From Injured to Independent: One Veteran’s Story about how AW2 Helped Him Take Back Control of His Life

By Anna Eisenberg, WTC Communications Division

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“AW2 empowered me with the tools to help myself. I am more self-sufficient and independent now than I ever was,” said Sgt. Robert Green, pictured here with the Maricopa County sheriff in Phoenix, Arizona.

“AW2 saved my life. It made me a better person, a better father, and a better member of my community,” reflected Sgt. Robert Green, who sustained a back injury in 2007 while stationed at Ft. Lewis, Wash. A seasoned Soldier with two deployments under his belt, Green struggled to adjust to an injury that sat him behind a desk instead of out in the field.

Green entered a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in 2009, where he was introduced to the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) and his AW2 Advocate Laura Arisohn. Struggling with physical and personal challenges and the transition to civilian life, Green reached out to Arisohn for counsel and support.

“AW2 empowered me with the tools to help myself. I am more self-sufficient and independent now than I ever was,” said Green.

With continuing guidance from Arisohn and AW2 in both personal and professional realms, in just five years, Green transformed his life—he overcame an alcohol addiction, remarried and became a certified firearms instructor in Arizona. Green credits his work with AW2 in rebuilding his confidence and helping him understand the tools and resources available.

“I’m continuing my education because of AW2. I’m financially stable and sober. It helped me find what I need,” said Green, who is working toward his degree. “It was the best experience of my life.”

Editors Note: 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). Read more about AW2′s decade of impact with more than 19,000 severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families and Caregivers at http://www.wtc.army.mil/announcements/aw2_10th_anniversary.html.

US Army Marksmanship Unit offers wounded, ill and injured Soldiers opportunities to serve and compete

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division

Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson became the first active-duty Soldier wounded in combat to compete in the Paralympic Games when he competed in two events at the London Games in 2012.

Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson became the first active-duty Soldier wounded in combat to compete in the Paralympic Games when he competed in two events at the London Games in 2012.

When you think of an Army unit, most of the time the thought of an artillery unit or infantry unit comes to mind, but the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Paralympic Section wants to change that thought process by showing the military contains a multitude of diversity in units and Soldiers.

“As a shooter, you grow up watching and competing in this sport, the Army Marksmanship Unit is the apex of where you want to be,” said Sgt. 1st Class Armando Ayala, the Paralympic Section coach and El Paso, Texas native. “It is a natural progression to want to eventually end up in this unit.”

Originally formed in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the USAMU trains its soldiers to win competitions and enhances combat readiness through train-the-trainer clinics, research and development.

Despite the long hours of training and the time dedicated to competing, Sgt. 1st Class Josh Olson and Staff Sgt. John Joss are two soldiers assigned to the USAMU Paralympic Section and use their expertise to train other Paralympic hopefuls as well as junior riflemen and wounded warriors.

“I really enjoy the basic training of high school students because when they learn something and can apply it, they get really excited. Their confidence increases,” said Olson of Spokane, Wash. “They stand a little straighter when you give them a few basic pointers, and they start shooting 15 out of 20 or 18 out of 20.”

The USAMU’s ground-breaking Paralympic Section is comprised with Army wounded, ill and injured Soldiers who showcase the Army and help raise the standard of the Army’s marksmanship proficiency.

USA Shooting named Staff Sgt. John Joss as the 2013 Paralympic Athlete of the Year.

USA Shooting named Staff Sgt. John Joss as the 2013 Paralympic Athlete of the Year.

“This section was formed to recruit and train wounded warriors in national and international games,” Ayala said. “We are training Soldiers to accomplish in three or four years, what those in the civilian world are doing in 15 years.”

“It is important that wounded warriors understand this is not a wounded warrior program. It is not a given program,” he added. “We expect them to come here, work hard, maintain the status of the team, and be very driven and coachable.”

In 2013, both Olson and Joss showed the world their impressive shooting skills. Olson, who lost his right leg in an ambush in 2003 while deployed to Iraq, became the first active-duty Soldier wounded in combat to compete in the Paralympic Games when he competed in two events at the London Games in 2012.

