Marine Corps COSC


Definition of COSC:

  • Leader actions and responsibilities to promote resilience and psychological health in military units and individuals, including families, exposed to the stress of combat or other military operations (MCO, 5351.1, 2013, p.30). The policy provides a deployment and psychological health checklist to commanders to determine fitness and deployability.
  • Operational Stress Control and Readiness (OSCAR) is the primary method of COSC implementation which includes additional training to develop OSCAR teams. Through these teams, commands are able to more easily identify operational stress issues. These team members receive more education on stress signs and symptoms, as well as on available resources and the proper means of referring someone with a potential stress injury.

Definition of Combat Stress:

  • Changes in physical or mental functioning or behavior due to the experience of lethal force or its aftermath. These changes can be positive and adaptive (e.g. increased confidence in self and peers), or they can be negative, including distress or loss of functioning (MCO, 5351.1, 2013, p.30).

Purpose of COSC:

  • The COSC program seeks to enable a cohesive ready force and promotes long-term health and well-being among Marines, attached sailors, and their family members. The COSC program assists commanders, Marines, and attached sailors, in maintaining war-fighting capabilities by preventing, identifying, and managing the impacts of combat and operational stress on Marines and sailors (MCO 5351.1, 2013, p.1).



  • The goal of COSC efforts is to prevent, identify, and reduce stress issues as early as possible in order to promote mission readiness, preserve the force and support the long-term health and well-being among Marines, attached sailors, and their family members (MCO 5351.1, 2013, p. 12 and 19).
  • OSCAR training covers: COSC awareness, the five core leadership functions, application of the stress continuum, after action reviews (AARs) as COSC tools, listening skills, early intervention strategies, operational risk management issues related to stress, coordination between leaders and medical providers, tools of building resilience, mitigation strategies, determination of psychological readiness for deployment, and a leader’s panel discussion of personal experiences with combat and operational stress.


OSCAR teams consisting of:

  • Trained Marine mentors
  • Navy mental health professionals
  • Religious ministry personnel
  • Unit medical personnel

Relevant Links

The Gear Locker

  • The Gear Locker is the official Marine Corps intranet for Marine & Family Programs Division, which includes additional training for combat and operational stress. (CAC enabled)

DSTRESS Line – 1-877-476-7734

  • The Marine Corps DSTRESS Line provides a 24-7 anonymous phone and chat and referral service using a ‘Marine-to-Marine’ approach. The call center is staffed with veteran Marines, Fleet Marine Force corpsmen who were previously attached to the Marine Corps, Marine spouses and other family members, and licensed behavioral health counselors specifically trained in Marine Corps culture. DSTRESS Line’s goal is to help callers improve total fitness and develop the necessary skills required to cope with the widely-varying challenges of life in the corps.

MCCS Forward

  • Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) is a comprehensive set of programs that support and enhance the operational readiness, war fighting capabilities, and life quality of Marines, their families, retirees and civilians. MCCS Forward is a dynamic, digital news publication that focuses on topics and services universally important to Marines and family members and is the official website of MCCS.

Marine Corps Leadership Development

  • Marine Corps Leadership Development (MCLD) is a comprehensive approach to leadership development that seeks to foster development of all aspects of Marines’ personal and professional lives. It is neither a philosophy nor a program; rather, it is a framework to be used by Marines at all levels for themselves and subordinates.