Golden Dragons build resiliency in Soldiers, families

| July 3, 2014 | 0 Comments
FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Staff Sgt. Larissa Anderson (left), 1-14th Infantry Regiment,, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stands with her host family during the battalion's SOS Day, held during 2nd SBCT's deployment to the National Training Center, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Ebonee Ervin, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team; 25th Inf. Division)

FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Staff Sgt. Larissa Anderson (left), 1-14th Infantry Regiment,, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, stands with her host family during the battalion’s SOS Day, held during 2nd SBCT’s deployment to the National Training Center, here, recently. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Ebonee Ervin, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team; 25th Inf. Division)

1st Lt. Alex Wurzel and 1st Lt. Nick Shumpis, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment; 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team; 25th Infantry Division­

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Family support was fundamental to 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, “Golden Dragons,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, during 2nd SBCT’s deployment to the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., in May and June.

The 1-14th Inf. Regt. Soldiers spent 48 days away from Hawaii and their families, which emphasized the importance of preparing and strengthening family networks.

Within 2nd SBCT, a chaplain-run, commander-endorsed marriage workshop is provided; similar to Strong Bonds, the program is called Relationship Enhancement and Sustainment Training (REST).

“Just as the strength of our unit is in the collective team, so too is the strength of our families when properly integrated within the unit,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Darrell Burriss. “One means to do this is the REST marriage workshops, which are great opportunities to connect families across the battalion and build strong family networks.”

The 1-14th Inf. Regt. Soldiers participated in this reintegration training before leaving the NTC, and again during the 72 hours after returning home.

“For the family experiencing a long period of separation, reintegration training is important, because each separation and reunion brings its own unique challenges,” said Sgt. Joshua Potts, chaplain’s assistant, 1-14th Inf. Regt.

“This training is an essential part of our preparation to return home after NTC,” Potts continued. “Family readiness groups are a commander’s tool to communicate with families and ensure they have an understanding of what their Soldier does when he goes to work. At meetings, FRGs distribute information about upcoming training events to allow the family to identify days the Soldiers may be away from home or working late to ensure unit readiness.”

“Communication helps my family adapt and plan for training, as well as prepares them to be in the right state of mind while I’m away,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Guinn, the Golden Dragons’ electronic warfare officer.

“The battalion commander and command sergeant major town hall meetings are a great tool to get information to Soldiers and spouses. Family support smart cards would be a great tool for families to have in order to know who to contact in any given situation,” recommended Spc. Chase Dunham, a medic from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-14th Inf. Regt.

The Army offers resiliency training to prepare Soldiers and their families to confront the stressors of Army life by providing a multitude of life skills necessary to cope with and excel under adverse conditions. Army resiliency training emphasizes unity and support for one another above the individual and self-reliance.

“Resiliency training allows Soldiers to cope with stress and focus on the mission, as well as teach vital life skills that strengthen mental toughness,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin McMillan, the Golden Dragons’ master resiliency trainer.

Soldiers rely on their families for the support they need to complete their mission. Mission success demands that units keep open lines of communication to Soldiers and families to sustain their continuing support. This support helps Soldiers concentrate on mission success instead of worrying about unprepared families.

“I fully support the training my husband’s unit requires of him,” said Robin Shumpis. “The better prepared he and his Soldiers are, the safer I will feel when he leaves on a combat mission.”

(Note: Wurzel and Shumpis are unit public affairs representatives for 1-14th Inf. Regt.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Community, Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *