Replication of mental training to additional companies and training cycles

Steven DeWiggins, CSF2-TC, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: SYM-12

Presentation: October 3, 2013 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Room: Oak Alley


The observed success at Fort Benning was limited to a single company across one training cycle. Efficacy of MSTs applied to Basic Training would be enhanced if replicated across another additional training cycle and an additional company. Thus, the mental skills training program was implemented with two infantry basic training companies across another training cycle that resulted in enhanced performance. Measurable differences in performance were observed in marksmanship, physical fitness, and attrition, with scores that exceeded the performance increases observed in the initial MST implementation. Another marked improvement was for the number of perfect scores on the physical fitness test, which increased by an average of 200% for the companies that implanted MST as compared to historic company averages. Additionally, the old brigade record (17 out of 200) for the number of Soldiers scoring perfect marks in a physical fitness test, was greatly exceeded by each company that implemented MST (26, 33, and 33 out of 200, respectfully). The attrition rate also observed a consistent and significant drop from the historic unit average of 10% down to an average under 1% for the three MST companies. These observations, along with anecdotal evidence, will be shared as the available support for the replicated and generalized positive impact of the mental skills training program with infantry Soldiers at Basic Training.

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