50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David J. Boyle of Phoenix, the Master Resiliency Trainer for 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon, “hunts the good stuff” with Sgt. Nicole Trevino of Vail, Ariz., a paralegal noncommissioned officer with the brigade. Hunting the good stuff is a skill taught during the master resiliency course where individuals review their day and reflect on the best parts and why they enjoyed it. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Syner, Task Force Falcon Public Affairs)

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers, like all people, are exposed to stress.  Unlike the average American civilian, Soldiers are often taken from their home, required to stay in a foreign country for a year, and then crammed back into the world they left.  The Army has deduced that this is a jarring experience and developed a method of giving Soldiers tools to deal with the stress.  Master Resiliency Training was adopted.

“MRT is a system designed to help Soldiers become more self-aware and optimistic,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David J. Boyle of Phoenix, the Master Resiliency Trainer for 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon.

Boyle travels to all the units that fall under TF Falcon and instructs Soldiers on the four modules of MRT; the goal, to make Soldiers more mentally resilient.

“I teach for two days; each day for six hours,” Boyle said.  “MRT gives Soldiers the tools to be able to better cope with their environment.”

The course covers 11 skill sets, all of which are intended to make Soldiers better able to deal with stress, both in the long term and in day-to-day events.  Topics covered include identifying thoughts and “mind traps.”

“Mind traps are the thoughts that a person usually has about something,” Boyle explained.  “An example of a mind trap would be to fall into the routine of constantly finding the worst thing about an idea or conversation.”

Boyle helps Soldiers identify their own mind traps, so they may be more aware of their usual patterns of thought.  In doing so, he said, Soldiers are able to determine if their reactions are healthy responses.

One key skill that’s taught is to review the day each evening.  Boyle said the trick is to find at least one positive event that occurred and to reflect on why it was positive for the individual.

“This makes it easier to look for the good things,” he said.  “The target is to make remaining optimistic easier.”

Boyle isn’t just regurgitating what he learned during the MRT course, he applies the course’s principles in his personal life.

“I try to follow everything that’s taught in the course,” said Boyle.  “I’m pretty confident that things would have gone a lot better for me, as far as my relationships, if I had known then what I know now.”

His students have expressed similar sentiments, and he often speaks with people who voice their appreciation of the course.

“It’s hard to be optimistic,” said U.S. Army Spc. Daniel Nelson, a legal assistance specialist with the task force and native of Hampshire, Ill.  “If you’re not, it’s hard to lead a good life.  If you can’t stay positive while deployed, you’ll go crazy.”

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 March 2011 04:07


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Bastogne Soldiers help link locals, government


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan –Afghanistan National Security Forces and U.S. Army soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, alongside other members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, began a series of joint operations in the Ghazibad District of the Kunar Province Feb. 16.

Drug lab discovered in Nangarhar, material destroyed

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Soldiers assigned to Troop C, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conducted a search with Afghan National Security Forces in Loya Torma Village in Sherzad District Feb. 5.

ANSF, TF Bastogne begin operations in Shawan Ghar Valley

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces partnered with the Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Bastogne, 101st Airborne Division, to begin operations in the Shawan Ghar Valley of the Lal Por District Feb. 3.


Weapons cache found, destroyed in Laghman

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A weapons cache consisting of more than 100 anti-personnel mines was found by coalition forces on patrol near the village of Jugi, Mehtar Lam District, Laghman Province Jan. 27. An explosive ordnance disposal team was deployed to the scene and destroyed the cache in place.

The security and safety of Afghan civilians is an important part of every coalition operation. All weapons caches found during these operations are destroyed to ensure they do not harm civilians or military personnel.

“Mines are indiscriminate killers. They don’t distinguish between Soldiers or civilians, between men, women or children. We must all work together to eliminate the threat posed by these deadly weapons,” said U.S. Army Col. Ben Corell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.

If you see any suspicious activity or know of a weapons cache in your area, please report it. Call the Operations Coordination Center Provincial Tip Line at 079-662-0193 or at 079-397-0975.