Swamp Foxes strengthen spiritual resilience
By TSgt. Caycee Cook, 169th FW/PA
/ Published February 22, 2012
February 8, 2012 -- "Resiliency is more than a catch phrase," says Lt. Col. Brian Bohlman, 169th Fighter Wing chaplain.
A diverse group of McEntire's personnel attended the first ever "Ultimate Spirituality: Resiliency and Relationships" training at McCrady Training Center Feb. 8. The course, led by Bohlman and retired Army Chaplain (Col.) Jeffrey Young, National Guard Bureau Chaplains Corps spiritual resiliency POC, was created as part of the new Comprehensive Airmen Fitness program the Air Force has instituted. The CAF focuses on four pillars of wellness: physical, mental, social and spiritual.
The spiritual resiliency training was taught in a fun, light hearted, non-threatening manner and is respectful of all religious traditions and beliefs (even those who do not claim a specific spiritual belief). Dr. John Van Epp, a Strong Bonds trainer, wrote the curriculum for the new Ultimate Spirituality: R & R course.
Col. Mike Hudson, 169th FW commander provided opening remarks. "Don't just tell me about being resilient, show me that you are resilient and that it works," he said, setting the tone for the importance of the training and becoming spiritually, physically, mentally and socially resilient.
The day-long course highlighted four key areas crucial to spiritual resiliency. Becoming Resilient Through Developing Your Spirituality, Transforming Spiritual Beliefs Into Spiritual Mindfulness, Developing Emotional Strength Through Your Spirituality, and Exercising Your Spiritual Commitments and Touching the Lives of Others.
Attendees enjoyed a relaxing day of listening, talking, interacting and sharing as Bohlman and Young guided them through the steps to achieving spiritual resilience. Young said, "A spiritually-fit Airman is a more resilient Airman. Developing all four pillars in our Airmen will mean more adaptable Airmen. We can all grow in the four domains of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness."
MSgt. Jimmy Faile with the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, said, "I look forward to taking this training back to the traditional Airmen and sharing with them what I've learned here today. It was a morale booster to have the day started with prayer."
McEntire was the first of three units selected to participate in the pilot program. As long as the program receives positive results, Van Epp will be invited to train all the Air Guard chaplains and chaplain assistants who will implement the program into each of the 89 Air Guard wings.