With the help of R2 Performance Experts, Soldiers from the 19th Surgical Detachment at Fort Stewart, Georgia learned ways to improve their professional and personal lives using mental skills exercises.
The Soldiers participated in a two-part mindset training session. The first part focused on the relationship between physical and mental fitness and the second was an in-depth discussion on self-awareness. Soldiers gained greater insight into how these skills affect their overall performance and additional training is scheduled to further unit enhancement.
Preparing for the Ranger Challenge at Fort Knox
R2 Performance Experts trained Cadets from the University of Louisville in preparation for the annual Reserve Officers Training Corps Ranger Challenge. The Challenge consists of a variety of military events focusing heavily on physical fitness.
During the R2 training, teams of six cadets each carried mannequins through a course designed to test both physical exertion and psychological exercises at various cognitive workstations along the route. Deliberate breathing, attention control, and managing sleep were among the many skills tested. R2 experts were praised for the real-world drills and Cadets felt better prepared for the Ranger Challenge and other future competitions. Sign up to challenge yourself here.
Mental Resilience Training with 127th Aviation Support Battalion
Soldiers with the 1-27th Aviation Support Battalion at Fort Bliss, Texas used Physical Readiness and Sergeant’s Time Training (STT) sessions to focus on performance enhancement using mental resilience exercises such as a growth mindset and stress management.
Training sessions took place in the 1-27 ASB Motor Pool with the first two focused on a stress management technique called Hardiness. The three C’s of Hardiness: Commitment, Control, and Challenge (opportunity vs. threat) has proved to cushion the mental and physical impacts of stress. The third STT highlighted how performance is affected by awareness and application of a growth mindset. Schedule similar R2 training here.
New NCOs Take Leadership Enhancement Workshop
Fifteen new Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) from the 1-9 Field Artillery Battalion at Fort Stewart, Georgia recently participated in a leadership workshop.
As part of the Junior Leadership Academy initiative, R2 performance experts led the leadership workshop. The NCOs began by creating performance profiles, listing 10 characteristics of an effective leader, rating the overall importance for each characteristic, and rating themselves as to how effective they are in each one. The exercise led to in-depth discussions on effective and assertive communication and eventually, effective praise. These NCOs felt better equipped to lead their teams with their R2 training and will incorporate the newly learned skills as they assume leadership roles within the unit.
Improving Performance at Health and Wellness Camp
A 10-day Health and Wellness Camp was held at Fort Stewart, Georgia to help increase Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) scores. Due to the challenging nature of the ACFT, which measures physical performance in a high stress combat environment, R2 Performance Experts were invited to assist the New Hampshire Army National Guard in developing and executing the camp.
Soldiers participated in a modified Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS) questionnaire to measure the use of psychological skills and strategies during ACFT. After 10 days of R2 classes on mindfulness,energy management, and goal setting, Soldiers took the modified TOPS questionnaire again to see how effective the classes were. Thanks to the newly learned mental skills applied from their performance training, the TOPS scores increased from 3.05 to 3.37. Soldiers felt the Health and Wellness Camp was successful and feel more prepared for the ACFT due to the help of their R2 training.
Mental Skills Training at The Hammer
Fort Jackson’s senior Command Sergeant Major visited the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment during a challenging field training exercise named “The Hammer.” The event emphasizes basic fieldcraft and survival.
During an R2 training session, Soldiers learned critical mental skills such as growth mindset and internal motivation. Observing the training, Command Sgt. Maj. Philson Tavernier asked Soldiers questions regarding the mental skills materials, emphasized the importance of using R2 training to accomplish the mission, and recognized two Soldiers who answered the most questions correctly with a token of excellence. R2 training opportunities build better Soldiers and stronger units.
Strengthen Team Unity
Soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 91st Training Division focused on optimistic thinking and team building in preparation for a restructure of the Garden Grove, California unit. Two days of training, led by a Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Irwin, California allowed Soldiers to learn more about themselves and each other.
Divided into groups, Soldiers openly discussed their motivation and core values, the challenges of adversity, leading to feeling further connected with their battle buddies. Discussions on optimism and avoiding thinking traps (such as redirecting habitual thinking) allowed the group to learn growth mindset techniques and how to use their energy effectively. Soldiers emerged with a deeper appreciation for their teammates, the unit, and prepared to meet the challenge of the restructure.
