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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STRONG BONDS IN THE USAR

 

1) The current Strong Bonds Program will: (1) increase the overall throughput by training a greater percentage of the force, (2) decrease the cost per Soldier by reducing cost overhead, (3) broaden the scope of instructions beyond “relationship” training in order to support “People First” and “Value of Life” initiatives geared toward reducing corrosive and harmful behaviors. Commanders and Chaplains will be able to shape training and curriculum to address specific Commander’s concerns in order to increase readiness in Solders and their Families. Strong Bonds training should be spiritually based training, appropriate for religious and non-religious people of all kinds! A summary of the changes between the Legacy Strong Bonds Program and the Reformed (current) Strong Bonds Program can be found here.

2) A List of the USAR Command Strong Bonds Program Managers can be found here. If you are a USAR Unit Ministry Team and want to execute a Strong Bonds event, seek guidance through your technical chain, and program managers.  They are here to help you!

3) A list of pre-approved curriculum that can be instructed at Strong Bonds can be found here.

4) Alternate Training Curriculum: 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 FY22 Double Eagle OPORD contains the Strong Bonds Annex 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) There is an MS Teams Channel set up for all USAR Program managers.  If you would like to request access, email CH Emery or SFC Dean. If you are on Facebook, you can follow the USARC Chaplain Directorate Page for more updates!

7) Strong Bonds Story Boards: Let us hear about all the good work you are doing!  When you complete an event, develop a Story Board.  Review the below Story Boards 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!

472nd CBRN/76th ORC Strong Bonds

63rd Readiness Division Strong Bonds

518th Sustainment Brigade/377th TSC Strong Bonds

80th Training Command HQ Strong Bonds

81st Readiness Division Strong Bonds

335th SC (T) Strong Bonds

Strong Bonds with JTF-GITMO

407th Civil Affairs Battalion

 

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

 

USAR SUICIDE PREVENTION AND CAREGIVING

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