit members. 

The new IMCOM logo.And at Fort Campbell, Ky., the Family Resiliency Council has teamed up with key organizations to be one of the first installations to publish an online resource guide to provide accurate and accessible information to Soldiers, families and civilians.

Over the last eight years, more than one million Soldiers have deployed to combat, more than 3,900 Soldiers have sacrificed their lives, and more than 25,000 have been wounded in service to our country. And, unfortunately, the strain of multiple deployments and other stress factors may continue into the future.

Therefore, I challenge leaders and personnel throughout the Army community to think of new ideas to enhance installation resiliency initiatives and to send your ideas to your installation leadership or me.

I also challenge each of you to take advantage of existing programs and services on your installation and in your community to remain mentally, physically and spiritually fit. 

After all, the Army community is the strength of our nation, and IMCOM garrisons are the Army’s home.

Category: News, Standing Columns

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