Rakkasan Platoon Leaders Tested
Lieutenants from 1-187 Infantry participated in a mentally and physically challenging four-station, five-hour ruck march in preparation for a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC).
A Performance Expert from Fort Campbell’s R2PC designed and led the training in support of the unit’s Platoon Leader Academy. The training presented officers with a series of challenges focused on problem solving, effective communication, and energy management. Success in these areas equals success at JRTC.
While conducting the march, Platoon Leaders navigated through a series of challenging resilience exercises which tested their leadership abilities including:
Landmine Maze – “Clear Named Area of Interest (NAI)”
3-in-1 Cognitive Challenge Gauntlet – “Conduct Land Use (L/U) with 3-187 IN Platoon”
Heavy Traffic Jam – “Water Resupply Mission”
Leader Pentaminoes – “Establish Objective Rally Point (ORP)”
Leading a platoon through a JRTC rotation is a daunting challenge. Training with PEs helps Soldiers, leaders, and units meet and overcome challenges.
Team Building with the 418th Quartermaster Battalion
Working to develop cohesion, teamwork, and communication skills, Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 418th Quartermaster Battalion headquartered in Red Rock, Arizona, recently spent their monthly drill weekend training with a Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Irwin, California’s R2 Performance Center.
The training focused on unit cohesion, empathy, and effective communication with Soldiers using a combination of in-depth discussions, question and answer sessions, and videos to identify strategies for building better connections, whether at work or at home. Army Reserve and National Guard units can coordinate with their closest R2 Performance Center for customized performance and resilience training and education that enables Soldiers to sustain personal readiness, enhance resilience, optimize human performance, and build unit cohesion. Find your nearest R2PC here.
R2 Training with the Army eSports League of Legends Team
To achieve success, Electronic Sports, or eSports, competitors require many of the same skills needed in more traditional sports. Soldiers from the Army’s Esports League of Legends team recently concluded a six-month-long training program supported by the R2 Performance Center at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The program focused on enhancing team cohesion and improving their overall competitive performance.
League of Legends is a multi-player online game that requires players to build teams and communicate effectively. To improve the team’s performance, members received training on mental skills such as goal setting and mindset, along with several team building exercises. To help replicate their competitive environment, the sessions were conducted via Discord, a platform commonly used for communicating during online gaming. The team’s training included 24 match observations, 15 mastery sessions, and a one day in-person escape room exercise. Data from the program showed positive results, giving Army eSports Soldiers the skills needed for future success and victory.
Leadership and Values Ruck March
During a ruck march, Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion/160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, used performance enhancing exercises to focus on leadership and shared values to motivate each other both physically and psychologically.
Prior to heading out, a R2 Performance Expert (PE) from Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center assisted Soldiers in developing a list of values. During the march Soldiers took turns leading and carrying the list. Having it inspired leaders to be more encouraging to others and motivated the group to finish at a faster pace. After the march was complete, reviewing the exercise led to further discussions on goal setting, internal motivation, and the importance of values for Soldiers and the unit.
Performance Experts led Soldiers through a series of mental skills exercises at the firing range allowing them to optimize their overall performance. Understanding the challenges in qualifying and using them as opportunities to improve and succeed assisted the Soldiers in attaining a 94% qualification rate.
Improving Passing Rates for the Sling Load Test
During the recent Light Fighter School Air Assault Course at Fort Drum, New York, Soldiers from across the 10th Mountain Division used enhancement techniques to focus on attention to details and identify deficiencies when completing the course’s sling load test.
A Master Resilient Trainer-Performance Expert from the Post’s R2 Performance Center led Soldiers through a series of classes focused on new techniques to identify deficiencies and detect shortcomings during an operation, the OODA loop (observe, orient, decide, act), and exercises on Imagery and Memory Hacks. The training assisted Soldiers in passing the course with a 90% graduation rate and earning their coveted Air Assault Wings.
All-Army Women’s Softball Team Practice Mental Training Skills
During recent practice sessions, coaches from the All-Army Women’s softball team recruited R2 Performance Experts to educate Soldiers on Deliberate Breathing, Cohesion, and Goal Setting amongst other mental training exercises at Fort Campbell.
