FORT DRUM, N.Y – As Soldiers in the Army change, the doctrine that Soldiers follow does as well. The 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade hosted a discussion panel, Nov. 29, for the Soldiers, leaders, and Families of the Fort Drum Community. Panel members, which consisted of senior leaders from throughout the 10th Mountain Division, with different parenting experiences, got to discuss how Army policies, such as Army Directive 2022-06 and Directive-type Memorandum 23-001, have changed throughout their time and how it has helped them both as parents and leaders.
One of the challenges that Army parents often face is difficulty balancing work and Family. The implementation of the new directive and memorandum, which focus on Army parenthood, pregnancy, and postpartum, is what the Army has done to make these challenges easier for Army parents.
One of the focus areas of the new directive was ensuring pregnant and postpartum Soldiers get proper physical training.
Soldiers are enrolled in The Pregnancy/Postpartum Physical Training program (P3T), the program is designed to allow enrollees the opportunity to receive physical training that has been tailored to them. While in P3T, the Soldiers have a more personalized training regimen as outlined in Army Training Policy 7-22.01 Holistic Health and Fitness Training.
During the panel discussion, 1st Sgt. Elrolica Chopito, the senior enlisted leader for Charlie Company, 548th Division Sustainment Support Battalion, shared her unique experience with having a daughter in the military.
“You just never know what’s going to happen,” said Chopito, who is also a grandmother. “There have been times where I have to be home in 15 minutes to watch the grandkids and sergeant major calls you into his office to talk to you.”
Highlighting the issue that plagues many Army parents is adjusting to schedule conflicts.
“New parents have to adjust to their child’s routine as well as the Army routine,” Chopito stated. “As a leader you want your Soldiers to be there for their children’s major milestones, but at the same time the mission needs to be accomplished.”
During the panel, Lt. Col. Jessica Reis, the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) deputy staff judge advocate, harped on Soldiers spending time with their Families.
“As a parent in the Army, one of the toughest things to do is balance your personal goals and professional goals,” said Reis, a mother of two. “I’ve seen junior officers that have amazing goals, and as their leader I have to remind them that their priorities will change, oftentimes I think that because of how successful they are, they’ll feel unsuccessful if they slow down.”