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Resilience in International Affairs with US Army Col. (Ret.) Craig Osborne

September 30, 2020

Craig Osborne, Chief of Staff, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Moderated by Eliot A. Cohen, Dean, Johns Hopkins SAIS

Johns Hopkins SAIS Chief of Staff, Craig Osborne, a 30-year military veteran and five-time Bronze Star recipient, joined Dean Eliot Cohen for a discussion on resilience.

Osborne started the conversation by defining resilience as the ability to bounce back from adversity, whether it is a traumatic event, uncomfortable circumstance, or another stressor. He noted any definition of resilience should include an element mentioning growing from a challenge. 

Throughout the discussion, Osborne reflected on the adversity he overcame during his military career, which included experiencing five years in combat as an infantryman in Iraq and Afghanistan and being subjected to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from 2002 to 2006.

Osborne continued the conversation by outlining three steps to achieving resilience: controlling thoughts and emotions, connecting with others, and engaging in self-care. To supplement these steps, he provided helpful tips for building resilience, such as improving self-awareness, identifying personal motivation, seeking out the right people for support and inspiration, getting proper rest, and picking up a hobby. Osborne added that these steps and tips are especially applicable at this time as people experience life changes due to COVID-19.

To conclude the event, Osborne answered attendee questions about his transition from the military to higher education, mindfulness, and the importance of maintaining perspective and looking at situations from different points of view.