Soldiers were taught mental skills in the classroom and during practice in preparation for the Armed Forces Softball Tournament. Learning to handle pressures from competition on the field and building a stronger team environment applies to the sport and Army life. Discussions on the value of culture and exercises on how to overcome the 5 dysfunctions of a team were key components of the training. The team was strengthened with new skills in developing trust, accountability, and team cohesion, and utilized them while winning a bronze medal at the Championship.
Secretary of the Army Observes Confidence Performance Course at Fort Jackson
During a recent visit to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth observed confidence performance and resilience training with Echo Company 3-13 Infantry.
A fanof R2 training, Secretary Wormuth watched as a Performance Expert led Soldiers through a series of classes to include Identifying the Four Sources of Confidence (personal experience, physical state, vicarious experience and persuasion), Training Performance Criteria, Identifying Their Why, and Deliberate Breathing. The Soldiers implemented what they’d learned to successfully complete the challenging confidence course, a significant milestone during Basic Combat Training.
Building Trust Prior to Deployment
Flying and maintaining AH-64 Apache Helicopters require a team effort. In preparation for deployment, leaders from Delta Company, 227th Aviation Battalion reached out to Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center to conduct team-building exercises.
During the company’s Leader Time Training, Soldiers completed physical and mental stations that focused on increasing trust, enhancing communication, and bolstering leadership development. After the stations were complete, Performance Experts from the center debriefed each group, discussing how their experience related to working together to accomplish their mission.
DENTAC Sinks Teeth into Resilience Training
Soldiers and Civilians from Fort Stewart’s Dental Command, or DENTAC, participated in a series of mental skills training opportunities aimed at improving team cohesion in the workplace.
Each dental clinic took part in two different training sessions. During the first session, Performance Experts (PEs) assigned to Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center introduced sport and performance psychology concepts and distributed the Multidimensional Assessment of Teamwork in Sports (MATS). The MATS questionnaire was used to gain clearer insight into the dimensions of each clinic allowing the PEs to tailor follow-up team cohesion workshops to fit the specific needs of each clinic. After scoring each individual questionnaire, a second training was delivered to each clinic focusing on specific areas of team improvement that could be positively impacted by the incorporation of mental performance enhancement skills. During the month-long series of workshops, the DENTAC teams engaged in a wide range of performance-specific discussions that both increased their team cohesion and ability to provide services to the Fort Stewart community.
3-8 CAV Tackles Obstacle Course
Troopers from Fort Hood’s 3-8 CAV Squadron completed a physically and mentally demanding obstacle course as part of the People First Focus Week, or PFFW. The week focuses on building cohesive teams through trust, standards, and accountability.
To complete the obstacle course, Troopers worked in teams to successfully navigate three stations that challenged them both physically and mentally. Unit leadership worked closely with Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Hood's R2 Performance Center to design the course. PEs observed the teams as they worked together to execute the task and debriefed the teams’ experience at the end. Completing the course reinforced the importance of teamwork and the idea that each member of the team is an asset that impacts unit readiness and lethality.
6th LOD Finds in Favor of Resilience
Over 200 Soldiers attending the 6th Legal Operations Department Annual Conference at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) participated in resilience training to strengthen their physical and mental wellbeing.
Based on feedback from last year’s conference, Performance Experts from JBLM’s R2 Performance Center led Soldiers through a series of classes and exercises that provided insights into how their thoughts affected their emotional and physical responses, how to effectively combat the negativity bias which affects ascertaining an accurate picture of events, and the basic neuroscience of the brain. Soldiers also learned how to use a deliberate thought process to focus on positive goal setting and prevent creating blind spots and focusing on the wrong goals.
PEs Support Cadet Summer Training
ROTC Cadets from around the country come to Fort Knox, Kentucky every summer to go through Cadet Summer Training, or CST, several weeks of rigorous exercises that challenges them both physically and mentally.
Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Knox’s R2 Performance Center, and PEs from other installations, work right alongside the Cadets providing vital skills training to assist them with successfully negotiating and completing each task. If the challenge is going off the rappel tower, PEs are there to provide tools for visualizing or talking through rappelling down the wall. ACFT at 0400? PEs are there providing insights on energy management and other skills to aid in passing the test. Whether the challenge is Land Navigation, dealing with CS gas, completing the confidence course, or excelling in a leadership position, PEs are providing support wherever and whenever Cadets are training.