“It was great, but if I could change anything about it is that I would let myself enjoy it more.” Olson said about his 2012 London Games experience. “I was so focus on my training that I didn’t step back and take it in that I was competing against the world’s best shooting athletes.”

Joss, a Burkburnett, Texas native, received recognition as the 2013 Paralympic Athlete of the Year by USA Shooting, an organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the national governing body for the sport of shooting.

I was surprised that I was named the Paraylmpic Athlete of the Year,” said Joss, who currently serves on Continuation on Active Duty, an opportunity for wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers to continue their service after being found physically unfit by a Physical Evaluation Board.

“This honor is usually reserved for those more prestigious, so to receive it for my first year of shooting is kind of humbling,” said Joss.

For more information about the USAMU Paralympic Section, visit http://www.usaac.army.mil/amu/unit/paralympic.asp or visit http://www.wtc.army.mil/modules/soldier/s6-coadCOAR.html to learn about Continuation on Active Duty.

Meet AW2 Soldier Shenae Mitchell

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

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Spc. Shenae Mitchell addresses the Warrior Transition Command to launch the AW2 10th Anniversary commemoration.

While deployed in Afghanistan in June 2012 with the 82nd Airborne Division, Spc. Shenae Mitchell was crushed under 1,000 pounds of medical containers, called Hescro barriers. She sustained thirteen injuries that required intensive surgical treatment. After being medically evacuated from Afghanistan, Mitchell began her recovery and rehabilitation at the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Unit. At Fort Belvoir, she was immediately introduced to the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) and her AW2 Advocate, Ayandria Barry.

During Mitchell’s recovery, Barry helped her navigate military residence training, including 496 hours of military correspondence courses. Mitchell has also completed 44 college credits toward an associate degree thus far during her recovery at Fort Belvoir. She credits Barry with anticipating questions and possible challenges and providing accurate answers every time. When Mitchell needed a tutor to retake her Armed Forces Classification Test (AFCT) to raise her General Technical (GT) score, Barry found her a tutor through a local program in just weeks. Barry would arrange a ride if Mitchell needed to travel off post to support her recovery and transition goals, such as going to tutoring sessions. If Mitchell couldn’t find a ride, Barry would provide transportation herself.

Barry and Mitchell’s relationship extends past assistance with completing coursework and finding tutors. “Ms. Barry has been supportive not only from the military aspect,” said Mitchell. “She would build my hope and my courage up.”

Mitchell plans to re-enlist in the Army with a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and return to duty upon completing in-patient care. Barry supported Mitchell in submitting her paperwork to change her MOS to one more suited to her medical profile. She is currently waiting to hear whether she is approved for either of the two MOS options she has applied for: 27D (Paralegal) or 42A (Human Resource Assistant).

Editors Note: 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). Read more about AW2′s decade of impact with more than 19,000 severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families and Caregivers at http://www.wtc.army.mil/announcements/aw2_10th_anniversary.html.

Meet AW2 Veteran Karl Pasco

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

AW2 Veteran Karl Pasco and his daughter take a trip on the Austin Steam Train.

AW2 Veteran Karl Pasco and his daughter take a trip on the Austin Steam Train.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Karl Pasco, a two-time Purple Heart recipient and avid shooting enthusiast, was injured on two separate deployments in Iraq. On his first deployment in 2004, his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device (IED). After recovery, he redeployed to Iraq in 2006 and was hit by another IED. Among other injuries, Pasco sustained a shattered right leg, shrapnel in his left arm, ten broken ribs, three fractured vertebrae, a broken upper jaw, a bruised heart and shrapnel puncturing his chest. The first time he was injured, the US Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) had not yet been created and Pasco remembers having to navigate the recovery and transition process on his own. After his second attack, AW2 support began right away when he was recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He returned to his home state of Texas once major surgeries were completed to continue his recovery at Fort Hood.

