The Army plans to require that all 1.1 million of its soldiers take intensive training in emotional resiliency, military officials say.
The training, the first of its kind in the military, is meant to improve performance in combat and head off the mental health problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, that plague about one-fifth of troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Active-duty soldiers, reservists and members of the National Guard will receive the training, which will also be available to their family members and to civilian employees.
The new program is to be introduced at two bases in October and phased in gradually throughout the service, starting in basic training. It is modeled on techniques that have been tested mainly in middle schools.
Usually taught in weekly 90-minute classes, the methods seek to defuse or expose common habits of thinking and flawed beliefs that can lead to anger and frustration — for example, the tendency to assume the worst. ("My wife didn't answer the phone; she must be with someone else.") [...]