Jumpmaster Candidates Learn Memorization Skills
Alaska-based paratroopers jumped at the chance to add mental performance skills to their kit bags in preparation for attending the rigorous Jumpmaster School at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Performance Experts (PEs) from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s R2 Performance Center provided training on enhancing memorization, test and note-taking strategies to aid in increasing Soldiers’ ability to execute pre-jump commands from memory and to increase scores on the nomenclature and written exams. PEs also taught mental performance skills to address the high cognitive load and stress present during the Jumpmaster course.
Mental Fitness Course During PT and Collaboration with H2F Team
At 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, R2 collaborated with the Holistic Health and Fitness strength coaches to create a physical training plan, specifically incorporating two cognitive lanes to score and rank top performers among participating lieutenants.
R2 skills trained included attention control and energy management. The team was later invited to the unit’s “Saddle Call” and was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for its efforts and support in training the paratroopers. Directly following this training, the Commander and Performance Expert coordinated and planned additional R2 performance training sessions for 3rd Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment.
Effective Communication = Crew Coordination
Effective communication is vital to the trust, teamwork, and crew coordination needed to fly Chinook helicopters. Soldiers of the 2/501st Aviation Battalion conducted team-building physical training led by Performance Experts (PEs) from Fort Bliss’ R2 Performance Center aimed at enhancing these skills.
The PEs separated the unit into small teams to complete separate tasks that helped the entire unit solve a final puzzle. Each time a team completed a task successfully, they were given a clue needed to complete the final puzzle. The unit was given a time deadline to complete each task, acquire all clues, and communicate to solve the final puzzle together. Teams needed to rely on trust and communication that their battle buddies on separate teams were doing their part to enable the unit to successfully complete the mission.
Best Sappers Use Mental Skills to Win
The Best Sapper Competition is tough. It’s meant to be. It not only challenges the competing teams’ physical strength and tactical skillset, but also their mental toughness and resilience.
Based on the results of previous competitions, the 39th Brigade Engineer Battalion teamed up with Fort Campbell’s R2 Performance Center to provide skills training on deliberate breathing, control the controllables, teamwork/communication, and positive imagery. During the month prior to the competition, the battalion’s four teams integrated the skills training into their morning physical training regimen alternating physical and mental challenges. The results were impressive: the 2021 Fort Campbell Best Sapper winning team and three of the top 20 teams were all from the Bull-Strike Battalion.
Victory Starts Here
As part of Fort Jackson, South Carolina’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day (MSAD), the Post’s R2 Performance Center shared the services available to Family Members, specifically spouses.
Insights into available resources included: Academic Performance Training, Expectation Management, Mindsets, Team Building, Master Resilience Trainer Skills, Stress Management/Energy Management, other Performance Enhancement skills and training, and Engage. The MSAD, hosted by Fort Jackson’s Commanding General and Command Sergeant Major, emphasizes the importance of spouses, different types of marriages, and the roles and impact of spouses on military service.
Performance Skills are Range Qualified
To maximize weapons qualification success for Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) Soldiers, the commander asked the USARJ R2 Performance Center to provide Performance Skills training during recent M4 and M9 weapons qualification at Camp Fuji, Japan.
Soldiers were provided training in Energy Management, Building Confidence, and Attention Control. Sixty-eight Soldiers from other units including the 35th Combat Support and Sustainment Battalion, I-Corps Forward, USARJ Band, and members from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Bilateral Co-Operative Exchange Program also took advantage of the training leading to a day of successful weapons qualification ranges.
Effective Communication Help Saves Lives
Effective communication between personnel involved in a vehicle roll-over, whether in training or combat, can make the difference between life and death. Soldiers from the 78th Signal Battalion conducted training in the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT), which simulates conditions that occur during a vehicle roll-over.
Performance Experts (PEs) from U.S. Army Japan’s R2 Performance Center provided training on the importance of managing expectations, skills to maintain composure, the value of watching other groups execute the roll-over battle drills, and team communication. Groups that worked closely with the PEs were able to exit the vehicle in a timely, efficient manner, with zero injuries, highlighting the importance of communication skills in an emergency.
