RESET Guide

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U.S. Army Reset Handbook For Soldiers, DA Civilians, and Family Members that provides Reintegration tips, ideas and resources.

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<ul><li> 1. Front cover file is separate:REINT_FLIPBK_FAM_FRCVR_REV.psd U.S. ARMY RESET HANDBOOK FOR SOLDIERS, DA CIVILIANS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS 1 Draft, 09 June Reconnecting Communicating Healing Grieving Staying Healthy </li> <li> 2. We recognizeThe commitment and increasingsacrifices that our Families are makingevery day.The strength of our Soldiers comes fromthe strength of their Families 2 Army Family Covenant, 2007 Draft, 09 June George W. Casey, Jr., General U.S. Army Chief Staff Mr. Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army Kenneth O. Preston, Sergeant Major of the Army </li> <li> 3. The Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle is usedto manage the operational commitments of the Armyforces to prepare, reset, and train Soldiers, DA deployableCivilians, and Families who are faced with deploymentin more rapid succession. The RESET phase, or preparingfor the next deployment, sets the readiness conditionsfor both Soldiers and Civilians, and their Families. Thisreadiness state is ultimately vital in order for Families tothrive, as well as face any challenges that lie ahead. Insupport of the ARFORGEN cycle, programs and servicescontinually optimize support to the total Army Family Active Army, National Guard, Army Reserve, DA Civilians,and Family members.Overarching goals relating to the RESET phases 3redeployment and post deployment are to improve Draft, 09 Junethe capacity of Soldiers, Civilians, and Families. Insupport of this part of the ARFORGEN cycle, the ArmyComprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) initiative stepsup the opportunity for Soldiers, Civilians, and Familiesto improve performance and readiness. This is acomprehensive holistic fitness program that focuseson five dimensions: physical, emotional, social, spiritual,and Family. The underlying idea is that when Soldiers/Civilians have the opportunity to maximize availabletraining time, and are equipped with the skills tobecome more self-aware, fit, balanced, confident, andcompetent, then this total fitness contributes tothriving in an era of high operational tempo. </li> <li> 4. Resiliency and independence are strengths thathelp Soldiers, Civilians, and their Families thrive duringthe deployment cycle. Programs that provide trainingfor managing readjustment issues, common healthissues, warning signs, and how to get help createconditions that support total fitness.Soldiers and Civilians must learn to adapt their combatmindset. The Battlemind Training System addressesways to successfully adapt combat skills in order touse them at home in responsible ways. A companiontraining provides Family members opportunities to workon the same subset of skills. Some key areas coveredinclude bonds and social support, emotional balance,individual responsibility, loyalty and commitment,independence, and navigating the spectrum of services. 4 Draft, 09 JuneIn addition to fixing and replacing and upgrading ourequipment and training for future missions, we also haveto revitalize our Soldiers and Families by providing themthe time and opportunity to recover from the cumulativeeffects of sustained operations. General George W. Casey, October 2007Web Site Sources:Comprehensive Soldier Fitness www.army.mil/csfBattlemind Training System www.battlemind.army.mil </li> <li> 5. CONTENTSReconnectingReconnectingRenegotiating 6Sharing Experiences 7Decompressing 7First Questions 8CommunicatingTalking 10Home Front Experiences 10Thinking and Taking Action 11Healing Commitment 12Forgiveness 12Difficult Issues 13Wounded Warriors 13 5Staying Tuned In 14 Draft, 09 JuneWarning Signs: Depression 14 PTSD 15 Traumatic Brain Injury 16 Substance Abuse 17 Family Violence 18 Suicide Prevention 19Grieving 22StayingHealthyStaying Fit 24Sleep 24Resources 26UltimateTipsFamily Members 30Soldiers / Civilians 32 </li> <li> 6. RECONNECTINGReconnecting with your spouse and Familymembers and restoring routines and roles afterlong separations is hard on relationships. With multipledeployments, and little time home, you barely have achance to get to know each other again before anotherseparation begins. Understanding the challenges thatmay lie ahead, maintaining a commitment to each other,and knowing when to get help will allow your Familyto grow and thrive. It is important to remember thatall Soldiers or DA Civilians and Family members haveto adjust to the changes. Everyone may be unsure ofwhen the returning person is ready to take back his or 6her usual roles. Soldiers/Civilians need time to get used Draft, 09 Juneto being home. Sometimes they want to jump right inand assume their former roles but Family members arenot ready to hand over the controls. Some, at first, arenot able to adjust to the newfound independence ofFamily members.What To Do. Everyone needs to have realisticexpectations about the changes that have occurred andset aside time to decide how to handle the inevitabletension. *Make a list of what needs to be worked out.It is important to allow time to negotiate what canchange, and take action on what each Family membercan do. *Realize that everyone has important roles. </li> <li> 7. Sharing Experiences. Talkingaboutthenewskillseveryonelearned during deployment and appreciatingthe contributions and sacrifices everyone made helpsreboot relationships. It is important to learn whythings were done the way they were, even if mistakesoccurred. Sharing these life experiences helps eachFamily member realize that they had support duringthese difficult times. It also helps defuse the doubts thatcan occur when Family members dont understand howdecisions were made.Decompressing. There will be times when everyone,including children, will feel emotionally, mentally, andphysically exhausted. You may be too