Pasco has worked with a number of AW2 Advocates over the years. “They would challenge me to attain the goals that I set,” he said of all of his AW2 Advocates. One of the most important goals for Karl was to be able to shoot again. He told AW2 that he wanted to build his own shooting range and they said, “Well then do it!” Pasco found planning the project and actually constructing the range extremely therapeutic.

While at Fort Hood, he created his own internship with the ROTC program at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. Pasco knew that he did not want to spend his time at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) “sitting around,” so he went to work in their S3 operations as the Donations NCO and Activities NCO. He processed donations to the WTB for three years and helped coordinate activities for other wounded, ill and injured Soldiers at the WTB. Karl took many of his fellow WTB Soldiers hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, kayaking and more.

Pasco is currently a part-time student at Central Texas College, working towards his BA and MA. He has a very close relationship with his current AW2 Advocate, Carol Livengood, and takes pride in sending her updates on his rehabilitation progress. He sees Livengood quite often, as she works closely with another AW2 Advocate—his wife, Joy. Karl says of Joy, “she realized that she found a passion in her life that she didn’t realize—she wanted to help Soldiers.”

Editors Note: 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). Read more about AW2′s decade of impact with more than 19,000 severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families and Caregivers at http://www.wtc.army.mil/announcements/aw2_10th_anniversary.html.

Did You Know? What is an AW2 Advocate?

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Retired Spc. Ira Brownridge Jr. with his Advocate, Melvin Kearney

Retired Spc. Ira Brownridge Jr. with his Advocate, Melvin Kearney

The U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) has more than 200 AW2 Advocates, located at most Army installations and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. AW2 Advocates are dedicated to guiding eligible AW2 Soldiers and Veterans and their Families and Caregivers through recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration to achieve their personal goals, navigate government agencies and local resources, create financial plans, support education and career goals and anticipate challenges ahead. AW2 Advocates are often retired/former Soldiers, AW2 wounded warriors themselves, spouses of AW2 Soldiers and Veterans or individuals with professional backgrounds in the behavioral health and social work fields.

Each Soldier or Veteran entering the AW2 Program is paired with an AW2 Advocate to guide the Soldier throughout the recovery and transition process and toward achieving independence. AW2 Advocates counsel eligible AW2 Soldiers and Veterans and their Families/Caregivers regarding benefits information, career guidance, Continuation on Active Duty/Continuation on Reserve Duty (COAD/COAR), educational opportunities, financial audits, government agency coordination, local resources and tracking their Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) onto the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

AW2 Advocates are onsite at more than 60 VA locations, where they educate AW2 Soldiers and Veterans on how to navigate the VA system and ensure continuity of care as AW2 Soldiers transition out of the Army. AW2 Advocates collaborate with VA Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) coordinators, help resolve appointment issues, VA benefits issues and facilitate applications for services such as the VA Adaptive Housing and Adaptive Vehicle grants and the Post-9/11 GI Bill. AW2 Advocates help transitioning Soldiers plan for a potential gap in between their Army pay and beginning their VA benefits and work with the VA to ensure they get their pay as quickly as possible.

AW2 Advocates assigned to Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) are engaged in the WTU Soldier’s mandated Comprehensive Treatment Plan (CTP) process. AW2 Families are an integral part of the CTP process, and AW2 Advocates facilitate conversations surrounding this process and the Family’s goals. They can help Families who are moving or traveling to the WTU with arranging housing, schooling and childcare. AW2 Advocates assist with applications for Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) and Non-Medical Attendant (NMA).

AW2 Advocates are plugged in to the local communities and know all the different organizations that are available to support Soldiers, from locating job opportunities and scholarships to obtaining service dogs and adaptive transportation.

“Did You Know?” Series

We will post a blog every other week on the following five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during the AW2 10th Anniversary commemoration:
1) What is AW2?
2) AW2 Advocates
3) AW2 Career and Education
4) AW2 Pay and Benefits
5) VA Resources

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.

Veteran Uses AW2 Resources to Succeed in Civilian Workforce

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division

Leaving the military can be a nerve-racking experience for a wounded, ill and injured Soldier, but Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Veteran Billy Guyton will attest to using the resources the Army offers to successfully transition from the military to the civilian workforce.