R2PC Supports U.S. – Japan Co-Op Exchange Program
The USARJ R2 Performance Center collaborated with the Strategic Effects Division of U.S. Army Japan to provide Leadership Training for 10 Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) Leaders participating in the Co-Op exchange program.
Class 100 of the Co-Op program received training on effective coaching, providing effective feedback, and motivation. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for JGSDF Officers and NCOs to improve bilateral relations, enhance English comprehension skills, learn about the U.S. Army and American culture, get familiarized with U.S. Army doctrine and techniques, and educate U.S. Army Japan NCOs and Officers about Japan and JGSDF. The long-running program is celebrating its 26th year.
USARJ Preps for ACFT
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) challenges Soldiers both physically and mentally. To assist Soldiers in succeeding on the ACFT, the leadership of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) reached out to their local R2 Performance Center (R2PC) for customized mental skills training.
R2PC Performance Experts taught Soldiers strategies to structure physical training (PT) to be more enjoyable, develop a growth mindset about physical training, and how to craft a mental game to distract themselves from counter-productive thoughts during challenging exercises including solving a combination lock puzzle while holding a plank. HHC USARJ plans to incorporate future iterations of the training with the company’s PT program to provide Soldiers both the physical and mental skills and toughness needed to not just pass but excel on the ACFT.
FSU Tackles Metacognitive Obstacle Course
In preparation for Cadet Summer Training (CST), 109 Florida State University ROTC Cadets completed a challenging metacognitive obstacle course created by Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PE) from Fort Stewart’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC). The obstacle course included an introduction to mental skills training and five stations that included a physical task, as well as a more challenging mental task.
The course induced stress and frustration by adding additional rules and creating an atmosphere of ambiguity. After completing the course, the MRT-PEs led an in-depth debrief linking three topics, confidence, concentration, and composure, to the obstacles the Cadets endured. To enhance the lessons learned on the course, Cadets participated in classroom discussions on the Thought-Performance Connection: how to use thoughts more effectively and increase confidence, how to shift attention from distractions to targets by using cue-words, and techniques to increase or decrease energy activation based on any given performance, including priming emotions and deliberate breathing. These tools will enhance the Seminole Cadets ability to complete this summer’s CST.
Green Thumb Resilience and Purpose
With Spring in the air, Soldiers in Transition (STs) from Fort Bragg’s Soldier Readiness Unit (SRU), with help from the installation’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC), revived the SRU’s dormant Gardening Program. STs spent a day rebuilding two gardening beds and planting flowers and plants in the unit’s courtyard. STs will monitor and provide upkeep of the gardens and have plans to construct two more beds.
The program’s goals include instilling a sense of purpose and providing formal and informal opportunities to integrate skills on Goal Setting, Communication, Mindfulness, Energy, and Connection in an outdoor setting. Without a sense of purpose, STs can suffer from behavioral health issues or physical ailments that often prolong their recovery. Hands-on activities such as gardening can provide a much-needed sense of purpose and build resilience.
Going forward, a collaborative effort between the Fort Bragg R2PC, the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, and the North Carolina State Agriculture Department will bring in Master Gardeners to provide lectures on gardening and growing plants to provide opportunities for ST’s who are hoping to make farming part of their life and career after transitioning from the Army.
Saddle Up! For Resilience
Fort Riley’s 1-4 CAV conducted a Spur Ride to build esprit de corps and resilience within squadron members. A long-standing tradition among U.S. Army Cavalry units going back to a time when they were horse-mounted, Spur Rides challenge Soldiers, known as Troopers in the CAV, to overcome a series of mental and physical challenges before they can earn their spurs.
The 1-4 CAV’s Chaplain reached out to the post’s R2 Performance Center to incorporate resilience and performance skills during the ride. Performance Experts from the center provided instruction and feedback as part of the Mental Challenge Lane. Troopers were trained on Energy Management, Attention Control, Stress Management, and Communications skills aimed at helping them meet the different challenges and earn their spurs.
Steel Dragons Excel with Performance Skills
As the M109 Paladin’s maneuvered into position and the Fire Direction Center (FDC) finalized the computations for a fire mission, Soldiers from Charlie Battery 2nd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery, utilized recently learned performance skills to prepare for this crucial mission. In preparation for the Battery’s Table XII Certifications, unit leadership requested skills training from Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC).
