United States Army Reserve Command United States Army Reserve Command

Mission Mission

Equipping USAR Unit Ministry Teams to empower, inspire, nurture and develop Soldiers and Families who are strong and ready in Spirit!


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CHANGING THE CULTURE OF THE ARMY RESERVE

LTG Jody Daniels  published a paper that outlines her vision for a culture of true readiness! (hint: it is not an all-green metric chart) Please take time to read this paper, the themes of this paper should be seen throughout your command and referenced with your leaders.  Stay on the cutting edge!      Note: General Daniels references Spiritual Fitness on page four. 

CHANGING CULTURE: Moving from Metrics to Readiness by LTG Daniels, Commanding General United States Army Reserve and the Chief of the Army Reserve

 

BUILDING STRONG AND READY TEAMS (BSRT) IN THE USAR

1) As of 01 OCT 2022 the legacy Strong Bonds program will be replaced by "Building Strong and Ready Teams."  (IAW HQDA EXORD 135-22 ISO US Army Chaplain Corps Strong Bonds  Transformation) See below for material to help advertise and explain the change in program. 

BSRT Tri-Fold

BSRT Information Paper

BSRT: The Commander and Chaplain Brief

2) BSRT will continue to be a Command directed, Chaplain led program that builds and maintains healthy Soldier and Family structure. However, BSRT will differ from the legacy Strong Bonds Program by (1) broadening the program scope for holistic wellness, (2) increasing cost efficiency, and (3) training a greater percentage of end strength. 

3) The BSRT Objectives are:

§Strengthen Soldier and Family structure through evidence-based relationship training.

§Improve quality of life by providing skills necessary to endure adversity.

§Build spiritual readiness, ethical and moral strength for better decision making, leading to healthy behavioral outcomes.

§Enrich Spiritual Character to develop self-value and identity.

§Ensure the free exercise of religion for all Soldiers and Families.

 

4) The increased scope allows for greater creativity and innovation, providing tailored training based on the unit's needs. Based on your assessment of the Spiritual Fitness of your unit, you and your command may want to focus your training in areas beyond “relationships.”  If you would like to present an alternate training, submit your plan to the Command Chaplain for approval. An example of an approval memo can be found here. If the Command Chaplain approves, you will be able to bring your tailored, relevant training to your unit. See below for some Training Support Packages that have been used in other units.  Remember, you must get your Command Chaplains approval!

5) The US Army Reserve FY23 Double Eagle OPORD contains the BSRT Annex (K-003) and associated appendices. Those documents can be obtained through unit channels (S3, Command, and Command Chaplain’s Office) requested through your Military Email, or accessed through this website from an AR Net computer: https://xtranet/sites/dcsg357/SitePages/357.aspx

6) If you are on Facebook, you can follow the USARC Chaplain Directorate Page for updates and good news about BSRT! if you are an MSC Program Manager, there is an MS Teams Channel set up for you.  If you would like to request access, email CH Emery or SFC Dean

7) Strong Bonds Story Boards and EXSUMs: Let us hear about all the good work you are doing!  When you complete an event, develop a Story Board or write up a Story Board.  Review the below Story Boards/EXSUMs for ideas about what you can do in your unit. If you have questions, be bold and reach out to the POC from the Story Board and learn from their experiences!

Second Space Battalion

335th Theater Support Command

108th Training Command (IET)

75th Innovation Command

 

A LIFE WORTH LIVING

The Army is taking a proactive approach to reduce the increase in harmful behaviors.  The A Life Worth Living / Value of Life initiative is a mindset and cultural shift in preventing harmful behaviors; integrating Army values into a positive approach to prevention. It emphasizes teamwork and the value of each individual to another. The focus is on "life" and having a life that is worth living rather than simply preventing death and other harmful behaviors to life.  We want to keep people from getting to that edge of choosing between life or death. Enhanced religiosity and spirituality are protective factors for individuals grappling with crisis, can enable post traumatic growth, and help build a live worth living. 

 

As Chaplains you have a unique voice, education, and insight into the existential questions that the Value of Life seeks to address. Most of you have spent significant years reflecting on the value and meaning of life. This is an opportunity to help and facilitate Soldiers on their spiritual journey, not prescribe the journey they “should” be on.

  • “What does it mean to live a good life?”
  • “What happens when I don’t or can’t live a good life?”
  • “Is there a purpose to suffering?”
  • “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
  • "What do I want my obituiary to say about me?"

The Science of Spirituality by Dr. Lisa Miller

Spiritual Practices

The 5 Ws of Spiritual Fitness

5 Skills of Spiritual Readiness

Soldier's Spiritual Readiness Card

Foundational Readiness Day Presentation: A Life Worth Living

Below is an easy to read report on moving from a response to prevention model for violence (interpersonal violence or self harm). Please take time to read this in light of what you do as a Chaplain! You will be encouraged and inspired! 

THE PARADIGM SHIFT FROM VIOLENCE RESPONSE TO PREVENTION

HOLISTIC HEALTH AND FITNESS

The five domains (areas of readiness) of Holistic Health and Fitness are: Physical, Nutitional, Mental, Spirituality, and Sleep (FM 7-22). As a Chaplain, and member of the UMT, you are the subject matter expert for the spirituality domain! One way to strengthen H2F is to integrate spirituality with the other domains. For example, MAY is Mental Health awareness month, it is an ideal time to highlight the connection of spirituality with good mental health.  Below are two great guides from the Christian (ecumenical) tradition that can serve as a Bible Study book, help develop training or assist in sermon development. 

"Lifting the Lid:Six Bible Studies Exploring God's Heart for Mental Health"

"Let's Talk: Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in our Communities of Faith" (participant guide)

"Let's Talk: Breaking the Silence around Mental Illness in our Communities of Faith"     =(leader guide)

CAREGIVING FOR USAR SOLDIERS

Suicide is a very complex subject there is no one thing, answer, person, PowerPoint slide, sermon etc. that will solve this issue. When working with at-risk Soldiers, remember you are part of a professional community. You can refer Soldiers for specialty care, and to other helping professionals. Your colleagues in the chaplain corps can also be a resource and encouragement for you.  You are NOT alone!  Below are some resources designed to assist you in supporting Soldiers who may be at risk.  It is also a good practice to have your local community resources at hand (local hospitals, mental health clinics, VA etc.) You may want to distribute the "Referrals, Support Agencies, Caregiving Resources" to squad leaders as you regularly connect with this critical leadership level. 

REFERRALS, SUPPORT AGENCIES, CAREGIVING RESOURCES

12 POTENTIAL RED FLAGS ALL CHAPLAIN SHOULD KNOW

SUICIDE PREVENTION BEST PRACTICES

COSTS OF WAR: A Report on Suicide among Veterans and Servicemembers June 2021

You are part of a team that can set conditions that promote a healthy environment and discourages suicide. Take a moment and flip through the handbook below.  You may want to do a "Control F" search for Chaplain.  This will clarify what the Commander should be able to expect from you as part of their unit's interdisciplinary prevention and care team. 

SUICIDE PREVENTION: Reducing Suicide in Army Formations BDE and BN Commander's Handbook

Mental Health issues regularly rank in the top three factors of completed suicides in the USAR.  One of our best partners in referring USAR Soldiers, especially TPU Soldiers, is the Behavioral Health Program (BHP).  The BHP can be part of your cross-disciplinary, support team! Please take some time to review the briefing slides below. The last two slides are a collection of resources that you can distribute throughout your formation. 

INTRODUCING THE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROGRAM