Army Resilience Training Tested by Ft. Hood

Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:05am

The Los Angeles Times reports that “In a windowless cinder-block room at Ft. Hood on Wednesday morning, 11 soldiers closed their eyes and practiced taking deep, slow breaths.”  

“The technique is useful for gaining self-control in stressful situations, explained their instructor.”  

“In the course of the day, the students would practice escaping a wrestling hold while being taunted by fellow soldiers. They would balance a dime on the end of an M16 rifle. They would watch a clip from the movie ‘Talladega Nights’ in which Will Ferrell tries to get into a car with a cougar in the front seat. Such exercises, the Army hopes, will build troops who are not just physically tough but psychologically resilient.”  

“The students would be tested almost immediately. Just over an hour after the class was dismissed, sirens went off across the sprawling military installation. A soldier was on a shooting rampage. Authorities say Spc. Ivan Lopez killed three fellow service members with a handgun and wounded 16 others before shooting himself in the head.”  

“The entire base went on lockdown as dozens of police cars raced to the scene and helicopters swooped overhead. Service members locked their doors and gathered around television sets to try to learn who was attacking, and where they might strike next. ‘There’s nonstop texting,’ said Staff Sgt. Randell Traxler, 30, who only an hour before had been teaching his fellow troops how to keep calm under pressure.”