Soldiers learned techniques for Action Control, Energy Management, and Effective Communication. Each is vital to success during the highly fluid and dynamic training environment found during certification. Field Artillery units are required to shoot, move, and communicate on a continual basis and require clear and concise communication, particularly between the FDC and the gun line. A 24-hour mission, Table XII is intended to create a realistic, stressful training environment. Training from the R2PC on energy management allowed Soldiers to lower their anxiety and focus on their performance. When the call came down, “rounds complete,” the Steel Dragons of Charlie Battery were fully qualified and ready to perform their real-world mission.
Mental Skills Training Equal First Run Qualifications
“This is the first time in five years that all of Able Company had everyone qualify during their first run. seven total crews were distinguished, four crews shot superior, and one shot qualified,” according to Able’s commander Cpt. Zachary Ricketts. The foundation for April’s Gunnery success was laid month’s earlier when the company and platoon leadership reached out to Fort Hood’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC) to schedule training.
Tailoring the training for specific groups, Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Expert John Avritt delivered classes on Mental Skills, Goal Setting, Attention Control, and Mechanical and Motivational Cues. Transitioning from the classroom to the gunnery range, R2PC experts provided mini lessons on Deliberate Breathing, Imagery, and a review of Attention Control techniques. The results were impressive with every team qualifying on their first run and the Goons of 3rd Platoon scoring the highest average in the battalion; the only platoon to average distinguished. Third platoon bought-in to the skills training from the start and were rewarded for their focus. The 1-5 CAV commander Lt. Col. Neil Armstrong recognized the company’s efforts stating that they outperformed the other companies and that 3rd platoon stood out for their distinguished scores. Focused training that includes Mental and Performance Skills equals successful mission accomplishment.
SRU Band Rocks Mindfulness
Music filled the quad outside Fort Bragg’s Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) as Soldiers in the unit’s Music Wellness skills development program celebrated the culmination of the 8-week course with an open-air concert. In addition to teaching musical skills, the program incorporates Mindset training taught by Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts from the installation’s R2 Performance Center.
Classes on Imagery, Mindfulness, and Academic Performance skills supplemented the musical skills development. Several Soldiers developed a strong sense of connection with the band, with one mentioning that the course helped with reintegrating into working with a group, a goal his therapist had encouraged him to pursue, and another hoping to continue to perform with others after transitioning from the Army. The 6th iteration of the program is currently underway.
Deliberate Breathing, Communication Equals Success During Platoon Live Fire
Focusing on deliberate breathing techniques and communicating effectively helped the Soldiers of Alpha Troop, 2-7 CAV in successfully completing their platoon live fire exercises at Fort Hood. Identifying the stressful nature of the exercises, the Troop leadership requested on-site support from the installation’s R2 Performance Center (R2PC).
Prior to executing the event, Soldiers were given classes on communicating effectively, vital to success while conducting high-tempo operations. During the actual live fire, Soldiers were taught deliberate breathing techniques to bring their anxiety levels down, helping them to perform optimally and effectively. Troop leadership specifically highlighted the efforts of Fort Hood’s R2PC as an important component of the unit’s successful completion of the exercises and in for use in future operations.
More R2-Trained EIB Candidates Earn their Badge than Those Without
In support of the 1st BCT 101 ABN DIV (AASLT) Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) and Expert Soldier Badge (ESB) train-up, Embedded Performance Experts (EPEs) from Fort Campbell’s R2 Performance Center provided mental skills training including energy management, attention/refocus techniques, imagery, and segmenting a task into smaller chunks - to decrease anxiety associated with a graded event.
During previous EIB/ESB iterations, the unit leadership had identified that mental skills training plays a role in a Soldier’s success at EIB or ESB. Incorporating the mental skills provided by the EPEs, the Soldiers identified areas and EIB/ESB tasks that may require mental skills to be successful and were given the opportunity to practice the skills with specific tasks such as land navigation, and weapons disassemble/reassemble. Following testing, data demonstrated that R2-trained candidates had a higher pass rate than those without. Most notably, R2-trained E1-E4 EIB candidates were twice as likely to earn their badge than those without R2 training.
