its mission must be of paramount importance to DHS. In this chapter, the committee provides a vision and objectives for how DHS can promote and sustain readiness and resilience in its workforce.


Throughout this report, the committee defines readiness as the capability of an individual, unit, or system to perform the missions or functions for which it was intended or designed (DoD, 2013). Producing that capability requires that individuals and units be physically and mentally prepared and supported in an effort to facilitate effective performance, but it also requires resilience. Much has been written by theorists and researchers about what resilience means and how it can best be achieved. In the context of the present report and the mission of the DHS workforce, the committee acknowledges that resilience is a multifaceted process that is promoted by a variety of individual and social factors (Earvolino]Ramirez, 2007; Luthar and Cicchetti, 2000; Sutcliffe and Vogus, 2003; Tusaie and Dyer, 2004; Zolli and Healy, 2012). Studying resilience, as a concept, provides insight into how individuals and organizations achieve outcomes in the face of adversity, strain, and significant barriers to adapt and develop (Sutcliffe and Vogus, 2003).

To specifically guide its work, the committee adopted the definition of resilience given by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2011): “the ability to withstand, recover, and grow in the face of stressors and changing demands.” In using that definition, the committee recognizes that both stressors and potential outcomes can be psychological and physical and that resilience provides not only the ability to withstand and recover but the opportunity to grow. The committee further recognizes the importance of focusing on resilience in the face of traumatic incidents, but also on the accumulation of everyday stressors that may undermine physical and mental capabilities and mission readiness. Growth and competence development are critical both at the individual level and at the unit level (adding to behavioral repertoires). Box 2-1 lists widely accepted resilience factors. From a team perspective, resilience needs to be addressed through high work demands, management and leadership support, work organization and control, coworker and supervisor relationships, leadership behavior, and technical expertise.

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