RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
According to the Enlisted Force Development action plan, we must create and maintain a sense of trust, belonging and connection between all Airmen to foster healthy relationships that recharge spiritual, social, mental, physical and financial fitness.
The Ramstein Air Base Integrated Resiliency Office ensures that this plan is put into action with monthly training classes.
“The Resilience Trainer Assistant course class has allowed me to take a gigantic step back from how I have been making decisions all my life,” said Senior Airman Maria Taylor. “It really helped me dig deep with self-reflection.”
The RTA course, taught by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Martinez, 86th Airlift Wing IRO noncommissioned officer in charge, is a three-day class to give Airmen resiliency skills they can use in their work and personal life.
“During the first two days of the RTA course they learn resiliency skills and then on the third day they teach what they learned back to the class,” said Martinez. “Once they complete that, they'll get a certificate, and then they are allowed to teach.”
The class teaches participants topics like gratitude, looking for the good in everyday life and being able to create customized goals based on personal values.
The goal of this course is to give Airmen the ability to overcome big and small adversities in their life using psychology based Air Force resiliency skills, and the ability to teach and share these skills with others in their workplace.
Martinez says she became a Resilience Trainer Assistant in 2013, during a rough time in her personal life.
“The little things that I learned in this course taught me how to take a step back and breathe for a few minutes,” said Martinez. “It taught me to gather my thoughts in a better way.”
After going through the course, she decided that she wanted to help others to learn these skills, and has been teaching these classes ever since.
In each class there can be up to 12 people enrolled who spend the three days networking and getting to know each other.
According to Taylor, she was the only Airman in a room of noncommissioned officers and senior noncommissioned officers who had all been in the Air Force much longer than her; but she never felt her input was less credible compared to theirs.
During the class, students are able to share adversities they have experienced without any kind of judgment, said Martinez. A big part of the class is talking through using the skills being learned.
A memo released by Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne Bass says our [military] culture encourages seeking help and ensures we have support in place for [Airmen and their] families when those life challenges do surface.
“Resilience is much more than being tough,” said Bass. “It takes courage and strength, for sure, but it also takes connection to others in order to make it through tough times.”
The Enlisted Force Development action plan says resiliency cannot be accomplished just by training and education, it has to be achieved through the choices we make and the way we live.
“People have all kinds of things going on in their lives, and on top of that we're in the military,” said Martinez. “If you don't have these skills that the RTA class teaches, it's harder for you to maintain a positive headspace when you have these skills.”
According to those who have taken the course, Martinez and her team are making a big impact at Ramstein each time they teach a class.
“I highly recommend taking this class to anyone aspiring to be a leader in any specialty,” said Taylor. “Since the class I have a brand-new perspective on what I want from my future and the goals I have made to get there.”
For those interested in taking this course, please contact the Integrated Resilience Office at email@example.com