Christine Le Jeune
Institute of Land Warfare
AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare has recently released two Torchbearer Papers: "Strengthening and Sustaining Army Families" (Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2010), which examines the recently established Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Proponency (CAF-BHP), and "Building Resilience: Comprehensive Soldier Fitness" (Torchbearer Issue Paper, April 2010).
Both papers discuss the emotional and psychological toll that more than eight years of war have taken on soldiers and their families.
The increased number of deployments and cycles of the Army Force Generation process have impacted the health of Army families. This in turn affects overall Army readiness.
To fulfill goals of the Army Family Covenant, the CAF-BHP was founded with the mission to "support and sustain comprehensive and integrated behavioral health care for military children and their families at all Army installations."
The objectives of the two models set up within CAF-BHP – the Child and Family Assistance Center and the School Behavioral Health Impetus – are examined.
The CAF-BHP is gathering and analyzing information from a variety of sources across the Army. This data will be used to evaluate program effectiveness, and the knowledge and expertise obtained will be shared with care providers.
The CAF-BHP pilot initiative has also shown much promise for expanded application throughout the Department of Defense, and is "an important step toward delivering on the Army leadership’s commitment to a healthier sustainable culture for Army families."
"Building Resilience: Comprehensive Soldier Fitness" describes the holistic approach taken by the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) Program to prepare soldiers, family members and Army civilians to cope with the effects of stress and other demands and to "enhance performance and build resilience."
This program is mandatory for soldiers, but optional for family members and Army civilians. CSF was designed to provide the psychological tools necessary to teach individuals how to adapt their thinking in tense situations, instead of merely telling them what to think.
The paper details the four elements of the CSF plan: the Global Assessment Tool, online training with self-development Comprehensive Resilience Modules, the CSF Master Resilience Training Course, and further training at all U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command schools.
By taking this multi-faceted approach, the Army aims to "effectively and efficiently ensure that the quality of life of those who serve the nation is commensurate with the quality of their service."
These and other ILW publications are available online and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 630, or by e-mailing a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.