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Entrepreneur and Film Producer Reinforces Resiliency, Helps Inspire IWTC Corry Station Sailors

14 April 2021

From Damage Controlman Fireman Neo B. Greene III, Center for Information Warfare Training

The chaplain team, assigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida, has been creating new, alternative programs and events to help new-accession students better handle stress and support mental health.
PENSACOLA, Fla. - The chaplain team, assigned to Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Pensacola, Florida, has been creating new, alternative programs and events to help new-accession students better handle stress and support mental health.

Recently, Navy Chaplains Cmdr. John Ismach-Eastman and Lt. James Lanford invited Stephen Zadrick to speak to new-accession military students onboard Corry Station to give them a different perspective of the importance of resiliency.

After meeting Eastman during an outing at the dog park with Corry Station’s therapy dog Amos, Zadrick agreed to speak to the students about creating healthy hobbies related to the arts that can help keep their life more fulfilled and balanced while they focus on serving the nation.

During his visit, Zadrick discussed the film industry, the everyday grind (a warrior toughness subject) and answered questions from students who are currently engaged in some aspect of the performing arts during their free time.

“I thought it would be valuable for the students to have someone offer realistic expectations about showbiz and life outside of the military,” said Eastman. “Perhaps, save someone from unwarranted disappointment from going about it the wrong way. I also wanted to make the students aware that celebrities have issues too; they may live in a bubble as Steve said, but they are humans dealing with life problems just like us.”

Upon meeting the students, Zadrick reinforced that resiliency is vital, not just for the celebrities that he works with, but for the Sailors themselves as well.

“I want to emphasize that you have to be resilient,” said Zadrick. “In my field, there’s more rejection than there is acceptance. I’ve gone through it with some of my products, but you have to have thick skin and the ability to bounce back and go through it again.”

Having someone outside of the military speak to new-accession students about having similar unorthodox events is helpful to the students’ morale and the development of their character.

“I think events like these are extremely beneficial to students,” said Lanford. “Events like this remind students that while the Navy is their job, and especially their studies here in ‘A’ school are vitally important, it is not the totality of who they are. Events like this remind students to take care and embrace the whole-person concept. It is important to find balance between work and our personal lives, particularly hobbies and faith. Yes, it is exceedingly helpful to have someone from outside the ranks of the military to speak with them.”

Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, resilience is needed more than ever. With most things that service members could use before the pandemic being restricted, introducing guests and events outside of the military to Corry Station Sailors is a major help.

“Trying to get through the ‘daily grind’ while isolating, being prevented from sitting in a restaurant, enjoying a community and etcetera without masking and social distancing requires resiliency,” said Eastman. “Meetings like the film chat with Stephen provide hope and inspiration to press on, get us once to socially connect with others who have the same interests, keeps us productive with healthy hobbies and that even helps to alleviate stress. Any good resiliency program must consider the person holistically! The best resiliency program considers components such as quality relationships, family, career, and things which help mind, body and spiritual readiness and health.”

Whether it’s staying resilient with COVID-19, their tasks and struggles with their careers as Sailors, or with their own personal issues, Sailors and celebrities alike have to continue to push forward until they reach their goals.

“Everybody’s life is filled with obstacles and roadblocks,” said Zadrick. “But with all of these things, you have to break through them and when you do it’s so satisfying. It’s worth it once you make it through to that other side.”

The Corry Station chaplain team continues to receive great support from the command for these types of events and hopes to offer more in the future.

“Balance is key. There are times where our commitment to the Navy and its requirements take up most of if not all of our time,” said Eastman. “However, that should not be our long-term plan. To be successful, we must maintain balance. Taking care of ourselves through hobbies, friends, faith, etc. gives deeper meaning and purpose to our lives that allows us to at times commit more heavily to one aspect over others.”

IWTC Corry Station, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of training to Navy and joint service personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.

With four schoolhouse commands, a detachment, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT trains approximately 26,000 students every year, delivering trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

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