As part of its Sustained Warfighting Enhancement Evaluation Program (SWEEP), the Charlie “Colossus” Company of the Philippine Army’s 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion (53IB) undertook a training themed as “The Art of Mindful Communication for Growing Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Leadership Development among Soldiers.” This was facilitated by 53IB’s Mental Health Consultant, Dr. Moibe F. Olitres, RGC at 53rd IB Headquarters, Camp Maj. David Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur.
“This is a research-based intervention program anchored to the identified common problems our soldiers have encountered in the midst of their stressful and mentally challenging career. Our soldiers are expected to be brave, physically fit, and perform their roles as leaders and efficient guardians of the gates. Fear is not part of their job. Nevertheless, they could not discount this in the equation of common humanity. They have emotions and vulnerabilities. As such, they deserve to be noticed and cared for so they can increase their productivity and go home to their families whole and not broken. Thus, in this training, we give them the awareness of how to grow their Emotional Intelligence (EQ) encompassing self-awareness, self-management, motivation, empathy, and relationship management to combat uncontrollable stressors as social beings. If this [training] is fully grasped by our soldiers, they will be empowered to create healthy coping skills and navigate what is available (strengths) rather than looking at what is not (weaknesses),” Dr. Moibe shared.
“This initiative is in accordance with the Philippine Army Mental Health Program (PAMHP). For the Philippine Army, mental health and wellbeing are essential for soldiery. It’s a way of understanding the soldiers’ potential, the way they use their ability, strengthen their resilience, and cope with the challenges and demands of their military and personal life environments,” 53IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said.
This Stress Management training forms part of 53IB’s drive to pursue transformation to become a world-class Army that is a source of national pride by 2028 in line with the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR).