Remaining flexible in the face of adversity can be a difficult skill to master. This can become compounded when faced with high operational demands and frequent deployments, such as those faced by many McChord Field Airmen.
When allowed to go unchecked, minor setbacks can lead some to the breaking point.
Teaching Airmen how to avoid reaching that breaking point is a top priority for Tech. Sgt. Monique Dubose, the lead master resilience trainer at the newly-formed Airman Resilience Center, located in Building 100.
Resilience is the ability to bounce, not break, Dubose said.
Providing that ability is the ultimate goal of resilience training, a new eight-hour training course required of all Airmen at McChord Field. The course is broken up into two, four-hour blocks that can be taken over one or two days to help accommodate those with busy schedules.
Dubose and her team have geared the course to focus on giving Airmen the tools necessary to bounce back when faced with adversity.
The training provides Airmen with tools such as problem-solving skills, avoiding counterproductive thinking traps and assertive communication.
Among the other lessons taught in the course, learning to focus on the positive aspects of an event is a key to resilience training.
Its about learning to be more optimistic, said Dubose.
Negative events in life are not the only type of events that require resilience, she said. Even a positive event, such as having a baby or getting a promotion at work can cause stress.
As part of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness, Air Force leaders have identified resilience as a crucial aspect of overall Airman physical and spiritual fitness.
In a speech on the subject last year, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz spoke about the need for resilience training in the Air Force, highlighting the fact that at some point, everyone will require help of some kind.
I am extremely wary of any simplistic notion that some in our ranks are categorically resilient, while others tend to have a difficult time adapting, said Schwartz.
By mandating the training, the goal is to eliminate any stigma that may be associated with Airmen seeking help individually.
Its a myth that someone can be too strong to need help, said Dubose. Resilience training just provides another tool for your toolbox.
For more information or to sign up for the training, call the Airman Resilience Center at 982-4148 or 982-3793.