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Resilience & Risk Factors

One component of military acculturation involves training personnel in combat skills and creating a mindset that helps them to survive in a war zone.  During deployments, military members learn to be:

  • highly alert and

  • vigilant about noise or movement and

  • always ready to protect their buddies and themselves.


These behaviors enhance capabilities in deployment settings and are crucial in the war zone. They are required of military personnel and are part of their training.


Although these skills are effective for their purpose of enhancing the likelihood of survival in a combat situation, some may be problematic after the transition to home, normal social relationships, and the civilian workplace. It can sometimes be difficult for a Veteran to simply “turn off” these behaviors. For example, a Veteran might not want to sit with their back to a door, might not feel comfortable with a desk in open spaces, or may be easily startled by noises.


Resilience in the context of military action is the ability of Veterans who are exposed to highly stressful events, such as the violent, life-threatening situations in combat, to maintain healthy psychological and physical functioning. Resilience training often focuses on a veteran's understanding that stressful events are opportunities for growth.

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