Accession Number : ADA315249

Title :   American IFOR Experience: Psychological Stressors in the Early Deployment Period.

Corporate Author : ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH UNIT EUROPE

Personal Author(s) : Bartone, Paul T.

PDF Url : ADA315249

Report Date : MAY 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 12

Abstract : The American military has deployed about 20,000 troops for the international peacekeeping force known as IFOR (Implementation Force) in the former Yugoslavia. How well military personnel adapt to the psychological stressors of operations like this is of critical importance to mission success and to individual health and well-being. Yet, the US has little experience with such operations. It is necessary to develop a good understanding of the nature of operational stressors at various phases of peacekeeping missions in order to plan effective programs for preventing ill-effects of stress, and maintaining morale and mental health of troops and families. The U.S. Army Medical Research Unit-Germany (Heidelberg) is examining the nature and effects of psychological stressors on American forces over time. Highest stressors just prior to deployment reflect concerns about family welfare and safety, time to make needed preparations, and loss of educational and job advancement opportunities. In the early deployment phase, major stressors are crowded and austere living conditions, harsh weather, high workload, mission uncertainty and concern for families. Three-months into the operation, boredom, being away from home and family, and restrictions on movement and behavior emerge as major issues. For many troops, an intra-psychic conflict develops around the perceived imbalance between personal sacrifices required by the mission (loss of family, freedoms, career development), and the importance of the overall mission and one's role in it. The relative dearth of meaningful professional daily work activities causes some to question the value of their investment, and leads to increased anger, frustration, guilt and depression.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY OPERATIONS, *DEPLOYMENT, *ARMY PERSONNEL, *STRESS(PSYCHOLOGY), *PEACEKEEPING, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), UNCERTAINTY, JOBS, WEATHER, EDUCATION, PREPARATION, FAMILY MEMBERS, MORALE, RESPONSE, MISSIONS, SAFETY, MENTAL HEALTH, PHYSICAL FITNESS, LOSSES, WORKLOAD, ADAPTATION, PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT, PERCEPTION(PSYCHOLOGY), MILITARY PSYCHOLOGY, BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA, LIVING STANDARDS, BOREDOM.

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE