AMEDD To Introduce Battlemind Video
August 22, 2008
By Minnie Jones
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The Army Medical Department Center and School, co-developers of Battlemind training, will release a new Battlemind training video next year to help foster resiliency in deploying Soldiers.
Battlemind training, or "Armor for the Mind," is the U.S. Army's psychological resiliency-building program. It was first developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., as a result of compiled data from a land-combat study.
The mental-health training that came about from this study builds on Soldiers' proven strengths, and consists of two critical components: self-confidence and mental toughness. It teaches Soldiers how to apply those critical components when they leave for deployment and how to use those same survival skills when they transition back home.
The program focuses on a Soldier's inner strength to face fear and adversity in combat and other military deployments with courage. The training is divided into three sections: Deployment Cycle, Life Cycle and Soldier Support, and is given at pivotal points in a Soldier's career. The training is mandatory and is currently being facilitated by Army chaplains who are taught how to conduct the training at the AMEDDC&S.
The new movie-like training video, developed with AMEDD Television, was created to cover the deployment portion of Battlemind training.
"What we've learned is that education directed toward younger Soldiers and young adults has to be more plug-n-play," said Mike Hagan, chief of the Battlemind Training Office at the AMEDDC&S. "Therefore, what we wanted to do was to create something that was entertaining and realistic and also that gets the messages across in sound bites, because this is how they (young Soldiers) receive messages, and that was my goal for doing this production."
The training, to be given prior to deployment, will cover the seven deployment phases and promote resilience in dealing with the psychological impacts that Soldiers could face during combat and other military deployments.
The way Battlemind training is taught has been modified several times since its inception in 2003. The first Battlemind training was given to Soldiers post-deployment by a PowerPoint presentation. Later, audiovisual training modules, downloadable from the Battlemind's Web site, were introduced. Now the training will be presented with the soon-to-be released video.
"What we have found in research here at AMEDD Center and School is that PowerPoint is not very effective for most Soldiers. Young Soldiers are now plugged into everything; they have iPods in one ear, a cell phone in another and walking around playing their digital MP3 players," Hagan said.
The production of the realistic training video involved multiple contributions. Actors were hired to work along with Soldiers during the filming. Filming took place at Fort Hood, Texas, where a Middle Eastern combat environment was constructed to reinforce the realism of the video.
"The biggest thing that I wanted with the filming that we did up at Fort Hood was tactical accuracy and to be realistic as possible," Hagan said.
The goal of the Battlemind video is to provide a new approach to training and to allow for a better learning environment for all Soldiers, particularly the younger ones.
For more information, visit the Battlemind Web site at http://www.battlemind.army.