COMMUNITY CORNER - Army civilians valuable resource, services available to better wellness

By Col. Andrew Cole | GARRISON COMMANDER | May 02, 2014

Army civilians are valuable members to the Army team. As garrison commander, I’ve been able to learn more about the important role our civilians play in supporting the mission. They truly provide stability and continuity for our Soldier and families.

They help make Fort Riley a great place to live, work and play. Because of that, civilians are one of Fort Riley’s most valuable resources, and we must work every day to protect this resource.

The Army places great emphasis on Soldiers’ physical and mental well-being. We, as a garrison, provided many of the services that aid in promoting their wellness.

As we do so, I want to encourage our civilian work force to take a look at what they are doing to better their wellness.

You’ve likely heard of the Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, or CSF2. The program, among others on post, focuses on strengthening our Soldiers, family and civilian employees’ abilities to maintain healthy lifestyles in five pillars of life: Physical, mental, spiritual, family and social.

At Fort Riley, we’ve developed a Resiliency Campus on Custer Hill with the Victory Center at its core, which has facilities and programs in place to build strength in each of the five pillars listed above. Notably, the CSF2 Training Center, Army Wellness Center and the Resiliency Learning Center all are located in Victory Center at Building 7285.

Physical wellness is an aspect of a healthy lifestyle many Soldiers have honed. Every morning, we see Soldiers running in formation or completing physical training. They are tasked with passing Army Physical Fitness Tests regularly, so maintaining fitness is a routine.

I encourage our civilians to do the same. Countless studies have shown a strong tie between physical well-being and overall happiness.

Many of the programs available to our Soldiers and families also are available to our civilians.


Fort Riley operates five fitness centers: King Field House on Main Post and Robinson, Long, Leonard and Craig fitness centers on Custer Hill. Each center is equipped with cardio equipment and strength-training equipment. Additionally, King Field House offers several fitness classes, ranging from Zumba to spinning, and yoga to boot camp classes.


Units at Fort Riley can participate in intramural sports, ranging from traditional sports, like flag football to softball, to more non-traditional sports, like paintball and kickball. With different seasons ongoing all year and special events and tournaments occurring frequently, there is something to meet just about any need. Intramural sports not only promote physical resilience, but they can be a form of socializing – and they certainly help unit cohesion.


Community Life sports are like intramural sports in that seasons are ongoing throughout the year for different sports, but community life sports are not just for active duty Soldiers. Department of Defense ID cardholders, like family members and civilian employees, also may participate in these activities.


Functional training is housed in the Mission Essential Fitness Center at Craig Fitness Center. MEF is a different form or training – one that conditions Soldiers to better perform their mission in garrison, as well as any operational environment.

A Soldier is required to have a high level of fitness, capable of performing a multitude of physical tasks involving power, strength, speed and agility. Functional training incorporates all of these fitness components to train Soldiers as tactical athletes, both aerobically and anaerobically.

For more information on physical wellness opportunities at Fort Riley, visit

While I am placing a significant emphasis on physical wellness among our civilian population, know that we have services to aid in all areas.


One component of strengthening our mental strength is the military life consultant program. Military life consultants meet with Soldiers upon their redeployment to talk about stresses or worries they may have. Civilians may meet with or without their spouses, and the off-the-record appointments allow Soldiers to find the resources they may need.


Family Life Ministries, our chapel programs and Strong Bonds program help Soldiers and family members stay in touch with their spiritual sides. Civilians also can participate in these communities. Additionally, chaplains provide counseling to help strengthen marriages and provide individuals with the skills they need to develop healthy relationships.


Family programs abound on post. Anywhere you turn at Army Community Service, you’ll run into someone who provides a service to our families. From parenting classes to volunteer opportunities, numerous ways exist to strengthen family ties before, during and after deployments.

For more information on these programs, visit

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