Military Mental Health

Violence and the Warrior

January 1, 2009
Psychological Treatment Handbook for Pre and Post-Deployment of Military Personnel

Combat changes a person. This seems like an obvious proposition, but it is a proposition that is not fully appreciated by the average citizen. The only profession that explicitly trains its employees to harm, disable, and destroy another human being is the professional warrior—the soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine. More directly put, the primary objective of the combat troop is to kill. The primary objective of the combat support troop is to make sure the combat troop can complete its objective. For those who have never worked with a professional warrior, this is a concept that can be somewhat unsettling. Appreciating the cognitive and emotional sequelae that occur from struggling with the social, moral, and religious implications of taking another’s life based on a job description is hardly an easy accomplishment. But, for the nonmilitary practitioner, it is important at least to appreciate the warrior’s beginnings to understand where he is headed.

Read the Chapter “After the Battle: Violence and the Warrior”

About the Authors