Army aims to improve soldiers' mental fitness

An Army program developed partly as a response to increased soldier suicides will test active duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers to determine how they handle stress.

U.S. Army soldiers from Charlie Battery, Fires Squadron, Second Stryker Cavalry Regiment prepare to leave their outpost for Operation Fires Festung in Qubah, north of Baghdad in Iraq's volatile Diyala province on Wednesday, July 9, 2008. U.S. troops secured the outskirts of Qubah as Iraqi Army troops swept through the primarily Shiite town, which had been overrun by al-Qaida. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - An Army program developed partly
as a response to increased soldier suicides will test active duty,
National Guard and Reserve soldiers to determine how they handle
stress.

The program that begins Oct. 1 also will assess soldiers' resiliency and require follow-up training.

Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum is overseeing the new program.

She says data collected on drug use and dismissals from service
show some soldiers stressed by frequent combat deployments could
use a hand in coping with the emotional toll.

The new program with require soldiers to take an online, 170-question assessment of their resiliency.

The test is repeated every two years. Cornum says all soldiers will receive some training regardless of their scores on the confidential exam.


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