Combat Stress Platoon


Mental health unit within the US Armed Forces that carries out counseling of soldiers. Consisting of army doctors and counselors, each team has approximately 20 individuals.

Soldiers facing the front line of battle are placed under extreme stress. In the First World War, numerous soldiers serving in the trenches who experienced heavy shelling suffered from combat neurosis termed as "shell shock".

Most soldiers suffering from combat stress are able to recover through rest. However, 10% are unable to return to the battlefield. Moreover, there is data indicating that almost all combatants who experience continuous combat for more than two months will develop some form of mental disorder. This stress is the reason why alcohol and narcotics are prevalent on the front lines.

Therefore, in modern warfare, preventing stress among soldiers and reducing personal exhaustion is of the utmost importance. The Combat Stress Platoon is an attempt towards a solution to these considerations.

The Combat Stress Platoon provides soldiers with pre-sortie counseling of emotional blocking aimed at preventing psychological damage as well as counseling to soldiers returning home to assist in their transition back to normal life. After a soldier returns home, a debriefing is held not so much as to assess a mission, but to stabilize a soldier's mental health by helping the individual view the experience in a different light.

Counseling of emotional blocking is aimed at programming (brainwashing) soldiers to reduce their feelings of guilt associated with acts of combat, such as shooting to kill, to prevent emotional disturbance. Counseling for transition back to normal life deprograms (de-brainwashes) soldiers to sublimate feelings of guilt about war and restore societal common sense. The two are a pair, and one type of counseling is never carried out without the other.