ANSBACH, Germany (Aug. 15, 2022) – Installation Management Command (IMCOM) ‘Be Strong’ program awarded U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Ansbach’s Army Community Service and Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation a grant of $25,000 in May to design and pursue a program that would support the Healthy Army Communities (HAC) initiative in the Ansbach military community.
Ansbach’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program director, Danielle Hill, took the lead and developed a plan to provide the most at-risk Soldier population, 18-20 year olds at their first duty station, a Soldier Resilient Start (SRS), and encourage them to create lasting habits that help them succeed and learn up front about Army services. The desired end result is to improve individual resilience as well as overall unit resilience.
“This demographic of the Army (18-20) holds the most vulnerabilities, but also the most promise,” said Hill. “By exposing these Soldiers to educational opportunities that are tailored for their success, the goal of this initiative is to create Soldiers who make healthier choices, in both their personal and professional lives, who are more fit physically and financially, and who make better use of their discretionary leisure time.
“A European assignment presents such great opportunities for historic and cultural exploration,” she said “One of our goals is to expose our younger Soldiers to these opportunities so they are fully aware of what options are out there for the remainder of their tour.”
Soldiers from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (12th CAB), 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (5-4 ADAR) and USAG Ansbach Headquarters & Headquarters Company (HHC) took part in this initiative.
The plan offered Soldiers an opportunity to attend a series of classes, addressing a variety of topics, including responsible drinking, resiliency, healthy relationships, combating depression, suicide prevention, diet, conflict and stress management, critical thinking, financial literacy, and fitness.
The first 15 Soldiers completed their classes between July 19 and Aug. 10. As a culmination of the first part of the program, they joined a trip to Normandy, Bayeux and Paris, France, hosted by Ansbach Outdoor Recreation. The participants visited the D-Day invasion landing sites in France with stops at Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery, before spending the night in the city of Bayeux. The following day included a stop at Monte Saint Michel before sightseeing in Paris.
HAC is a commitment by U.S. Army leaders and their installation partners to increase Readiness & Resiliency through an Army culture of health for the total Army community of Soldiers, families, retirees & civilians, according to the Army’s MWR website www.armymwr.com. Through HAC, Army leaders and community partners encourage health and wellness by shaping things like policy, education, and physical surroundings.
Part II of the program will run through Aug. 29 and culminate in an Outdoor Recreation trip to Italy in early September.
To learn more about “Be Strong Powered by HAC,” visit https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/healthy-army-communities/be-strong-powered-hac
Photos by Joel Adams, Ansbach Outdoor Recreation – Zeljko Stjepanovic, Ansbach Outdoor Recreation, contributed to this story.