Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg
Fort Bliss Commanding General
The events of the last week at Fort Hood have truly shaken our Army. Losing one of our own is always a tragedy, but to lose 13 people and have 30 injured in our own backyard has been a terrible blow.
My heart and deepest condolences go out to the families of that tragedy.
For months now, we have been talking about the importance of behavioral health. Those sentiments ring true now more than ever. That’s why the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program comes just in time.
The nation is engaged in one of the longest wars in history and the total fitness of the Soldier, family and Army civilian is increasingly becoming an issue at the forefront of this conflict.
The Army’s increased rates of post-traumatic stress, violent crimes, substance abuse and suicides are worrisome indicators of Soldier-stress responses. The Army has learned that, for many, there can be positive growth aspects following deployment. More and more Soldiers report experiencing mental resilience or post-traumatic growth, as a result of their combat deployments.
Historically, the Army has heavily invested time and effort into maintaining a physically fit force as the demands of the Soldier are quite rigorous. CSF has been designed to bring the emotional, social, spiritual and family aspects of fitness to the same level of importance and cultural acceptance as physical fitness. The mission is to develop and institute a holistic fitness program for Soldiers, families and Army civilians in order to enhance performance and build resilience.
Through this program the Army will increase the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and family strengths through a program of continuous self-development, training specific mental and physical resilience techniques. The goal is to provide individually-tailored skill training that leads to a balanced, healthy, self-confident force whose resilience and overall fitness enables them to thrive in this current environment and beyond.
Ladies and gentlemen, Soldiers and leaders, please stop and take inventory – take inventory of yourself and your well-being, then take inventory of those you are responsible for. Stress and burn-out can have serious and sometimes detrimental effects on everyone around you. It’s not something that you can keep to yourself; ultimately someone else will be affected.
As an Army, we are taking steps daily to encourage positive behavioral health, by implementing programs that cater to those needs. But you as individuals must do your part. If you need help or you know someone who needs help, seek the proper care through the chaplain, the behavioral health clinic, troop medical clinic or your unit. Sometimes a conversation can go a long way.
We want you to be at your best, we want you to be Army Strong! For more information about CSF, visit www.Army.mil/CSF.
Serving the nation.