SHELL SHOCK

Soldiers to Learn ‘Emotional Resiliency’

With roughly one-fifth of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with mental-health problems like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army is set to begin emotional training for all of its troops, including the National Guard. The program, based on "techniques that have been tested mainly in middle schools," will be available to civilians, employees, and family members as well. Interestingly, some military officials' primary concern is not how effective the program will be, but instead how it will be accepted in the Army's macho culture. The New York Times reports that at a run-through of the program, the Army's chief of staff asked sergeants if it seemed too "touchy-feely." One replied, "I believe so, sir... All [a young soldier] wants to do is hang out with his buddies and drink beer." Psychologists will be closely watching the program to see if a thick skin can be taught far from the battlefield.