Thoughts while working out in the gym
Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard,
1st AD and Fort Bliss Commanding General:
Bulldogs Return Home
The 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division Soldiers have finally arrived home! Welcome home and job well done! More than 3,100 Bulldog Soldiers have reunited with their Families and friends here at Fort Bliss and we officially welcomed them home yesterday with the Uncasing Ceremony. We are excited to welcome home our Soldiers after their tough, but successful, fight against our nation’s enemies in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan. We will not forget our Wounded Warriors (231 Purple Heart recipients) and the 22 Soldiers who died while serving with Task Force Bulldog (18 of the 22 Soldiers were assigned to Fort Bliss). Please keep all of our deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coastguard in your prayers.
Ready First Soldiers train at NTC
1st Brigade, 1AD Soldiers began their National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin last week. I visited with the Ready First Soldiers over the weekend, along with Soldiers from Task Force 1-501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade. They are training hard and gearing up for a tough fight in Afghanistan later this year. I was extremely pleased and proud with the preparations, training, and overall discipline of the 1/1AD and 1-501st AVN.
Heavy Metal Soldier Takes First Place in Marksmanship Competition
Thirty Fort Bliss Soldiers recently competed in the first ever 1AD-hosted marksmanship competition – for Squad Designated Marksman (SDM). Congratulations to SGT Jonathan Evans, 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, for taking the first place trophy and prizes – which included a custom precision rifle and Oakley sunglasses. This particular competition is a result of ongoing operations in Afghanistan and proves how important it is for units to train their Squad marksmen. I am very proud of SGT Evans and all those who participated in our first ever 1AD-hosted marksmanship competition. There will be more competitions in the future.
Preventable Soldier Death
This week, we lost a 1AD Soldier in what appears to be a drug-related death. Although, we have collectively been doing a good job of taking care of each other, we can still do better. We must pay particular attention to transitions (PCS, ETS, inter-post transfers, marital splits, etc.)
One area we need to work on is making sure all of our inter-post transfers are treated just like Soldiers arriving from different duty stations, including having sponsors. Leaders need to know things like their Soldiers’ medical status, motorcycle license/training status, place of residence, weapons registration, etc. Continue asking questions, responding appropriately, and displaying our culture of caring at Fort Bliss.
If you are hurting, please get help. We all need help at times. Seeking help is a sign of strength. Seeking help is like a call for fire support before your position is overrun in combat. Seek help!
People want to help you. Call a friend or call the 24-hour Chaplain at 915-637-4265, the Team Bliss Operations Center at 915-744-1255, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647. Seeking help is a strength.
Resilience – Activating Event, Thoughts, Consequences (ATC)
As we look at ways to reduce conflict in our relationships at home, work, and with our friends, I would like to pass on to you our resilience theme of the month – ATC. ATC is used to identify the Activating Event (A), your heat-of-the-moment Thoughts (T), and the Consequences (C) your Thoughts generate. This awareness about how your thoughts drive your emotions and reactions has real implications for your mental toughness and performance. Think about how this could play out with the activating event of coming home from work at the end of a long hard day; dinner is not ready, the house is a mess and the kids are teasing one another. Your heat-of-the-moment thought is, “What’s going on here! What kind of an operation are we running in this home! This place is a mess and I’m starving…where’s dinner!” This thought will cause feelings of anger and frustration toward your spouse and possibly even your children. Now consider a different interpretation of this activating event. Instead, you think as you walk through the door into your home, “I am so thankful to be home with my family. I’m going to give a big hug to my spouse and children, and give them a hand with cleaning up the house and getting dinner ready.” Your feelings will change from anger and frustration to empathy and love, and you will be mentally set up to succeed. This is because our thoughts drive our emotions and reactions; productive thoughts have a significant impact on all performance.
10 Miler in the Heat
Do you have what it takes to run 10 miles in the soaring El Paso temperatures? The Fort Bliss Ten Miler in the Heat is set for this Saturday, August 11 at 7 a.m. outside the Soto Fitness Center on East Fort Bliss. The run is open to everyone. The first 100 runners registered are guaranteed a T-shirt. Early registration is free for active-duty military and costs $20 for all others. Register online at www.active.com or at Soto or Stout fitness centers by Friday, August 10. For more information, call (915) 744-5790.
Well, back to the gym. While swimming yesterday at 0430 at Replica Aquatics Center, I saw a portion of the 1-1 CAV, 2/1 AD spur ride. They looked like they were all having fun. I will miss this week’s 10 Miler in the Heat because I will be taking my older son to college in Ohio; but, I will be there in spirit. Don’t forget we have a Fort Bliss sprint triathlon on September 29. Remember, also that we have one of the only 24-hour fitness centers in the Army – Milam Fitness Center on Cassidy Road on West Bliss. Keep working out!
Be combat ready, be fit, be resilient, and be Iron Strong!
Iron Soldiers – A Bias For Action!
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