“Life is like a game of tennis, and you are the tennis ball being bounced back and forth between the events in your life. Sometimes, it is a playful volley, and you just bounce through your normal day doing the best you can to keep up. And other times, bam — something in your life hits you like a racquet with a vengeance. You hold on for dear life as you race through space, gritting your teeth in anticipation for the next slam.
“It’s a good thing you are made like rubber and have the ability to bounce back.
“Some people aren’t, you know. They don’t have the ability to bounce back. Like an egg, they crack under the pressure caused by contact with life’s tough experiences.
“The key here is what the ball is made of, right? Rubber. While we aren’t made of egg shells or rubber, we can influence the stuff we are made of, learning skills to help us bounce back. We call this resilience,” according to the Army’s Soldier Fitness Tracker online.
Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, participated in a division-wide safety stand-down April 12, in which each battalion within the 2nd BCT conducted master resiliency training.
MRT is the training the Army provides for soldiers to help them grow to be more resilient in the emotional, family, social, spiritual and physical dimensions, the five pillars of the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program within the Army, explained Staff Sgt. Nathan Testerman, a native of Woodstock, Va., the brigade master resiliency trainer for the 2nd BCT.
Testerman, new to the brigade, understands how important MRT is because he saw firsthand how serious-incident reports at his last post decreased after soldiers began receiving resiliency training on a regular basis.
“Commands (at my previous duty station) adopted and really put an emphasis on comprehensive soldier fitness and MRT, and as a direct result saw a reduction in the amount of driving-under-the-influence reports soldiers got, the number of soldiers testing positive for drugs, the number of domestic-violence reports involving soldiers and the number of suicides — all the numbers went down,” Testerman said.
He describes MRT as a set of tools the Army equips soldiers with. These tools allow leaders and soldiers to deal with and succeed in the face of difficulties and bounce back from adversities that soldiers may encounter throughout their life — on- and off-duty.
“This is an opportune time for us to capitalize … we can re-invest ourselves into our soldiers and produce a superior soldier than what we may have had 10 years ago. We have the opportunity and the obligation to do so,” Testerman said.