Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

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VengefulIcebox
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Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by VengefulIcebox »

Lessons In Survival
The science that explains why elite military forces bounce back faster than the rest of us.

By Ben Sherwood | NEWSWEEK
Published Feb 14, 2009 | Updated: 2:38 p.m. ET Feb 14, 2009
From the magazine issue dated Feb 23, 2009
" - "
Morgan's research—the first of its kind—produced some fascinating findings about who does the best job resisting the interrogators and who stays focused and clearheaded despite the uncontrollable fear. Morgan looked at two different groups going through this training: regular Army troops like infantrymen, and elite Special Forces soldiers, who are known to be especially "stress hardy" or cool under pressure. At the start or base line, the two groups were essentially the same, but once the stress began, and afterward, there were significant differences. Specifically, the two groups released very different amounts of a chemical in the brain called neuropeptide Y. NPY is an abundant amino acid in our bodies that helps regulate our blood pressure, appetite, learning and memory. It also works as a natural tranquilizer, controlling anxiety and buffering the effects of stress hormones like norepenephrine, one of the chemicals that most of us simply call adrenaline. In essence, NPY is one of the fire hoses that your brain uses to extinguish your alarm and fear responses by keeping the frontal-lobe parts of your brain working longer under stress.

Link to newsweek article.
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PocketKings
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by PocketKings »

Good post. Very interesting article.
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Bravo57
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by Bravo57 »

That was a great article.
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spanky
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by spanky »

Not sure his research is valid. When I ran the RTL a couple years after it started, we used to get a lot of walk ins from the 82nd as fillers for SERE classes. Also pogues from the PSYOPS group and various other places on post. I think these folks did as well as most of the SF and Ranger types that went through the RTL, which really surprised me. Even the odd woman that went through SERE every 4 or 5 classes did pretty well. It was a real eye opener for me to see an SF officer quit the course, and then have an aviation maintenance NCO take his place as senior man and do a hell of a job of pulling the class together.
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Silverback
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by Silverback »

spanky wrote:Not sure his research is valid. When I ran the RTL a couple years after it started, we used to get a lot of walk ins from the 82nd as fillers for SERE classes. Also pogues from the PSYOPS group and various other places on post. I think these folks did as well as most of the SF and Ranger types that went through the RTL, which really surprised me. Even the odd woman that went through SERE every 4 or 5 classes did pretty well. It was a real eye opener for me to see an SF officer quit the course, and then have an aviation maintenance NCO take his place as senior man and do a hell of a job of pulling the class together.
When you site taking in "Walk-ins" from conventional units, you have to take into account that a unit is not going to send it's biggest turd to SERE. So more than likely (My supposition) you may have been seeing a Soldier from a conventional unit, but it was most likely the top 10% - 20% of whatever given unit that sent him. Which would be the same group who habitually volunteer for additional training within their units and volunteer for service in elite units.

The fact that Soldiers can be inoculated against stress through training is hinted at in this article but I don't think it has ever been effectively studied.

Just a thought...
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by 42L5V »

Silverback wrote:The fact that Soldiers can be inoculated against stress through training is hinted at in this article but I don't think it has ever been effectively studied.

Just a thought...
It's called the inverted U hypothesis. It's been studied for sports, but not for soldiers, but I use it as an example in a class I teach. Basically, I use the most recent Super Bowl as an example. The Steelers had all been to the game within the past three years (BTDT). The Cardinals only had two players with Super Bowl experience. They muddled through the regular season, but as they got to the playoffs (stress or anxiety increase) they began to perform better, until they reached the Super Bowl (stress overload = performance drop off). Because the Steelers were pre-conditioned to that stress level, their performance didn't drop off.

*disclaimer* this isn't a football discussion - just an example. You can use parachuting as an example of this as well.


**edited to add:** found a RAND study about Soldiers and stress that use the inverted U hypothesis - http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_repo ... 92.sum.pdf
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by Silverback »

42L5V wrote:
Silverback wrote:The fact that Soldiers can be inoculated against stress through training is hinted at in this article but I don't think it has ever been effectively studied.

Just a thought...
It's called the inverted U hypothesis. It's been studied for sports, but not for soldiers, but I use it as an example in a class I teach. Basically, I use the most recent Super Bowl as an example. The Steelers had all been to the game within the past three years (BTDT). The Cardinals only had two players with Super Bowl experience. They muddled through the regular season, but as they got to the playoffs (stress or anxiety increase) they began to perform better, until they reached the Super Bowl (stress overload = performance drop off). Because the Steelers were pre-conditioned to that stress level, their performance didn't drop off.

*disclaimer* this isn't a football discussion - just an example. You can use parachuting as an example of this as well.


**edited to add:** found a RAND study about Soldiers and stress that use the inverted U hypothesis - http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_repo ... 92.sum.pdf
The most important moderator in the military context, for individuals and groups, is training. Stress exposure training, in which individuals are exposed to simulated stressors and forced to perform target skills under them, can build familiarity with potential stressors, teach individuals strategies to maintain performance under stress, and contribute to overlearning, task mastery, and increased self-confidence (Driskell and Johnston, 1998; Saunders et al., 1996; Deikis, 1982).

Once again there is a "No Shit" moment that cost the tax payers money!
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Re: Researching stress in Ft. Bragg, a study.

Post by Sleepy Doc »

The most important moderator in the military context, for individuals and groups, is training. Stress exposure training, in which individuals are exposed to simulated stressors and forced to perform target skills under them, can build familiarity with potential stressors, teach individuals strategies to maintain performance under stress, and contribute to overlearning, task mastery, and increased self-confidence (Driskell and Johnston, 1998; Saunders et al., 1996; Deikis, 1982).
I'm looking around to see if I still have the source (I think it was the old "Blue Book" Regimental Standards..) but I distinctly remember reading something explaining the "harshness" of the ops tempo of the Ranger Regiment. It quoted a study done by the Army basically saying the same thing: when people learn a task under stress they actually learn faster, have better retention, and better recall under stressful conditions. They are also better equipped to crisis manage later on.

I'm helping to teach a paramedic class and keep telling the students that I wish I could make them do push ups every time they fuck up an IV stick. It really does make you learn how to focus..
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