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Training features ‘Shot of Reality’

Capt. Shamecca Scott, of Lyster Army Health Clinic Department of Behavioral Health, and Sgt. Thomas Holliday, C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, join comedy duo and show hosts Colin Sweeney and Patrick McIntyre on stage as they perform a game show to test the Soldier’s knowledge of alcohol during a performance of “A Shot of Reality with a Comedy Chaser” last year. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Capt. Shamecca Scott, of Lyster Army Health Clinic Department of Behavioral Health, and Sgt. Thomas Holliday, C Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment, join comedy duo and show hosts Colin Sweeney and Patrick McIntyre on stage as they perform a game show to test the Soldier’s knowledge of alcohol during a performance of “A Shot of Reality with a Comedy Chaser” last year. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: May 15, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 15, 2014) -- Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians are required to receive a certain amount of alcohol and drug abuse training each year, and Fort Rucker is providing that training in an unconventional way.

The Fort Rucker Army Substance Abuse Program is bringing back “A Shot of Reality with a Comedy Chaser,” which is a two-man comedy show put on by Mission IMPROVable that is designed to educate with laughter about alcoholism, binge drinking, assault, drunk driving and more.

The show will run May 20-21 during three separate times: 8-10 a.m., 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the post theater, and is available to Soldiers, Army civilians, military spouses, retirees and college-age military Family members.

“It’s an outstanding message that they are telling and I’m happy that we can finally train a two-hour block that won’t just be slide after slide of PowerPoint presentation,” said Lynn O’Brien, ASAP prevention coordinator. “This type of training is just years ahead of other types of training because of the interactivity that the (comedians) have with the audience members. It’s captivating.

“The interaction is what is key about this performance because it keeps the audience engaged, gets them up and relates to them,” she continued. “It doesn’t even seem like training because they talk about things that are relatable to their audience, and that’s a good thing because it’s hard to reach a target audience that you can’t identify with, but these guys can.”

The comedy duo uses comedy to captivate their audience, but also highlights the importance of alcohol and drug awareness, and the affect it has on others, said O’Brien.

This will be the second time the installation has hosted this type of unconventional training, but this time is different in that the show will be able to reach a larger audience.

“The event we offered in December was just a small opportunity that we fell onto by chance, and we didn’t have the chance to give it the widest distribution,” said the ASAP prevention coordinator. “This time, we were able to book them, and we’re finally going to be able to reach the audience that we need to with a message that will be entertaining and isn’t preachy.”

ASAP was able to conduct a survey of about 100 people from the previous performance, and O’Brien said the responses were overwhelmingly positive, so it was no question whether to bring the show back to the installation.

“The message really reached the audience, so now we’re able to get this performance in advance for the whole installation to be able to attend,” she said. “The coordination has really come together and we’re almost at capacity. I think this will be our best one yet.”

This time around, O’Brien said she wanted to include military spouses and college-age military Family members because alcohol and drug abuse is not something that only Soldiers encounter.

“The reason we wanted to include college-age Family members is because it’s not a question of if they will encounter alcohol or drugs, but when, and we want to advocate responsibility to them,” she said. “A one-time try from a curious person could land them into an addiction for life that they could possibly not be able to overcome without professional help, and that’s something we want to help prevent.”

Not only does the show provide a positive message that has the potential to save lives, but it also fulfills required training hours for Soldiers and DA civilians.

Army regulation requires that active-duty Soldiers have a minimum of four hours of drug and alcohol prevention training, and DA civilians are required two hours, said O’Brien.

“If you’re a DA civilian, you will meet your annual requirement in one training course, and if you’re active-duty military you will meet 50 percent of the required training, so you can get a lot of it out of the way,” said the prevention coordinator.

Admission is free, but seating is limited, so people should register to get a seat, she said. Also, besides just seating and controlling the environment, registering ensures that people get the appropriate training credit that they need.

“This is just a great way to teach people to be aware of what their surroundings are and to be smart about the choices they make,” said O’Brien. “People should register to come out, but we wouldn’t turn anyone away. We will gladly seat people if we have the seats available, but they’re filling up fast.”

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/126101/

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