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Air Mobility Command's first ever Master Resilience Instructor Course
Students attending Air Mobility Command's first ever Master Resilience Instructor Course, taught at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, listen as course directors discuss testing guidelines at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Aug. 24, 2012. The course prepares graduates with the skills and confidence needed to provide resilience training for Airmen across AMC. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Sybil Taunton)
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AMC, Expeditionary Center lead Air Force resilience training

Posted 9/5/2012   Updated 9/5/2012 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Sybil Taunton
U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center

9/5/2012 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J.  -- Nearly 80 students graduated from Air Mobility Command's first Master Resilience Instructor Course offered at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., recently.

The training is part of AMC's Resilience Strategy 2012, with the vision of producing "a command of fit and resilient Airmen, families, civilians and the Total Force, coping effectively in a community that thrives in the face of challenges and bounces back from adversity."

Though the inaugural MRIC class consisted only of AMC personnel, the next course being offered in mid September will have students from every major command across the Air Force.

"AMC is leading the way on this right now, but we will take lessons learned from what we have done here and share those with Headquarters Air Force, so we can produce the best resilience course possible for the Air Force," said Ivera Harris, AMC Chief of Airmen and Family Services.

The 10-day training course offered at the Expeditionary Center includes one week of resilience skills training followed by one week of teach-back training. The course also includes 20-25 hours of prerequisite, Computer Based Training, in the Academic Instructor Course, also offered by the center.

"They put the resilience skills and instructor skills that they've learned together and actually teach the material back, multiple times, to their classmates," said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Kissam, MRIC director. "So when they leave here, not only will they have received the skills, they will also have taught a good portion of it, developed lessons, and have gotten a good way-ahead for how they are going to implement this back at their home stations."

The graduates of the course will hold the title of Master Resilience Instructor as an additional duty, and will provide resilience training to active duty and Total Force Airmen, civilian personnel and families. The training will be incorporated into Professional Military Education, Airmen Leadership School, Wingman Day and training for specific units and organizations.

"We are early in the game but at this time, the plan is for each major command to have its own master instructor, and for every wing to have at least one instructor graduated from this program. At the wing level, these instructors will then train Resilience Instructor Assistants, and the idea is that each squadron will have at least one RIA," said Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Sugg, MRIC course director. "The intent is to change the entire culture of the Air Force."

Students offered feedback on how the course has affected them, not only as future instructors but as individuals receiving the training as well.

"There wasn't one thing about this course that didn't immediately affect my life," said Tech. Sgt. Douglas Quinones, 725th Air Mobility Squadron in Rota, Spain. "I've been in the Air Force for 17 years and have been looking at retirement. Through this course and the lessons I've learned and what I'm going to take back though, I don't think I can retire yet. This course put that much of a fire in me that I'm going to take it and I'm going to use it."

According to MRIC officials, resilience is just one piece of an overarching Comprehensive Airmen Fitness model.

"When we look at Comprehensive Airman Fitness, we're looking at the total person across four domains; mental, physical, social and spiritual. We also have our core competencies that strengthen Airman and family functioning such as impulse and emotional control, optimism, confidence, and community. Our goal is to instill these principles that contribute to an Airmen's well-being and help build more resilient Airmen, leaders and families," said Harris.

MRIC officials also noted that the end goal for the Air Force is to graduate approximately 450 students over the next year, with sustainability from there on.

"The course will continue to improve and evolve over time, so each iteration will be better than the last," said Lt. Col. David Linkh, AMC Mental Health consultant. "So really we are building something for the future, a legacy hopefully, and this is very exciting from my point of view."

Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., AMC commander, delivered opening remarks to the MRIC students on their first day of class, stressing the importance of the training.

"This is not about a program, it's about a cultural movement," said Johns. "It's about increasing the level of care and commitment that we have for each other. It's a very high standard, but it's one that has defined us as an Air Force. So to me it's the most important thing we can be doing because it's only through our Airmen and families that we are successful."

9/7/2012 4:22:52 PM ET
Well written but lacking the details explaining exactly the content of the Resiliance Course. The elements of the course are missing.
J.D. Romanoff, California
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