Posted on Mar 12, 2015
CPT(P) Company Commander
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During all the nations past wars and conflicts one of the highest casualty producers was "shell shock" or PTSD. If this is the anticipated threat to our warfighting abilities do you think enough is being done about it? Are we getting too soft for our own good? Should there be more training in how to deal with the harsh realities of war? After all, our job knowledge, leadership abilities, and competence are useless if we cannot react appropriately to the realities of a force on force fight. If this is truly the greatest casualty producer should we be doing more to prepare for it? Is it even possible?
Posted in these groups: Train2 Training0845aaaa Mental Health
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Responses: 4
CSM Michael J. Uhlig
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You gotta know you are prepared to pull the trigger and be ready to work thru it once you do so you can continue to engage when needed. More than just you depend on that trigger finger being disciplined. Shooting at a 3-D human shaped silhouette is better than just a target paper as it gets you closer to being accustomed to having a human in the sights.

Before one of my most brutal deployments, we were fortunate enough to have LTC (ret) Dave Grossman (author of the book On Killing) discussed the human dimension of killing instead of being killed and how to get thru the challenges you might have before, during and after taking the shot/life. Attached a link to his bio which also includes a list of his books. He did wonders for the mental toughness of our formation!

http://www.killology.com/bio.htm
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CPT(P) Company Commander
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CSM, this is great stuff. Thank you.
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SGT Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Operations Specialist
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I feel like the way we try to prepare troops for it is all wrong. The MRT we have to go through is cheesy and doesn't really encourage Soldiers to connect with it. I don't have a better solution, and I don't think we're too "soft," necessarily--but I do think there are better ways to engage troops and teach more resiliency than we are already doing.
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Sgt Aaron Kennedy, MS
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I'm not sure that Mental Toughness can prepare you for Post Traumatic Stress.

It might get you through the trauma, but the after effects... that is a different story.

Take a look at Audie Murphy. He described shooting Germans as killing turkeys. That's how he dealt with killing humans. That's "Mental Toughness." After the war, he drank....that's how he dealt with PTS.

Given that the military is a reflection of society, we are fairly good at teaching mental fortitude. What we don't know how to do is teach how to prepare for PTS. There wasn't a class for it while I was in. I don't know if there is one now.
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