Guyton was hired by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), the organization that operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment.

“I was looking for a job,” Guyton said. “I told my Advocate, and the next thing I knew I was being contacted by the hiring manager from DeCA.”

Guyton’s AW2 Advocate contacted the AW2 Career and Education Cell in hopes of getting him in the Expedited Referral Process, a process that connects AW2 Veterans with employers who are looking to hire wounded, ill and injured Veterans and have agreed to expedite the hiring process for qualified Veterans.

“Billy’s advocate submitted an issue requesting employment assistance,” said Mullen. “I was the ‘connector’ between Billy and DeCA, because I knew if I could get someone to speak with Billy, they would want to hire him.” 

“If a Soldier or Veteran is looking for employment, we ask that they contact their Advocate,” said Vicki Mullen, AW2 Labor Liaison Specialist. “The Advocate will notify us, and we will start the employment process.”

Guyton learned firsthand the process works but it requires the Soldier or Veteran to do their part to help.

“The resume plays a huge part in getting hired,” Mullen said. “Soldiers and Veterans should ensure their resumes contain all of the information required before submitting it for employment.” 

“If they have 5-10 years of experience and the federal resume is only a couple of paragraphs they have left out a lot of information,” she added. “Use all resources available to you i.e., ACAP, DOL, Transition Coordinators, etc.”

Guyton, who was recently promoted to a supervisory position, proves success can transfer from the military to the civilian workforce, but recommends a Soldier or Veteran take chances and use the resources available.

“I was an engineer in the military, but I’m working in logistics,” he said. “I’m glad DeCA saw that I had other skills to bring to the table.”

“Just because you are doing one thing in the military it doesn’t require you to do the same job as a civilian,” Guyton added. “Hopefully, Veterans and employers will continue to look beyond the military specialty title and focus on the military skills.”

Visit AW2’s old blog for additional stories on AW2’s career and education services and stories of Soldiers and Veterans successfully finding employment.

 

The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for severely wounded, ill or injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, regardless of military status. Soldiers who qualify for AW2 are assigned to the program as soon as possible after arriving at the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). AW2 supports these Soldiers and their Families throughout their recovery and transition, even into Veteran status. Through the local support of AW2 Advocates, AW2 strives to foster the Soldier’s independence. There are more than 19,000 Soldiers and Veterans currently in AW2.

Did You Know? What is AW2

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that the U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) was established 10 years ago to support severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families and Caregivers? AW2 is a major component of the Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) under the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and the Warrior Transition Command (WTC). Over the last decade AW2 has supported more than 19,000 Soldiers and Veterans in navigating processes and procedures that open doors to services, resources and benefits.  These resources build and strengthen abilities to adapt to daily life and empower AW2 Soldiers and Veterans to regain their independence.

Today, Soldiers who qualify for AW2 are assigned to the program as soon as possible after arriving at a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). AW2 supports these Soldiers and their Families throughout their recovery and transition, either back into duty or on to civilian life.

To qualify for AW2, a Soldier must suffer from wounds, illness or injuries incurred in the line of duty after September 10, 2001, and receive or expect to receive at least a 30 percent rating from the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) for one or more of the conditions listed below, or receive a combines 50 percent IDES rating for any other combat/combat-related condition:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Severe loss of vision/blindness
  • Severe hearing loss/deafness
  • Fatal / incurable disease with limited life expectancy
  • Loss of limb
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Permanent disfigurement
  • Severe burns
  • Severe paralysis

Upon entry to the program, each AW2 Soldier and Veteran is paired with one of the more than 200 AW2 Advocates who guides the Soldier throughout the recovery and transition process and toward achieving independence. Together they collaborate to set goals for the Soldier’s and Family’s future to meet the personal needs and abilities of the individual AW2 Soldier or Veteran. Some common activities that AW2 Advocates support are:

  • Creating an action plan for life after transition
  • Coordinating with government agencies (i.e. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Labor)
  • Supporting Continuation on Active Duty/Continuation on Active Reserve (COAD/COAR)
  • Providing career guidance
  • Locating educational opportunities
  • Performing financial audits
  • Finding local resources
  • Navigating medical and Physical Evaluation Board (MEB/PEB)

AW2 Advocates collaborate with transition professionals at AW2 Headquarters to resolve issues related to careers and education, benefits, pay, the Department of Veterans Affairs and more. These AW2 transition professionals also use their vast knowledge and experience with wounded, ill and injured Soldiers to help write policies and guidance that affect all WTUs.

