Stress Evaluation of a Special Forces Assessment and Evaluation Course
HUMAN ENGINEERING LAB ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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An evaluation of the psychological stress experienced by Special Forces SF candidates during the 3-week Special Forces Selection and Evaluation Course was conducted in January 1991 by the U.S. Army Human Engineering Laboratory HEL. The HEL stress battery was used to assess the psychological stress responses of the candidates seven times representing anticipated times of high and relatively low stress. Periods of higher and lower stress were tracked using the measures in the stress battery. Candidates showed higher stress levels at the start of the course and at times of high physical and mental demand and showed lower levels at times of lower demand. The highest stress levels, however, were associated with the final day when their outcome in the course was revealed. Over all seven times during the course, those who were ultimately selected for SF training displayed lower stress responses than those who were not selected. When the stress responses were compared with those previously collected for men in other stress situations, the candidates stress levels were found to be in the low to moderate ranges. The selected candidates displayed levels more in the low range and those who were not selected displayed levels more in the moderate range. The highest stress displayed by both groups moderate to high range occurred when they were waiting to hear their course outcomes. The findings contributed to the validation of HEL stress assessment methodologies.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Unconventional Warfare