Armywide program advocates resilience through spirituality

| May 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Nancy Rasmussen
Army News Service

FORT RUCKER, Ala. — The words spiritual and spirituality mean many things to many people.

According to the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness spiritual fitness module, spirituality is the human spirit or the essential core of a person.

CSF, an Armywide program, offers assessment tools to help Soldiers, families and Department of Army civilians become resilient — not only physically, but in areas of emotional, family, social and spiritual fitness as well.

Based on the premise that spiritual fitness defines the deepest part of the individual, resiliency requires a conscientious strengthening of beliefs, principles and values, according to CSF.

“Not all people believe in God or any supreme being, but they still possess a spiritual being within them,” said Chaplain (Col.) Stephen Cook, garrison chaplain, here.

While everyone experiences situations that can test the human spirit, CSF suggests that these struggles can be a sign of strength and courage. These are opportunities to re-examine individual beliefs to redefine lives and, ultimately, become more spiritually fit and resilient during the most challenging times.

In this dimension, CSF considers spirituality as that which you value most deeply or hold sacred, or as spiritual struggles and the tension or conflict within yourself, with others or with a higher power about your deepest values or what you hold sacred.

“While we as chaplains see spiritual fitness to be a religious issue, spirituality transcends the day-to-day stuff of life and looks at something much deeper and meaningful and broader in scope,” Cook said. “I think spirituality allows anyone to look at a bigger picture, instead of just the foxhole they are in. In all of this, if the spiritual nature of an individual is tapped, it should give hope for the future.

“Whatever enemy you may be fighting — a combatant, a bad memory or a problem back at home — your human spirit can sustain you,” he added.

The Army CSF spiritual fitness module aims to help strengthen an individual’s set of beliefs, principles or values to sustain beyond family, institutional and societal sources of strength, which ultimately results in a person becoming more spiritually fit and resilient during times of greatest challenge.

The CSF website suggests ways for individuals to build spiritual resiliency:

•Develop an attitude of gratitude.

•Learn the value of being part of something larger than self.

•Explore the benefits of being connected to a community.

•Look for and appreciate the positive things that happen.

•Learn why people tend to overemphasize the negative.

•Discover why and how to intentionally seek the good stuff.

•Practice journaling to increase awareness of the positive things life offers you.

The CSF Global Assessment Tool, featuring the confidential spiritual fitness module and feedback, is available at


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