Ventilate (talk out troubles/problems).
Develop readiness/preparation plans.
g. What peers can do to alleviate combat stress:
Recognize symptoms in one another and report to the appropriate
Provide peer feedback.
(3) Serve as a sounding board for others in the unit who want to talk out
(4) Practice crisis management techniques with a buddy displaying combat
h. What leaders can do to manage stress in the unit:
(1) Promote unit cohesion. A basic motivator in keeping soldiers doing their
duty in combat is unit cohesion. Unit cohesion is the personal trust and loyalty among
members of a small unit, a unity which makes the soldiers want to stick together even
when that involves great hardship and danger. The soldiers must work together to
overcome danger and survive. The leader needs to encourage as much personal
cohesion as possible within the team before soldiers go into combat.
(2) Take care of the troops. The leader must look out for the welfare of the
troops. He must ensure the best water, food, equipment, shelter, sanitation, and sleep
possible under the circumstances of the mission. In combat, never waste the strength
of the soldiers for nothing because there will be many occasions when it will be
necessary to accept hardship to gain the advantage. When that happens, explain to the
troops why the hardship is necessary.
(3) Keep information flowing. Keep the troops well-informed of their goals,
the situation, and how they are doing. Do not conceal unpleasant possibilities, but put
dangers in the perspective of how the team will overcome them.
(4) Practice sleep logistics. Be sure the soldiers practice sleep logistics, a
flexible plan by which everyone gets enough sleep. In the combat setting and in training
for it, never miss a chance to give somebody in the unit safe sleep.
(5) Maintain unit readiness. Conduct tough, realistic training. Soldiers'
ability to withstand stress is increased by a realistic sense of confidence. Confidence in
each soldier's own ability, in his leadership, and in his equipment is extremely important.
This confidence is obtained initially through tough, realistic training and, later, through
success on the battlefield.