The Army’s new Mental Toughness program.

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Concerned about spiking numbers of suicides, depressed soldiers and soldiers with PTSD, the Army is instituting a new mental toughness program based on the Positive Psychology methods used by many sports and performance psychologists.

Positive psychology seeks to focus on the things that people do right in their thinking, as opposed to just focusing on psychological disease. In other words, how do successful people and people who resist depression think?

The program will be taught to 1700 sergeants who will be responsible for training more the 1 million soldiers.

I truly believe this could work, but I’m not sure it will. Why? The Army’s culture seems set in stone. Touchy-feely programs such as this will probably cause many to reject it. I know from experience that meditation works. But I can’t imagine most people I work with using it. It’s one of the major disappointments I’ve had in the Army; a lack of mental flexibility by many.

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3 thoughts on “The Army’s new Mental Toughness program.

    Amos Volante said:
    September 28, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    This is a great idea, BUT:

    Come on…

    If the Army mandates flexibility and sets NCO performance reviews to the tune of “How flexible and adaptable are you and your team?” then it could work.

    The force isn’t ready yet, but it has to start somewhere. Still:

    No performance incentive=NO RESULTS

    Michael LaBossiere said:
    September 28, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Not to be too judgmental, but positive psychology seems a bit dubious. Stick with Aristotle.

    kernunos said:
    September 29, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I’m trying to think about positive reinforcement and taking out a machine gun nest….

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