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7. U.S. Army and Psychology’s Largest Experiment–Ever

In the January 2011 issue of American Psychologist, the American Psychology Association (APA) dedicated 13 articles to detailing and celebrating a $117 million collaboration with the US Army called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF).  It’s being marketed as a resilience training to reduce if not prevent adverse psychological consequences to soldiers who endure combat. Because of the CSF emphasis on “positive psychology” advocates call it a holistic approach to warrior training.

Criticism arose shortly after the initiative was announced – including ethical questions about whether soldiers should be desensitized to traumatic events and methodological concerns about large-scale programs similar to this that have either not worked or had adverse effects in the past. Also considered problematic, this program is adapted primarily from the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP), which had very little success with a nonmilitary population, and now in its first trial run plans to incorporate 1.1 million soldiers. Critics maintain it should be tried out first on small groups of soldiers.

Lastly, the CSF program measures soldiers’ “resilience” in five core areas: emotional, physical, family, social and spiritual.  The spiritual component of the assessment contains questions written predominantly for soldiers who believe in God or another deity. This means tens of thousands of nonbelievers will score poorly and be forced to use religious imagery exercises that are counter to their personal beliefs and thus  unlikely to foster resilience.

Sources:

“Comprehensive Soldier Fitness: A Holistic Approach to Warrior Training,” Jeremy McCarthy, The Psychology of Well Being, August 17, 2010.http://psychologyofwellbeing.com/201008/comprehensive-soldier-fitness.html

“The Dark Side of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness,” Roy Eidelson, Marc Pilisuk and Stephen Soldz, Truthout.org, April 1, 2011. http://www.truthout.org/dark-side-comprehensive-soldier-fitness/1301814000

“Army’s Spiritual Fitness Test Comes Under Fire,” Jason Leopold, Truthout.org, January 5, 2011. http://www.truth-out.org/armys-fitness-test-designed-psychologist-who-inspired-cias-torture-program-under-fire66577

Student Researcher: Rene Arellano, San Francisco State University

Faculty Evaluator: Kenn Burrows, San Francisco State University

  • Anonymous October 12, 2011

    NICE

  • DAWNYA October 12, 2011

    NICE

  • Bruce Miller October 14, 2011

    American birth rates down, some stats even suggest America no longer able, without conscription, to man its Military Machine. China watches, Asia laughs right out loud! American “Saber Rattling” taken as comical. These are not soldiers protecting home and country and their personal belief systems, these are “Brainwashed” puppets, drugged, and taught to kill in offensive aggressions aimed at conquest for the Capitalist/Corporatist interests that finance them – they are mercenary, regardless of what they think. America is not under siege! Afghanistan has no desire for the conquest of America! America needs the oil pipelines through Afghanistan! This is so conquest for booty for the larger Corporate interests! Wrong flag flies at the battlefronts should be “Halliburton Flag”!

    • David Israel November 24, 2011

      you are miserable woman… wont shed a tear when u depart

      • Jacksonhyde December 2, 2011

        your name says it all PUKIE

      • Boo Day Seus December 16, 2011

        dude, you shouldn’t feel that way about yourself; you deserve love as much as the woman you are hating.

    • Jacksonhyde December 2, 2011

      RIGHT ON!!

    • Boo Day Seus December 16, 2011

      excellent!

    • Boo Day Seus December 16, 2011

      excellent!

    • shediac September 27, 2012

      If we are going to have wars bring back the draft. Draft men and women 35 to 65 years and draft in economic order, those with the most go first, no exception.

  • UncleB October 14, 2011

    American birth rates down, some stats even suggest America no longer able, without conscription, to man its Military Machine. China watches, Asia laughs right out loud! American “Saber Rattling” taken as comical. These are not soldiers protecting home and country and their personal belief systems, these are “Brainwashed” puppets, drugged, and taught to kill in offensive aggressions aimed at conquest for the Capitalist/Corporatist interests that finance them – they are mercenary, regardless of what they think. America is not under siege! Afghanistan has no desire for the conquest of America! America needs the oil pipelines through Afghanistan! This is so conquest for booty for the larger Corporate interests! Wrong flag flies at the battlefronts should be “Halliburton Flag”!

