e. Lack of group/unit cohesiveness.
f. Friends killed in action or missing in action.
g. Leadership failures.
h. First combat experience.
Soldier's feeling that his luck is running out.
Anxiety or indecision in combat.
NORMAL REACTIONS TO THE STRESS OF COMBAT
a. General Information. Every soldier in combat is affected by stress to some
degree. Normally, a soldier will experience fear, tension, tremors, etc. At times, he will
find it hard to think or communicate clearly. He will feel grief for lost comrades. He may
feel badly about what he has done or not done well enough. These reactions are so
"common" that each soldier should be prepared to expect them. They are the "normal"
responses to the danger and horror of combat. If a soldier shows none of the "normal"
responses to combat, he may have reached a stage of fatalism, uncaring, or apathy--a
very serious state of being.
b. Normal Physical Reactions to the Stress of Combat. Included are the
Tension: aches, pains, trembling, fidgeting, fumbling things.
Jumpiness: starting at sudden sounds or movements.
Cold sweat: dry mouth, pale skin, eyes hard to focus.
Pounding heart: may feel dizzy or light-headed.
(5) Breathlessness: feeling out of breath; may breathe too much until
fingers and toes start to tingle, cramp, and go numb.
Upset stomach, may throw up.
Diarrhea, constipation, or frequent urination.
Emptying bowels and bladder at instant of danger.
Fatigue: feeling tired, drained; takes an effort to move.
(10) Distant, haunted, "1000 yard" stare.