The Effect of Combat on the Developing Personality
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Although the great majority of physiological development of the individual is completed just prior to or during adolescence, his personality is still undergoing crucial formative processes. It is during this time when most young men are called to initial military service. Further, men of this critical age period are most often those engaged in direct combat. The practice of putting these men into direct combat can cause arrest and deformation of their developing personalities. These men are then put at further risk by releasing them back to society without sufficient readjustment and rehabilitation. There should be a program, initiated in the active military, which treats the combat veteran, particularly the ones obviously traumatized to regain a sense of the real world and its expectations, prior to release. This program could also continue with mandatory reserve component unit participation for a specified period. Finally, there should be followup by the Veterans Administration to ensure rapid and effective transition back to civil life. This will involve a multi component and multi agency approach, an obvious and difficult paradigm shift, but one which could save build productive lives capable of contributing to our nations future.