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You read the title of the post correctly; the US Army will be using meditation techniques to train its 1.1 million soldiers in the art of mental toughness. The voluntary program is called Warrior Mind Training and its goal is to strengthen the mind and analyze how meditation tactics could help treat or even prevent PTSD. Select bases have tried the program and had some great results. The participants were polled and 70% stated they felt better able to handle stressful situations while 65% felt they had better self control.
With much emphasis put on the mental health of our troops, this program is yet another extension into the many resources Army is putting into this issue. The prestigious Navy SEALS are exploring this method at well. The Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in California where the SEAL train preps the candidates for Hell Week (candidates are vetted through 5 and a half day sleepless trial of mental and physical endurance) through methods of Warrior Mind training. The power of meditation is well known amongst some of the most successful athletes and even business professionals. It makes sense that the military is looking to utilize this method, the big question is will the troops embrace it? Will this become a common new tool integrated as early as basic training?
Although it may be a tough sell to the majority of the military world, it seems to make sense that individual branches will put further research and resources towards these alternative methods of teaching troops how to deal with stress and become more mentally alert. Campaigns such as Real Warriors (http://www.realwarriors.net/) meant to curb the stigma of PTSD while encouraging prevention and treatment are one of the first steps toward acceptance of programs such as the Warrior Mind Training.