    • David Israel November 24, 2011

      you are miserable woman… wont shed a tear when u depart

    • Jacksonhyde December 2, 2011

      RIGHT ON!!

    • Boo December 16, 2011

      excellent!

    • shediac September 27, 2012

      If we are going to have wars bring back the draft. Draft men and women 35 to 65 years and draft in economic order, those with the most go first, no exception.

  • Mark Stephen Foley October 19, 2011

    PLEASE DON’T LET THE WARS BE OVER BEFORE RAISING HELL ABOUT THIS TRAGEDY.

  • Mark Stephen Foley October 19, 2011

    PLEASE DON’T LET THE WARS BE OVER BEFORE RAISING HELL ABOUT THIS TRAGEDY.

  • Debra2 October 20, 2011

    Wow, WHAT CAN I SAY ??
    “The world” is going crazy…
    After years spent being willingly subservient to a Lacanian thought system which promoted LUCIDITY as a modern IDOL (let’s call that voluntary servitude), well, watching people congratulating themselves because THEIR EVANGELICAL BELIEFS (not “truth”, spare me, please..) have triumphed over someone else’s, well, I feel like Tocqueville : WHICH WAY IS UP ??
    During the French Revolution a certain number of people were very bewildered over the way things were panning out. 
    I say we are once again in the midst of revolution.
    It’s pretty painful.
    But… AFTER congratulating yourselves about getting the Army up in arms, HOW ABOUT GOING AFTER THE REAL, BIG, BAD, CULPRITS ?
    That multibillion dollar marketing EDIFICE that will do ANYTHING to sell ANYTHING (and perhaps anyone…), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all over the planet.
    How far are you really willing to take the revolution ??

  • Debra2 October 20, 2011

    Wow, WHAT CAN I SAY ??
    “The world” is going crazy…
    After years spent being willingly subservient to a Lacanian thought system which promoted LUCIDITY as a modern IDOL (let’s call that voluntary servitude), well, watching people congratulating themselves because THEIR EVANGELICAL BELIEFS (not “truth”, spare me, please..) have triumphed over someone else’s, well, I feel like Tocqueville : WHICH WAY IS UP ??
    During the French Revolution a certain number of people were very bewildered over the way things were panning out. 
    I say we are once again in the midst of revolution.
    It’s pretty painful.
    But… AFTER congratulating yourselves about getting the Army up in arms, HOW ABOUT GOING AFTER THE REAL, BIG, BAD, CULPRITS ?
    That multibillion dollar marketing EDIFICE that will do ANYTHING to sell ANYTHING (and perhaps anyone…), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, all over the planet.
    How far are you really willing to take the revolution ??

  • DeathbyInflation January 16, 2012

    A friend of mine that did 4 tours in Iraq of who I was asking about the Military and he said that one of the benefits was that “you get to kill people” they already have so many brainwashed…

  • Metaphysicalvirtue January 16, 2012

    A friend of mine that did 4 tours in Iraq of who I was asking about the Military and he said that one of the benefits was that “you get to kill people” they already have so many brainwashed…

  • phonecall September 24, 2012

    people who believe in god have been shown to have better resistance to PTSD

    • shediac September 27, 2012

      killing for GOD? WOW?

    • J November 18, 2012

      People who believe in god generally test as having greater resilience – but lower IQ. I’d love to know how they fare with critical thinking.

      “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” – George Bernard Shaw

  • phonecall September 24, 2012

    people who believe in god have been shown to have better resistance to PTSD

    • shediac September 27, 2012

      killing for GOD? WOW?

    • J November 18, 2012

      People who believe in god generally test as having greater resilience – but lower IQ. I’d love to know how they fare with critical thinking.

      “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” – George Bernard Shaw

  • rejco December 30, 2012

    I’m glad we moved to Canada; you Americans are SCREWED!

  • rejco December 30, 2012

    I’m glad we moved to Canada; you Americans are SCREWED!

  • MemoryShock January 24, 2013

    This is a brilliant concern. Kudos to the author.

  • MemoryShock January 24, 2013

    This is a brilliant concern. Kudos to the author.

  • Anonymous November 10, 2013

    http://www.peaceonearth.net/8million.htm

    all you people should look at this!!! This is YOUR country and YOUR gouvernement! Murderers!!!!!!!!!!!!!