PSYCHOLOGICAL warfare missions are planned to stimulate or strengthen positive attitudes and behaviors in enemy forces or civilians. This is achieved by passing on tailored messaging to the target audience. PSYOP Soldiers come armed with imagery, graphics and expressions to develop and deliver the right message at the right time and place to get the results needed.
The art of PSYOP relies on persuasion rather than physical force. The tools of the trade are logic, fear, desire and other mental factors used to evoke specific emotions, attitudes and behaviors.
The ultimate objective is to persuade enemy, neutral and friendly nations and forces to take favorable actions toward the U.S. and its allies.
The 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., is the only PSYOP Group in the active Army force structure. The 4th POG has six regionally aligned battalions (1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th), each oriented to specific cultures and languages. Their messages are viewed on TV, heard on the radio and read in various publications as well as on the Internet.
Using words and messages, their products evoke specific emotions, behaviors and attitudes in order to adjust the activities of foreign populations in a way that meets with U.S. diplomatic, national security and foreign policy objectives.
You'll find PSYOP troops at many overseas locations in peacetime and during conflicts, assisting U.S. and foreign governments, militaries and civilian populations.
The group has a distinguished record. It earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation during the Vietnam War for providing tactical support for allied operations and participating in strategic campaigns against North Vietnam.
The group provided PSYOP support in both Grenada for Operation Urgent Fury and in Panama for Operation Just Cause. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the 4th POG provided PSYOP support to coalition forces as they destroyed Iraqi forces in southern Iraq and Kuwait.
The group's Soldiers were responsible for convincing thousands of Iraqi troops to surrender.
Soldiers from 4th POG have supported operations worldwide since the early 1990s, including humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina, counter-drug actions in South America and Asia, and de-mining operations around the globe.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the 4th POG has been heavily engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and the Philippines, among many other places.
The 4th POG continues to provide psychological operations support to special operations forces, combatant commanders and other government agencies throughout the world.