Building resilience and hardiness in military leaders – Robustness training programs of the German Army

Authored by: Oliver Krueckel , Annett Heidler , Nicola von Luedinghausen , Markus Auschek , Matthias Soest

The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367237066
eBook ISBN: 9780429281266
Adobe ISBN:


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Resilience and hardiness have become buzzwords that are so in vogue that even in the military nearly every doctrine and training program is trying to embrace them in some way. However, scientifically, there is still much dispute on the effects and the trainability of both factors in military personnel, despite the abundance of research projects in the United States and Canada in the last 10 years. This chapter focuses on training programs related to hardiness and resilience used by the German Army, the Bundeswehr, during basic training and NCO and officer courses. It will highlight the perspective of military psychology in existing military training programs as well as the positive effects of mental training on the individual soldier and groups in the preparation for physically and mentally demanding tasks and training and on psychological fitness. It will also look into future developments in the field, such as the effects of robustness training programs on attrition and its effect on leadership skills and human performance in elite units such as the German Army Special Forces.

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