Journal Article

Army Combat Medic Resilience: The Process of Forging Loyalty

Preetha A Abraham, Dale W Russell, Sarah Huffman, Patricia Deuster and Susanne W Gibbons

in Military Medicine

Volume 183, issue suppl_1, pages 364-370
Published in print March 2018 | ISSN: 0026-4075
Published online April 2018 | e-ISSN: 1930-613X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usx231
Army Combat Medic Resilience: The Process of Forging Loyalty

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  • Medicine and Health
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Abstract

This study presents a grounded theory analysis of in-depth interviews of United States Army Combat Medics (CMs) who had served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. The study explores how 17 CMs nominated by their peers as resilient cope with military stressors in order to identify the factors that enable them to thrive amidst harsh conditions. Four distinct categories of characteristics unique to this group emerged: (1) social bonding, (2) readiness, (3) dual loyalty as performance, and (4) leader by example. Forging loyalty underpins these characteristics and represents the main process used by resilient CMs and comprised three behavior patterns: (1) commitment to the family, (2) commitment to the military mission, and (3) commitment to their guiding religious and spiritual beliefs. Prominent behavioral tendencies of forging loyalty likely developed during childhood and re-enforced by families, friends, and other role models. Based on the findings, new training and education efforts should focus on developing positive emotional, environmental, and social resources to enhance the health and well-being of service members and their families.

Journal Article.  5098 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medicine and Health ; Emergency Medicine ; Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery ; Military Psychology ; Warfare and Defence

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