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Getting Real about Resiliency: Two Approaches

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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As our military forces withdraw from over a decade of prolonged deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, we face significant challenges as we reset, reconstitute, and prepare for our future missions. Unlike any conflict in our history, our recent operations have been conducted exclusively by our All-Volunteer Total Force, putting the security of 100 of our population on the shoulders of the 0.45 in uniform.The stress of multiple deployments, separations, and continued fiscal and resource constraints challenge our forces as never before and we must take active steps to ensure the trained, capable, combat-prove force we spent a decade building does not return home to face more challenges than they did in the field.This paper compares two approaches to resiliency efforts, one by the United States Marine Corps modeled after an operations order with a mission to ensure readiness and resiliency for every Marine on a consistent basis with the United States Air Forces Comprehensive Airman Fitness initiative, a set of resources and goals established for individual commanders to use as resiliency tools.The comparison results in a finding that the more effective program operated by the Marine Corps is adequately resourced, emphasized, and directed rather than one that provides tools for commanders to use in achieving yet another goal without priority, resources or inspection criteria. We possess the necessary resources to operate a program similar to the Marines if our leaders can overcome the internal cultural challenges and issue directives with force and resources to fulfill this critical mission.

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