Building 'super Soldiers' through resiliency

FORT LEONARDWOOD, Mo -- The Resilience and Performance Enhancement Training Center is working hand-in-hand with the installation's basic training units in order to build a stronger, more adaptable generation of U.S. Army Soldiers by using the Ready and Resilient Program, and a little sports psychology.


"Every leader wants people to have the skills needed to bounce back from hardships, setbacks, disappointment and adversity," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Parker, Ready and Resilient program manager.

As part of the Army's Ready and Resilient campaign, Soldiers in training are learning skills and techniques that promote physical, social, spiritual and emotional fitness, which all lead to personal and professional growth.

According to Parker, this results in improved unit readiness and better lives for Soldiers and their Families.

"The Army needs its Soldiers, Family members and Army civilians to be resilient," Parker said. "Resilience, has been a hallmark of the American Soldier for more than two centuries. (We're) committed to a true prevention model, aimed at the entire force, which will enhance resilience, improve performance and instill coping skills, thereby enabling all members of the Army Family to grow and thrive in today's Army."

Finding time for Soldiers to participate in this program has proved beneficial for units that are able, said Lacey Sollenberger-Webb, performance enhancement expert.

"By providing training out in the field we are utilizing down time when they might not be doing very much; in this sense, we are maximizing training time, not taking away from it," she said.

Sollenberger-Webb says most of the training they provide is at Basic Combat Training and One Station Unit Training occurs on site at various ranges and training areas.

"While we don't teach the technical and tactical aspects, we do teach skills to enhance mental toughness and focus," she said. "Fluctuations in performance occur because of fluctuations in mental control, and through performance enhancement training they are taught mental skills and techniques that create a more consistent focus."

Sollenberger-Webb uses rifle marksmanship as an example of where the resiliency training has helped.

"If they can better control their attention, maintain confidence and minimize distractions during marksmanship, this can reduce the amount of time a company spends at the range trying to get Soldiers either grouped/zeroed or qualified with their weapon," she said.

Parker agrees the program is an asset to training, and any time spent in classrooms or at the ranges more than makes up for itself.

"Soldiers who receive this training learn to stay focused on the task at hand by deterring negative distractions, pay attention to what is important at the time and develop mental habits to increase task repetition and motivation," said Parker. "By applying these skills and habits, the Soldiers will show improved performance, therefor accomplishing the task at a faster pace and with higher quality outcome."

Units interested in incorporating this program into their training should call 573.563.4206 or 573.563.4208 to schedule a capability brief. Parker said command teams can choose to receive all of the training or a selection of their choosing.

"Our program is a force multiplier and we try to be as flexible as possible to provide tomorrow's fighting force the best," Parker said.

(Editor's note: In part two of the series, a basic training company will provide examples of how the Fort Leonard Wood's Resilience and Performance Enhancement Training Center Ready and Resilient Program has helped them.)

To read more, please visit:

------------- ----------------
  • 445 Posts