tired, irritable,or preoccupied with work or Family life or have too 7many emotional battle scars to be close to each other Draft, 09 Juneright away. If Family members realize that rebuildinga close relationship will take time, then more energywill be available to take care of yourself and to workon Family relationships. Family members need to talkabout how much they can handle, especially duringstressful days.Its really hard sometimes coming back to routine in bothwork and at home. Sometimes it seemed easier to be inIraq. Its all the Family stuff, questions, knowing about allyou missed, and have to catch up on. </li> <li> 8. RECONNECTINGFirst Questions. Soldiers, DA Civilians, and Familymembers have common questions and concerns.Addressing these concerns before the return homeeases the transition. Childrens questions will need to beanswered with care and reassurance, according to theirindividual level of maturity.FortheFamily How are things going now thatmy Soldier is home? What things are starting to feelnormal? What, if any, are some of the stressors orconcerns we are experiencing? Will he/she want tospend more time with battle buddies? Do I worry that 8our concerns will seem insignificant to our Soldier? Draft, 09 JuneDo I even want to hear about what my Soldierexperienced or had to do while in combat? Am Iconcerned about future deployments? When willthings feel normal again?FortheSoldier/Civilian Has my role at homechanged after being gone for so long? How is myFamily different from when I left? What will myrelationship be like with my Spouse/partner now? Willmy Family still love me? Will my Family still need me?Will my Family understand what I have been throughduring deployment and (possibly) combat? Should Italk about my experiences to Family members and/orfriends? How and where do I fit in? </li> <li> 9. ForChildren Will there be new or different rules?When will Dad/Mom have to leave again? Will Dad/Mom be different? Will Dad/Mom like the things I havedone or accomplished since they have been gone? WillDad/Mom be mad at me for something I did while theywere away? ULTIMATE TIPS FamilyMemberTip Acknowledge that it may be extremely difficult for the deployed Family member to get used to the day-to-day events and emotions of Family life. Careful management of your personal 9 physical and emotional health will help you tolerate Draft, 09 June frustration, which in turn will ease Family tension during this transition. Soldier/CivilianTip Recognize that Family members have learned new skills, become involved in new activities or new hobbies, possibly made new friends, and taken on different roles. Be prepared to spend time getting to know everyone again. Monitor your instinctive desires to change Family roles, routines, and priorities. Prepare in advance to address key areas such as finances, children, return home preferences, and community changes! </li> <li> 10. COMMUNICATINGIts Still About Talking To Each Other. To improvecommunications know that, how things are said is asimportant as what is said. This is best done in person,where you can see each other face-to-face and listenattentively texting and emails, can be misunderstood!Not all spouses and Family members realize that theirSoldiers/Civilians experiences were life-changing.This will be especially challenging during the first fewmonths at home, and still running on adrenaline or if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is present.Stress and unresolved issues do affect communication,and arguments can reach levels that may confuse Family 10members and frighten children. It is a good plan to Draft, 09 Junework hard to keep everyones level of frustration as lowas possible avoid sarcasm and minimize name callingor reacting in ways that allow arguments to escalateinto physical confrontations. Seeking help signalscourage, strength, and responsibility!Important Home Front Experiences. Recent Armysurveys found that Soldiers and Family members, afterlong and multiple deployments, described problemswith communication: It can be very, very frustratingat times. The most difficult adjustments came fromchanges in Soldiers moods, restoring parenting roles, andre-learning how to communicate again.Survey of Army Families V, 2006 </li> <li> 11. Think First Talk Next Act Later. To Remind eachother that you really do want to hear about each otherslives / Set aside time to talk without distractions / Getyour message across using I feel statements / Listenwith compassion / Acknowledge the other personsfeelings / Follow-up regularly to prevent problemsdown the roadWhen youre not sure what to say or when things seemto get off track, be gentle with each other (and withyourself), laugh often and end your conversations on apositive note! ULTIMATE TIPS FamilyMemberTip Talk to each other openly, 11 Draft, 09 June honestly, and at a comfortable pace. Sharing fears, concerns, and experiences can be difficult and cannot be rushed. Follow-up often with your Soldier/Civilian about ways to help him/her fit back in. Understand and accept your Soldiers feelings about discussing his/her combat experiences. Everyones timeline is different. Soldier/CivilianTip Make time for conversation, listen with an open mind, and let the other person know you understand what they are saying. Sit down and talk often with Family members because they want to be part of your life. If you decide to talk with them about your combat experiences, be careful not to overload them. </li> <li> 12. HEALINGCommitment To Any Relationship Needs To BeMutual. Its All in the Teamwork. Many marriagessurvive reintegration just fine. Some couples struggletrying to restore their relationships, especially if therehave been multiple deployments, the Family is newlyestablished, or if there have been serious issues duringthe separation. Some spouses may feel like strangers fora long time, while others may eagerly try to make up forlost time. There may be anxiety in displaying affection,romance, sexual interest, or just being close....</li></ul>