USAREUR Soldiers complete Global Assessment Tool to assess mental and emotional health

By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
Jan. 11, 2010

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- As the new year starts, many U.S. Army Europe Soldiers are spending more time in the gym to improve their physical health. They will also need to spend some time on their computers to improve their mental and emotional health.

USAREUR Soldiers are required to complete the on-line Global Assessment Tool, one component of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program that was established in October 2008 as a proactive way to help Soldiers deal with the stress of military service in an era of persistent conflict.

The GAT, an online survey developed by subject matter experts from U.S. military and civilian universities, contains a series of questions focusing on the four dimensions of emotional, spiritual, social, and family fitness. The GAT was adapted from a civilian program designed for teachers that was reworked to meet the experiences and needs of the military community. It is not a diagnostic tool, but rather a way for a person to visualize performance growth based on changes in training, experience and maturity, according to CSF program officials.

Sample questions on GAT form

The GAT provides immediate results that allow Soldiers to identify their own personal strengths and weaknesses. The individual's results are linked to Comprehensive Resilience Modules that provide tools to help that individual enhance his or her resilience skills in each of the four dimensions.

“The GAT is very important as a first step in the CSF program,” said Jessie Massey, USAREUR deputy chief of medical operations and CSF coordinator. “It gives Soldiers self-awareness as to their mental and emotional health, and offers ways to strengthen or improve areas. Soldiers will take the GAT again after a period of time so they can gauge their mental and emotional health fitness and continue training to improve their resilience.”

Currently, only Soldiers are required to take the GAT but soon Family members will have the opportunity to take it, as well as Army civilian employees, according to program officials.

“Teaching Soldiers and civilian employees is critical, but the Family members represent the third leg of this strategic triangle. Any program that does not include them misses the mark by a wide margin,” Massey said.

Massey said the GAT is individualized and confidential. “The only information that commanders can see is whether or not the Soldier took the GAT. No one else can access anyone else’s results,” he said. “The GAT is designed purely for the individual’s benefit. The whole premise behind CSF is to strengthen each individual Soldier, thereby making the entire force stronger.”        

Soldiers can take the Global Assessment Tool at (AKO login required): https://www.sft.army.mil

For more information on the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, visit the website at http://www.army.mil/csf/index.html

About us: The U.S. Army in Europe, with NATO and other coalition partners from throughout its 51-country area of responsibility, trains for, conducts, and supports contingency operations. Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, USAREUR has forces throughout Germany as well as in Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, and Romania, and in Afghanistan and Iraq.