NTC Readiness Road to War Program Helps Iron Soldiers Prepare for Training
The National Training Center (NTC) Readiness Road to War Program provides leaders and Soldiers with mental and physical readiness skills in preparation for the high-intensity training conducted during a rotation to NTC. The program was developed in collaboration with Fort Bliss R2 Performance Center MRT-PEs, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade Holistic Health and Fitness, and the 3-6 CAV Command Team.
Over the three-day program, Soldiers alternate between a one-hour physical readiness training with H2F SCC or H2F AT and a one-hour mental readiness training with MRT-PE, H2F OT, or H2F RD. During Mindset and Energy Management sessions, Soldiers participate in physically active challenges centered around the day’s topic, followed by a brief lesson, discussion activity, and strategies to take away. An informational handout including topics and strategies from all three mental readiness trainings throughout the week is provided on the last day of training.
The Fort Leonard Wood Ready and Resilient Performance Center assisted the 795th Military Police Battalion with a company-wide team-building event that was executed at the conclusion of their 14-day controlled monitoring phase due to the pandemic.
The event, coined “Hammer Drop”, was designed to showcase military platforms and equipment in hopes of sparking excitement while building camaraderie. The “Corporate” helium stick team-building activity was developed with three target areas in mind. The first target area was designed to teach teamwork along with resilience and performance enhancement skills. The second and third target areas involved observing trainees executing the exercise while the drill sergeants involved observed trainee communication, self-awareness, mindsets and character strengths. This event served to motivate Soldiers, thus giving them something to look forward to as they exited isolation and commenced their BCT training.
Soldiers Develop Mental Skills for Special Ops
The R2 Performance Center at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii conducted performance training for 10 Soldiers preparing for Special Operations, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations Selection. SORB requested training to help Soldiers develop mental skills that will help them during preparation for selection at Fort Bragg for the different SORB specialty areas.
The Attention Control (Segmenting) skill was particularly emphasized because it is extremely effective for Soldiers to use during highly challenging physical activities of relatively long duration. Other R2 skills trained included deliberate breathing, proactive ATC, motivation, imagery, and mental cues.
Developing Mental Skills to Improve ACFT Results
1st Sgt. Stegman wanted to enhance his Soldiers’ Army Combat Fitness Test performance, so he worked with Ft. Drum’s R2 experts to set up a prep day with all 10 sections in the unit.
During the prep day, mental skills and techniques such as imagery (mind-body connection) and body awareness to help refine motor skills to lessen error range, were taught to help with the Deadlift and Standing Power Throw events of the AFCT. After skill application, a discussion took place about fighting against counterproductive attitudes how they can sabotage time and effort in the gym.
Team Building Through SOAR Training
Lieutenant Commander Matthew Scher, Battalion Commander of the 3-160th Special Operations Aviation Regimen, requested a team-building session with battalion officers combining the exploration of values while conducting challenging physical training.
Leaders were asked to identify six values, and while paired up with a partner, discuss their values while completing exercises at five various exercise stations. Once all stations in the circuit were completed, leaders were given strategies on how to maintain a strong team. Leaders walked away understanding the importance of developing stronger and more meaningful connections across companies to bring the battalion closer together as a high-performing team.
New Interactive Course Helps Leaders Enhance Counseling Skills
Leaders at Fort Sill were concerned about issues contributing to low morale and lapses in discipline in their units. Thus, they reached out to Master Resilience Trainers-Performance Experts to teach the Counseling Enhancement Course, an interactive training designed to enhance how leaders counsel and improve their overall relationships with their Soldiers.
The course includes learning fundamental counseling techniques, resilience skills, and practical activities that are based on the skills outlined in ATP 6-22.1. Participants are involved in scenario-based counseling sessions for each skill, encouraging practical application of concepts while receiving ongoing feedback, and improving their understanding of human behavior.
Ft. Benning Conducts Leader Development Course
Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts from the R2 Performance Center at Fort Benning, Ga. conducted a Leader Development Course that focused on performance enhancement skills.
Soldiers could use to enhance the way they coach, teach, and mentor those they lead. The R2 skills trained included: mindset, philosophy of excellence, authentic performances, motivation, goal setting, effective praise, attention control, cue words/phrases, WIN, AIR, building confidence, reinterpreting pressure, purposeful thinking, selective perception, energy management, sleep, deliberate breathing, control the controllables, and Engage.
