CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- While deployed in a combat zone, Marines can take on more stress than they are used to back in the U.S.
To help combat the effects of stress, Marines with Regional Command (Southwest) conducted an Operational Stress Control and Readiness class aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, May 29, 2014.
“OSCAR consists of strengthening, mitigating, identifying, treating and reintegrating a Marine dealing with stress,” said Navy Lt. David Peterson, a chaplain with Combat Logistics Battalion 7. “It also teaches Marines to be comfortable getting to know the Marines in their unit and know what to look for when it comes to stress symptoms such as depression or Marines excluding themselves from team activities that they usually enjoy.”
During the class, Marines discussed the signs of high-level stress and proper paths to treat the symptoms and get the individual back on track.
“OSCAR is designed for Marines by Marines. The number one thing for OSCAR is caring; it comes down to that basic level of humanity,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Tadlock, a religious program specialist with RC(SW). “Its success comes from that corporal, that lance corporal or sergeant that identifies Marines having the beginning signs of stress before it escalates any further.”
Combat operational stress is a risk all service members face. To mitigate that risk, the Marine Corps works to build resiliency in Marines and sailors to keep them mission-ready with OSCAR training classes.
“We’re allowing the Marines to get the tools they need to get people the help they need,” said Tadlock, a 29-year-old native of Illinois. “If I could tell a Marine the one thing I hope they take away from this class, it would be that it’s ok to get help, they might be mad at you intervening now, but you could potentially save their life.”
Through programs like OSCAR, Marines and sailors learn to identify problems with stress as early as possible with videos giving examples of stressed Marines and how they act.
“It was a great class,” said Cpl. Anthony Ortiz, a combat electrician with Redeployment and Retrograde in support of Reset and Reconstitution Operations Group. “Stress is part of our lifestyle while deployed. It was very helpful and I am looking forward to discussing what I have learned today with my fellow Marines in my unit.”