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Resilience Training for Dutch Navy Recruits

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The topic described in this abstract directly relates to the aim of the HFM to share national experience and evidenced-based approaches on interventions that build resilience. The presentation will be relevant for military professionals as well as research scientists. Attrition within initial training of the Dutch Navy is high resulting in unnecessary costs and a lack of personnel to adequately fill the ranks. A resilience training was developed based on research into reasons for attrition and promising training interventions. Goal of the training was to foster coping self-efficacy and self determination to persist when confronted with the stressful conditions of the basic training. A more long-term goal was to enhance psychological resilience among Navy personnel as a form of prevention of PTSD or stress-related problems. This resilience training in basic training was considered a starting point of a continuous effort to foster resilience of service members throughout their careers. As the Navy recruit training can be considered in itself a stressful inoculation, the resilience training encompassed knowledge transfer and promoting awareness about psychological resilience combined with daily coping skills training by coaching of the trainers. The topics ranged from regulating personal expectations, developing healthy and effective coping styles and fostering self-regulation. In order to achieve maximum acceptance and transfer of training, the program was delivered by military instructors. The assumption was that they can relate best to the recruits and are able to integrate training topics in daily operations through daily coaching. As these trainers were not fully skilled to deliver the training, skilled resilience trainers also participated in parts of the program. The effectiveness of this resilience training was tested.

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  • Psychology
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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