“Did You Know?” Series

We will post a blog every other week on the following five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during the AW2 Tenth Anniversary commemoration:

1)    What is AW2?

2)    AW2 Advocates

3)    AW2 Career and Education

4)    AW2 Pay and Benefits

5)    VA Resources

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.

Commander, Warrior Transition Command, Says Farewell

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WTC Commander Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop

By Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop

Commander, Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition

After wearing a uniform each day since I was 17, I am retiring from military service. Moments like these are always a time for giving thanks and reflection.  Looking back on the extraordinary opportunities I’ve had, I recall the senior leaders who mentored me and provided leadership and guidance, and the NCOs who kept me on the straight and narrow.  I’m reminded that I’ve been in combat, and it is with affection, pride and sadness that I also recall those who deployed with me and who made the ultimate sacrifice.

It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as the Commander, Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition.  My tenure here is marked by your accomplishments that enhance support and transition for thousands of Soldiers assigned to Warrior Transition Units and Veterans in the Army Wounded Warrior Program.  Through your efforts we strengthened our partnership with the Veteran’s Administration, increased training opportunities for Warrior Transition Unit Cadre, enhanced the adaptive reconditioning program, and restructured the Warrior Care and Transition Program – while keeping faith with our Soldiers and their Families.

To the men and women – military, civilian and contractors – of this command, thank you for what you do each day.  There is no higher calling than to serve the Army’s most vulnerable; our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans and their Families.

I admire your commitment to excellence, your professionalism and dedication to duty.  Because of your superb efforts, the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Program is an overall success.  You impact the entire Army through your unmatched dedication and I extend to you my personal gratitude. I’m grateful to Army leadership for entrusting me with this mission and empowering me to make a difference.  I’m proud I served here, to have served with each of you, and I’ll be watching from the other side.

Thank you all for a job well done.

Did You Know? Meet the WTU Career and Education Readiness Team

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Do you know how many Cadre are involved in WTU Soldiers’ Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities?  Career and Education Readiness activities support wounded, ill and injured Soldiers as they transition, whether they remain in the Army or transition to Veteran status.  All Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers set career goals as part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).  Career and Education Readiness activities provide eligible Soldiers with the skills and knowledge they need to advance toward their career goals. Achieving career goals contributes positively to the rehabilitation and reintegration process, which is why there are so many Interdisciplinary Team members along with the Triad of Care available to support every Soldier.

You may already know that the Triad of Care – Primary Care Manager (PCM), Nurse Case Manager (NCM) and Squad Leader (SL) – coordinates to ensure all members of the WTU team operate synergistically to benefit the Soldier.   Nurse Case Managers keep team members up to date on the Soldier’s medical status and physical profile.  Squad Leaders coach, teach, mentor and counsel Soldiers on their responsibilities while participating in a CER activity.  They also ensure Soldiers are at their places of duty and coordinate with their work site supervisor for assessments.

What you may not know is that in addition to the Triad of Care, each CER-eligible Soldier also works with an interdisciplinary team that includes a Transition Coordinator (TC), Occupational Therapist (OT), Medical Management (M2) and Career Counselor (CC).   They may also participate in as external support programs such as the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) and Operation Warfighter (OWF).  Interdisciplinary Team members work together and inform one another of important updates and changes to ensure Soldiers have the most productive and successful CER experiences possible:

-       Transition Coordinator (TC): ensures the Soldier’s career goals line up with the CTP and helps coordinate CER activities.

