U.S. Army Central Combines People-Focused Programs to Spark Change
In the Fall of 2020, U.S. Army Central (USARCENT) established the Command Office of Readiness and Diversity (CORD), which aligned Military Equal Opportunity (MEO), Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and Soldier Family Readiness Advocacy Program (SFRP) under one functional directorate. “By pulling us together under one umbrella, we’re more efficient, we’re able to close more gaps, and we’re able to provide better services,” said Lt. Col. Kimberly Culver, the MEO program manager at USARCENT. “We are also able to sync communication and provide a collective sound approach versus compartmentalizing efforts as we did in the past.”
Embracing Holistic Health and Fitness for ACFT Success
The Holistic Health and Fitness system, led by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Center for Initial Military Training, represents a new approach to building lethality and readiness by focusing on Soldier physical, mental, and spiritual health. From this new initiative came the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), which will eventually replace the Army Physical Fitness Test as the official physical fitness test of record. Though the ACFT is still in the data collection stage, Soldiers across the enterprise have been encouraged to continue to train so they are ready to pass once the test is fully implemented.
Army to Review Discharges and Status-Upgrade Procedures for Behavioral Health Conditions
The Army has agreed to review the discharges of thousands of Veterans affected by post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, or other behavioral health conditions, and to change some of its administrative procedures for individuals who apply to have their discharge statuses upgraded in the future. This agreement follows a settlement reached in the nationwide class-action lawsuit Kennedy v. McCarthy.
Remote Sleep Studies Offered for Soldiers in Europe
Army healthcare providers in Europe are now deploying new technology to remotely diagnose and help Soldiers suffering from sleep problems. This technology involves the use of at-home monitoring devices used to measure one’s sleep and breathing patterns. Sleep complications are fairly common in the military community and are exacerbated by the early-rise culture that can disrupt normal sleep patterns. These complications include bouts of insomnia resulting from night operations, pre-dawn physical fitness workouts, and sustained combat operations.
Updates to SHARP Expedited Transfer Policy to Reinforce ‘People First’ Efforts
The Army plans to roll out new training in support of the expedited transfer policy that provides streamlined and necessary support to Soldiers and adult dependents who are victims of sexual assault. Under the policy, sexual assault victims can request a move to a new unit or installation if their current environment is impacting their safety or emotional well-being or the command's ability to function, said Jill Londagin, director of the Sexual Harassment/Sexual Assault Response and Prevention program.
Embedded Performance Expert Shares Keys to Success
For Performance Experts who are accustomed to serving as the point of contact for multiple units, being an Embedded Performance Expert is a switch that allows for the opportunity to narrow their focus, time, and energy to a single battalion. PEs looking to be successful as an EPE should consider using the 3 Cs: Creativity. Commitment. Consistency.
This Is My Squad: Forging Leadership Skills Through the Squad Leader Development Course
“This Is My Squad,” an initiative of Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael A. Grinston, aims to build more cohesive units across the Army and empower noncommissioned officers with the leadership skills to anticipate issues and address them early on. The Army Resilience Directorate’s contribution to TIMS is the Squad Leader Development Course, which gives squad leaders the opportunity to critically reflect on their leadership style and learn to employ evidence-based leadership skills to forge cohesive Army units that are strong and resilient in the face of any challenge.
Cope with Adversity and Thrive Day-to-Day with These Core Resilience Skills Taught by MRTs
The Army launched the Master Resilience Trainer program a little over a decade ago in recognition of the psychological toll years of fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were taking on Soldiers and their Families. However, the training is intended to not only help Soldiers cope with the trauma of war, but also to boost their everyday well-being. MRT training focuses on teaching the competencies at the foundation of resilience: self-awareness, self-regulation, optimism, mental agility, strengths of character, and connection.
COVID Adds to Triggers for Soldiers Struggling with Substance Abuse
Events such as the global pandemic, the political and civic unrest across the country, and even natural disasters such as fires and hurricanes can trigger negative feelings and impact the five dimensions of personal readiness. Add the feelings of sadness and depression that may manifest during the winter months, and this can lead to some unhealthy coping mechanisms, like alcohol or non-clinical drugs. The Army Substance Abuse Program has adapted to these challenges to continue providing the support needed by Soldiers, Army Leaders, DA Civilians, and their Families.