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Combat / Operational Stress


Combat and operational stress is defined as: “The expected and predictable emotional, intellectual, physical, and/or behavioral reactions of Service members who have been exposed to stressful events in war or military operations other than war. Combat stress reactions vary in quality and severity as a function of operational conditions, such as intensity, duration, rules of engagement, leadership, effective communication, unit morale, unit cohesion, and perceived importance of the mission.” (DoD Dictionary of Military Terms)

Below, we have provided information on combat/operational stress, including policies and directives, training material, and other resources, to assist healthcare providers and Service members and their families.

Table of Contents

Policies and Directives

DoD / Joint Forces


Air Force

Navy / Marines

Coast Guard

  • COMDTINST 1754.3A, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), 18 Jul 11 (The purpose of this instruction is to update guidance for providing services intended to minimize the potential for psychological injury to employees, Coast Guard members, and their family members who have been involved in or affected by a critical incident. CISM includes pre-incident training, critical incident interventions, and post-incident follow-up.)

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Clinical Guidance

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Forms and Measures

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Fact Sheets

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Other Related Information

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Education and Training

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Related Links

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