Army Europe Soldiers Learn Resilience Training Assistant Skills
VILSECK, Germany — Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) Daren Koehler and Andrew Kantor, from the US Army Europe (USAREUR) Ready and Resilient (R2) Performance Center at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, conducted Master Resilience.
Trainer Resilience Training Assistant (RTA) Certification training with Soldiers of the 207th Military Intelligence Brigade using a virtual platform. Students learned the theory behind the MRT skills, conducted a practical hands-on exercise, and discussed what would be expected of students as RTAs and ways they can incorporate the MRT skills to enhance their readiness and resilience. The MRT-PEs have also been training Soldiers from various locations across Europe.
R2 Training Improves Communication, Leadership Skills
FORT HOOD, Texas — Embedded Performance Experts (PEs) joined Soldiers during a Brigade training exercise, Pegasus Forge V, to help sharpen communication between teams, develop leadership skills and maintain motivation while out in the field.
Battalion training activities included challenging missions such as Bradley dismounts, route clearance, maintenance and security. PEs observed and provided on-the-spot feedback, effective communication strategies and guidance on the negative effects of stress. Before going on the mission, Bradley crews practiced identifying potential threats and communicating those potential threats to leadership. Soldiers learned how deliberate breathing can help them regain composure and how to restore effective communication with the crew, as well as ways that PEs can help them with future training exercises. The R2 skills trained included: communication, energy management, and imagery.
Warrior Transition Unit Learns to Boost Positivity, Well-Being
FORT HOOD, Texas— Soldiers, cadre, and civilian workforce members from the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) participated in a well-being initiative comprised of interactive workshops which began in November 2019. Performance Experts (PEs) from the R2 Performance Center taught attendees how to create and maintain healthy mental and physical habits, and effective life and coping skills.
The workshops help to support and accelerate the Soldiers’ recoveries and impact the effectiveness of their coping processes. Attendees reported feeling positive changes in their emotional states, saying they felt more determined, hopeful and optimistic following the training. The R2 skills trained included: motivation, goal setting (WOOP), fixed and growth mindsets, deliberate breathing, and cultivating gratitude (Hunt the Good Stuff).
Performance Enhancement Training Helps Tank Crews
FORT STEWART, Ga. — Master Resilience Trainer-Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) provided classroom performance training to 12 tank crews participating in the 2ABCT, 3rd ID gunnery training. The MRT-PEs supported crew simulated gunnery exercises, preliminary gunnery training and provided support during the live-fire M1A1SA Crew Qualification.
The gunnery included tank crews from 3-15 IN and 6-8 CAV. This brigade-level training allowed for a comparison between tank companies with and without Performance Experts (PEs). While causality cannot be determined, the company utilizing PEs averaged 63 points higher than those without support. In addition, the company receiving performance training had a significantly higher first-time qualification rate at 66% as compared to the company without performance training at 44%.
MRTs Utilize Bowling for a Unique Team Building Opportunity
FORT BELVOIR, Va. — The unit Master Resilience Trainers (MRTs) from 1st IO Command conducted monthly resilience training in a fun, creative way in conjunction with Master Resilience Trainer–Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) from the National Capital Region.
R2 Performance Center team. Fort Belvoir’s bowling center provided a unique opportunity to conduct a monthly training while instilling team building. The unit MRTs reviewed the resilience skills of Activating Event, Thoughts, Consequences (ATC), Real-Time Resilience (RTR), and Effective Praise and Energy Management. Soldiers were then divided into four teams where they competed against each other by lobbing counterproductive thoughts at other bowlers while themselves utilizing RTR to remain focused on their own bowling.
Team Building Exercises Help Soldiers Before the Holidays
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — R2 MRT-PEs at Camp Humphreys provided team building exercises to 70 Soldiers from 4th CBRN Company as a way to boost team dynamics prior to the holiday season; especially helpful for young Soldiers overseas for the first time.
Team tasks focused on trust, vulnerability, getting outside one’s comfort zone, belonging, coping with “uncontrollables,” and effective communication strategies. The company commander commented: "The exercises effectively addressed what first sergeant and I were looking to train: teamwork, espirit de corps, connectedness and leadership.”