Strong Bonds Program

Soldier holding a child

If most couples say they are happy, why does one out of every two couples end up divorced?

On any given day, almost 90% of couples say they were happy in their marriage, yet the divorce rate is over 50%. How can this be?

Research suggests that marital breakdown is often like the build-up before a mud slide. Years of erosion underneath the ground's surface can go unnoticed - until that final rainstorm hits. Then the whole hill comes sliding down.

Unfortunately, no one goes through life "rainstorm-free." Stresses like staying afloat financially, raising children, work concerns, planning for the future, etc... affect every couple. The PREP Approach is designed to help you protect your marriage from erosion, as well as regain any ground you may have lost.

Healthy relationships contribute to the maintenance of a healthy Army and a secure future force. With increasing demands placed on Soldiers and Families, to include both frequent deployments and duty relocation, intimate relationships are fully tested.

Research shows that training in communication skills, intimacy, and conflict management increases marital satisfaction and reduces rates of Family violence.

Building Army Family resiliency is part of a strategic approach to cope with the high operational demand placed on today’s Army.

Strong Bonds is the Army’s program designed to assist commanders in building, strengthening, preserving and restoring Army Families and Single Soldiers. Strong Bonds has four (4) program components: Single Soldiers, Married Couples, Families and Phases of Deployment.

The different curriculums that are taught at events, help teach individuals skills that are useful in the military as well as in their personal lives; communication skills, conflict resolution, resiliency, teamwork, relationship skills, are just a few of the subjects that are taught.

Highlights of the program events:

  1. Free lodging for weekend events
  2. Optional childcare, with a certified childcare agency
  3. Up to 4 meals paid for
  4. Take home materials
  5. Meeting other military individuals and families
  6. Event locations throughout the state of Indiana

Program Eligibility

Title 10, Chapter 88, Section 1789 and paragraph 16-6e AR 165-1 (Annex F) states the authority for participation in chaplain led events.

  1. Active Duty Soldiers, Reserve Component (ARNG and USAR) Soldiers in an active status, and their immediate family members are eligible to participate in Strong Bonds training events.

Immediate family members mean:

  1. The member’s spouse
  2. Any child of the member as described in 10 USC 1072, subparagraph (2)(D) and subparagraph (6).

    No authority exists for DA civilians to participate in the Strong Bonds Program.

    Strong Bonds is an Army program authorized and funded to provide support to Soldiers and their Families; Attendance at Strong Bonds events is restricted to Soldiers and Army Families.

Event Structures

  1. Strong Bonds Alpha. Four hours of structured training conducted locally in a military or commercial facility using only Strong Bonds Curriculum.
  2. Strong Bonds Bravo. Eight hours of training conducted locally in a military or commercial facility using only Strong Bonds curriculum.
  3. Strong Bonds Charlie. Twelve hours of training, conducted overnight at a commercial offsite venue using only Strong Bonds curriculum.

Single Soldiers, Married Couples, Families and Phases of Deployment.

  1. Strong Bonds for Singles. Focuses on skills for building a great relationship, managing expectations, making healthy choices, coping, resiliency, and finding the right partner.
  2. Strong Bonds for Married Couples. Strengthens the marital bond, giving couples the tools and information they need for better communication and relationship building.
  3. Strong Bonds – Families. Teaches effective communication and listening skills to parents and children; builds parental skills to help care for and manage children. Note. Children are active participants for all Strong Bonds – Families Retreats.
  4. Strong Bonds – Families of Deployed. Provides the tools to enable Families to not just survive, but thrive in the midst of their Soldier’s deployment. Note. Children are active participants for all Strong Bonds – Families of Deployed Training events.
  5. Strong Bonds – PreDeployment. Module(s) identifying unique challenges single Soldiers, married couples, and Army Families will face and planning how they will manage their relationships through the stress of pre-deployment.
  6. Strong-Bonds – Reintegration. Provides tools to assist Soldiers and their Families with issues pertaining to the transition from the battlefield to the home front, as Family members adjust to disrupted routines and challenges of reconnection.

Office of the Chaplain: 317-247-3300 ext. 75221


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