After eight tough years at war the Army is taking steps to build more resilient Soldiers and families, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said during a visit to Fort Hood’s Resiliency Campus today.
“The more resilient they are, the better off they’re going to be, not just as Soldiers but as men and women,” Casey said.
Fort Hood’s Resiliency Campus provides the tools and resources to help Soldiers and their families with spiritual, behavioral and physical fitness.
As Casey toured the post’s Resiliency Campus, he met with Soldiers and families to get their feedback.
“I wanted to see what was out there and what we’re doing right,” Casey said. “I was really impressed.”
Casey’s visit came as the Army is preparing to launch Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, a program designed to build mental, spiritual and physical fitness in Soldiers, families and civilians. The program is projected to launch Army-wide in October, Casey said.
Although the Army has had pre- and post-deployment training and assistance programs, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and Resiliency Campus illustrate leaders’ shift toward assessing and preventing problems.
“Most of the things we were doing, we were doing after Soldiers already had a problem,” Casey said. “We were light on assessing and educating.”
The Resiliency Campus mirrors Comprehensive Soldier Fitness goals and was developed under the leadership of III Corps and Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch to prevent many of the problems Soldiers and their families struggle with.
“You come here when you are well,” Casey said. “There is no stigma.”
Fort Hood’s Resiliency Campus is open now, but more services and programs are being implemented. The projected grand opening of the campus is in mid-September.
Lynch and senior leaders have solicited input and feedback from Soldiers and spouses to ensure relevant and needed services, programs and activities are available.
The post has included the Army’s youngest family members by hosting teen and youth forums to measure what Army children need and want from the campus.
Teen Lorissa Carns attended a youth forum and was at the campus on Tuesday.
“It’s very cool to see the ideas we brought forward a couple of weeks ago being implemented today,” Carns said.
Some of the ideas garnered include rock climbing walls, yoga classes, Wii gaming systems, and Cross Fit training at the Wellness Center. Also in the Wellness Center, Soldiers and families can pursue smoking cessation classes, biofeedback and nutritional counseling.
At the Cognitive Enhancement and Assistance Center, financial classes and Military Family Life Consultants are available.
The Spiritual Fitness Center provides all faiths a place to gather for small group or individual meditation, Battlefield Ethics classes and access to a chaplain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The centers and the headquarters building are centrally located for all-around fitness. Soldiers, family members and civilian employees are welcome.