A few weeks ago the US Army noted that while active duty suicides were down last year, suicides in the Guard and Reserve were up. Notably, while the stereotype is a forlorn Soldier who cannot reconnect after a year of combat, more than half of the Guard Soldiers who committed suicide had not deployed.
The Army, understandably unable to find a “silver bullet” to stop suicide, credits a variety of new programs with at least appearing to staunch the tragic flow:
The reduction in active-duty suicides shows progress, [Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter] Chiarelli said. He attributed the decrease partly to the stand-up of the service’s Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Council and Task Force in 2009, and the programs and policy changes it’s instituted.
More soldiers are using the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program, and the Pain Management Task Force is monitoring Read more
A recent tour of the new Fort Riley resiliency campus by BrigGen Rhonda Cornum, Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness director, provided a forum for the Army to communicate the purpose of its ‘total fitness’ concepts.
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness has “five pillars:” social, emotional, physical, spiritual and Family.
“I look at resiliency training as a preparation for life. The skills you learn, whether it is stress management or communication, those are skills that are equally useful whether you are dealing with the problem of a medical diagnose or losing your job,” Cornum said. “It’s beautiful and I think it’s probably No. 1.”…
“Our vision is people who are physically fit, emotionally strong and mentally tough, and it is a commitment to doing that, not just waiting in some reactive mode until somebody has a crisis or problem,” she said. Read more
Michael Weinstein has been in the media recently claiming that the US Army’s Global Assessment Tool (previously discussed), which helps Soldiers self-assess their emotional, social, family, and spiritual fitness is actually a tool created to enable Christians to take over the military.
[This] imperious fascistic contagion of this fundamentalist Christian tsunami that is sweeping through the military. And this Soldier Fitness test is just the camel’s nose under the tent.
Weinstein is sure fundamentalist Christians are behind the implementation of the Spiritual Fitness test. “There is absolutely no doubt where this is coming from,” he said. “We smell this disgusting stench over and over again.”
Apparently, the “stench,” which Weinstein previously said was like “10,000 rotting swine,” is spreading to non-Christians. According to the report, the person who oversaw the creation of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program (there’s not actually an individual “Spiritual Fitness Test”) is agnostic, and even now defends the value of the program: Read more
During the Christmas season it is not unusual to hear the controversy over whether “Merry Christmas” is being intentionally censored or avoided. Regardless of your political or religious persuasion, there are some ridiculous examples of scornful “Merry Christmas” retorts to what may be sincere well wishes expressed in the “wrong” words of “Happy Holidays.” Some have rightly said that some Merry Christmas-ers are just looking for something to get twisted over.
Likewise, atheists now have their own manufactured cause célèbre.
The Global Assessment Tool (GAT) Soldier Fitness Tracker (SFT) is part of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative. It is designed to help Soldiers self-assess their Emotional, Social, Family, and Spiritual resiliency. Atheists have taken umbrage at the “Spiritual” section, Read more
The US Army has made a concerted effort to support the “whole Soldier” concept with its Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. These programs have targeted the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of American servicemembers.
Chaplains in Afghanistan have been vital to that cause in many respects: Read more
The US Army’s master resilience training school will open on Fort Jackson in April.
The school is part of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, the Army’s latest attempt to train Soldiers not only for war, but also for life. To that end, the CSF program describes “five dimensions of strength:” Physical, Emotional, Social, Family, and Spiritual.
The Army apparently recognizes one of the most common displays of spiritual strength among its Soldiers: the poster for “spiritual strength” contains a photograph of uniformed and armed Army members praying in a circle.
US Army Graphic
Ironically, this public expression of spirituality is occasionally imperiled by critics who feel that the displays inappropriately connect the US military with religion (more specifically, Christianity). For the time being, the military’s hypersensitivity to religious offense has not yet restricted public displays of Read more