The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, CSF, is a preventative program that’s goal is to advance the psychological stableness within members of the Army, their families, and the Department of the Army Civilians. This CSF program although is not a medical treatment program, rather it is an evidence-based training. The CSF is working to develop psychologically resilient soldiers and have it be a necessity of the Army in the years to come. The main goal of the CSF is to prepare soldiers before they are deployed so that they are psychologically ready before combat rather than having to get psychological treatment after. The program as a whole works with the United States soldiers, their families, and the United States workforce. American soldiers that come back from combat suffer from stress that impacts their performance every day, their readiness, and their social lives. The CSF will serve and support those who choose to serve our country now and, in the years, to come.
The independent variable this program is working to change is Army culture. Behavioral health in the army culture is known to be stigmatized. Things such as psychological health fitness is looked at as just as important as physical fitness. The goal of this program is to become a command program that is brought into Army operations and leadership. Hopefully, after this integration of programs, the CSF will have the greatest chance to obtain cultural change throughout the Army.
Important dependent variables within the CSF are to recognize the benefits between physical fitness and combat as well as psychological development. With suicide rates increasing and post-traumatic stress numbers at an all-time high, soldiers are continuing to struggle when returning from combat. Family members suffer as well from going long periods of time without their loved ones. Physical fitness tests within the United States Army did not begin until the 1940s. During this time period the Army began to commit to physical fitness tests. Physical fitness is now a defying characteristic of Army culture. Physical fitness tests are the firsts events every day that each member must participate in.
The CSF however faces many struggles. Their main struggle as a program is developing a more resultant force. So many of the current soldiers have already served in combat for many years and suffer from things such as post-traumatic stress and depression. Being in an area with such high-stress for a long period of time, along with being separated from loved ones is hard to come back from. Like mentioned before, suicide rates among soldiers is the highest it has ever been and this is something that gives this program challenges. The CSF also struggles with many cultural challenges. Seeking help for problems with thing such as stress as seen as weaknesses in Army culture. Seeking behavioral health care has created a stigma throughout the Army and is a huge issue. In response to this issue, the Mental Health Advisory Team 6 brought this issue to light. They found that nearly half of soldiers who served in Afghanistan believed they would be treated differently by their unit leaders if they were to come out about their mental health issues. About 34 percent of them also were found to believe that admitting to mental health disorders would negatively affect their career in the Army. Others sought to believe that leaders in their units would tell them it is their own fault they are suffering form these mental health issues. With all these heart-breaking statistics, the CSF is ensuring that efforts for those in combat to become psychologically stronger are not thwarted by a culture. Those who lead and support our soldiers should be aware of these issues along with educating our soldiers. These are all benefits of the CSF program.
The author of this article, George W. Casey Junior, is trying to prove many points. The main point he is trying to prove that mental health is a big issue with these coming back and going in to combat and something needs to be done about it. With the implement of the CSF, solders will be developed so they are psychologically ready for the consequences that come with and from combat. This program will soon become a mandatory component of the United States Army. In the coming months the program is looked at to be fully operational and the top priority of former General Casey. General Casey has gained support for this program from departments such as the Department of Defense leaders and members of Congress. Over $125 million has been put towards the CSF and because of how important this program is, it will continuously grow. Former General Casey states how important our Army civilians are and how they have never failed to answer our nation’s needs. Every American may recognize this but what many don’t typically realize is the psychology demands that come with combat. The point being, the CSF was designed to better prepare not only our Army but also their families psychological demands. This program will prepare those in combat and their communities in Americas uncertain and complex future.
Personally, I agree with this authors arguments for many reasons. For one, I have many extended and primary family members who have gone into combat and came home and not only been traumatized, but also acted nothing like themselves. Going into combat is hard to picture if you have never gone and hard to relate to when reuniting with those who come back from it. PTSD and things such as suicide are things the Army needs to take more seriously and find a way to improve on. With the implement of the CSF, those in combat have a better chance of living a normal life after combat like they deserve. People risking their life for our country deserve to come home and be psychologically stable enough to go on in life. The most interesting part of this article for me was how this program will be taught. The CSF will use online training as well as classroom training foot soldiers in order to effectively reach the entire Army community. The CSF however is not a one size fits all program. This program was designed to individually asses one’s psychological resilience level. An online assessment is given first to identify one’s current resilience level. Next, another assessment is given to self-help soldiers based off their first assessments results. Thirdly, a training master designs a reissuance training for this individual soldier based on his needs and his needs only. So far, over 2,500 master trainers have been trained and this number will continue to grow. These trainers will soon be placed in every area of combat throughout the Army and will help design plans ad teach our Army leaders how to instill resilience in their subordinates.
All in all, this article was very eye-opening to me a psychology major and one with family members who have served in combat. Knowing our nation’s strongest men now have the opportunity to save themselves psychologically is very empowering and something that should have been done a while ago. Fighting in combat comes with many consequences, and the CSF recognizes these problems and is acting upon them. Without this program, coming back from combat will continuously affect soldiers mentally and physically. The CSF is an amazing program and is greatly appreciated by many.