-       Occupational Therapist – Registered (OTR):  completes Phase I goal setting with the Soldier and provides life skills training and goal reassessment throughout the Soldiers’ stay at the WTU.

-       Medical Management (M2):  works to determine eligibility for CER activities along with the WTU Commander.

-       Career Counselor (CC): counsels Soldiers on the logistics of career changes.

Transition professionals at Warrior Transition Command talk about Soldiers experiencing the “fog of recovery”, or the emotional and psychological difficulties that may accompany physical injuries.  Soldiers assigned to WTUs are encouraged to develop and strive to meet career goals to ease the fog. This often includes returning to the work force either in a familiar or new work environment.  The CER program, with the support of the Interdisciplinary Team, helps Soldiers prepare and plan a career path that will put them on the right track for returning to, or creating, a new normal.

For more information on Career and Education Readiness, visit the Career Planning webpage and the “Meet the WTU Career and Education Readiness Team” fact sheet.

Did You Know? WTU Resilience and Performance Enhancement Training

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that resilience and performance enhancement training is an important part of recovery and transition for all Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers, their Families, Caregivers and Cadre?  Resilience training is a key component of the U.S. Army Ready and Resilient initiative, which defines resilience as the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, and learn and grow from setbacks. Each WTU works closely with the Army-wide Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program (CSF2).  The program utilizes hands-on training and self-development tools to train Soldiers, Families and Cadre on twelve resilience and 6 performance enhancement skills:

RESILIENCE SKILLS

  • Hunt the Good Stuff
  • Real-Time Resilience
  • Problem Solving
  • Put It In Perspective
  • Avoid Thinking Traps
  • Detect Icebergs
  • Activating Events – Thoughts – Consequences
  • Mental Games
  • Identify Strength in Self and Others
  • Strengths in Challenges
  • Active Constructive Responding and Effective Praise
  • Assertive Communication

PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT SKILLS

  • Mental Skills Foundation
  • Goal Setting
  • Building Confidence
  • Attention Control
  • Integrating Imagery
  • Energy Management

You may already know that performance enhancement training is part of the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) Phase II Goal Setting requirement.  You may have even already participated in the first round of resilience training during in-processing.  In fact, resilience training is required quarterly for every Soldier on post at a WTU.  For Soldiers who wish to participate in one-on-one mastery sessions or follow up on their progress, Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) support each WTU.

What you may not know is that Families and Cadre are also encouraged to take resilience training.  It is important for Cadre to have personal resilience before they can support and mentor others. The Cadre Resilience Course (CRC) was created in 2012 as a precursor to the WTU Resident Course in San Antonio, Texas.  Over the course of FY 2013, more than 400 Cadre members were trained on personal resilience skills that they can incorporate into both their own lives and into mentorship interactions with the WTU Soldiers they support.

Families can also greatly benefit from resilience training.  While each WTU is unique in its involvement with Families, many advertise resilience training opportunities for Families through social media and the Family Readiness Group (FRG) email chain. Spouses are eligible to attend the MRT Courses.  CSF2 Training Centers also coordinate with the Soldiers and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) to provide quarterly workshops and other resources for Family members.

In addition to the mandatory quarterly training at the WTU, Soldiers and Families can opt to take digital scenario-based Comprehensive Resilience and Performance Modules (CRMs) after completing the CSF2 Global Assessment Tool (GAT). With more than 60 modules, such as social resilience and effective communication, Soldiers and Families can work toward strengthening themselves in many areas.

Goal setting is an important part of recovery and transition.  CSF2 staff lead the Phase II Goal Setting training for Soldiers. This training includes the development of mental skills, building confidence, attention control, energy management, goal setting, integrating imagery and a capstone exercise.

Resilient Soldiers, Families and Cadre are better equipped to overcome adversity, transition back to the force or onto civilian life and to leverage mental and emotional skills and behavior. This is why resilience training is especially important for wounded, ill and injured soldiers.  Check out the Resilience section of WTC’s new website to learn more about WTU resilience training

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