Presentation on theme: "Understanding Military Culture & Engaging Veterans"— Presentation transcript:
1Understanding Military Culture & Engaging Veterans Melissa Middleton, LISWOEF/OIF/OND Program ManagerNew Mexico VA Health Care SystemMay 22, 2013Photo by Cynthia Castillo, NMVAHCS Flags
2ObjectivesUnderstand the history of honor and commitment that define U.S. Military CultureUnderstand how enculturation into the military presents unique challenges for reintegrating into civilian life.Understand what you can do to build an alliance with Veterans and family members
3Branches of the Military and their ServiceMembers
4U.S. Air Force “AIRMEN”Mission: Fly, flight, and win…in air, space, and cyberspace.Responsibility: Conducting military operations in the air and space. The Air Force acts in the defense of the Nation by deploying aircraft to fight enemy aircraft, bombing enemy targets, providing reconnaissance, and transporting other armed services.History: The Air Force began as the Army Air Forces during World War II, becoming an independent branch of the military and full partner with the Army and Navy in 1947.Core Values: All members of the Air Force, regardless of title or rank, follow three core values:Integrity firstService before selfExcellence in all we doThese core values represent the glue that unifies the Air Force and ties each one of them to those who served in the past.Motto: “Above All”
5U.S. Army “SOLDIERS”Mission: fight and win wars by providing land dominance promptly, and whenever necessary.Responsibility: branch of the U.S armed forces responsible for land-based military operations.History: It is the oldest established branch of the military and the largest branch.Core Values: (spell out acronym LDRSHIP)LoyaltyDutyRespectSelfless ServiceHonorIntegrityPersonal CourageAll members of the U.S. Army are termed “soldiers.”Motto: “This We Will Defend.”
6Army Core ValuesLoyalty - Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit, and other Soldiers. Duty - Fulfill your obligations. Respect - Treat people as they should be treated. Selfless Service - Put the welfare of the Nation, the Army, and your subordinates before your own. Honor - Live up to the Army Values. Integrity - Do what's right, legally and morally. Personal Courage - Face fear, danger, or adversity, (physical or moral)
7U.S. Coast Guard – “GUARDIANS” Mission: Members are known as Guardians who protect the maritime economy and the environment, defend our maritime borders, and save those in peril.Responsibility: Safeguard our Nation’s maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around the globe.History: Resides under the Department of Homeland Security but is considered part of the military service. Operates with the United States Navy upon the declaration of war or under the President’s direction.Core Values:Honor - integrity is our standardRespect - we value our diverse work forceDevotion to duty - we are professionals, military and civilian, who seek responsibility, accept accountability, and are committed to the successful achievement of our organizational goalsMotto: Semper Paratus, “Always Ready” for all hazards and all threats.
8U.S. Marines – “MARINES”Mission: “At any time, be liable to do duty in the forts and garrisons of the United States, on the seacoast, or any other duty on shore, as the President, at his discretion, shall direct."Responsibility: The United States Marine Corps serves as an all-purpose, fast-response task force, capable of quick action in areas requiring emergency intervention.History: The first American combat troops deployed to Vietnam and the last to leave.The Marines believe that there is no such thing as a former Marine; rather they say “Once a Marine, always a Marine.”Core Values:HonorCourageCommitmentMotto: Semper Fidelis, Latin for “Always Faithful” became the Marine Corps motto in It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand and to the corps and country.
9Navy – “SAILORS”Mission: to train and equip combat-ready naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression, and maintaining freedom of the seas.Responsibilities: They specialize in crisis response, special operations, evacuations and humanitarian operations. All in order to protect and defend America and make the world a safer place.A seagoing force to defend our seas and protect our shores.Core values:HonorCourageCommitmentMotto: Semper Fortis “Always Courageous”
10Navy & Marines Core Values Honor: I am accountable for my professional and personal behavior. I will be mindful of the privilege I have to serve my fellow Americans. Courage: Courage is the value that gives me the moral and mental strength to do what is right, with confidence and resolution, even in the face of temptation or adversity. Commitment: The day-to-day duty of every man and woman in the Department of the Navy is to join together as a team to improve the quality of our work, our people and ourselves
11Active Duty LifeBuilt-in social-life. Base offers planned social activities for adults, child care, and children’s activities, chapel, schools, shopping centers.Defined structure for career, health care, choices of insurance, moving process, etc.Must learn how to adapt to civilian lifestyle- many new choices to make
12National Guard or “Guard” and Reserves All branches of the military have Reserve UnitsOnly the Air Force and the Army have National Guard UnitsSince the draft was discontinued in 1973, we rely more on Reserve and Guard Members than anyother time in history.Half of our deployed service members are Guard or Reserve
13ReservesIn general, Reservists will spend one weekend a month in training and attend a two-week training exercise once a year.In times of war, Reservists are frequently called up to active duty. When a Reservist is activated, he or she would then be considered an Active Duty Service Member.Reservists can be called up to support efforts abroad or to backfill positions stateside that have been left vacant by deployed, active duty personnel
14The National GuardState-based branches of the military, made up of the Air National Guard and the Army National GuardGuard units are combat-trained and usually deployed to their own stateThey can also be deployed to other states or overseas at times of emergency or warTraining is normally conducted one weekend per month, and one two-week period each year.Guardsmen and women are sometimes called the “Citizen Soldier.”The National Guard is under the command of the governor of the state in which the member serves.Upon agreement with the governor, guard units can be deployed to other states or other nations in support of emergency or war fighting efforts.Since 2001, roughly 47% of both Air and Army National Guard troops have been deployed to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
15Air Guard and Army Guard Multiple DeploymentsCan impact civilian employment, continuity of education, civilian retirement, health care coverage, family life, and rest of civilian social support systemGuard & Reserve families lack the support of living on a military baseGuard and reserve deploy and then come home to their regular jobs, integrating back into the community.
16Military Culture “ By the Book” “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and the military way”Warrior Culture- Bravery, Courage, DutyFocused, Action Oriented, Physical StrengthEnjoy being part of a teamLoyal to Comrades- Leave no Man Behind!Desire to maintain control in every situationSurvival requires “doing things the right way”Protective of family and civiliansThe Mission comes first above all elseAbsolutely no patience with “Slackers”!!!
17Importance of Tradition Ritual & Ceremony very importantTraditions pervasive throughout all stagesDetailed symbolism behind ceremoniesStrong attachment to United States FlagRituals paired with emotional experiencesMasculine grief expressed with actionRituals surrounding deaths help with copingIllustration from Burial episode in “ The Unit”
18Battlefield Skills that Make Reintegration Challenging Safety- Situational Awareness can become Hyper-vigilenceTrust and Identifying the Enemy- Assume everyone is the enemyMission Orientation- Task before relationshipDecision Making- follow ordersResponse Tactics- Storm the Gates, Strike Hard & Fast- Short FusePredictability & Intelligence Control- Vary routine to evade enemyEmotional Control- Suck it up- Numbing of ALL EmotionsTalking about the War- Afraid the flood gates will burst completely, scare self & others
19Social ChallengesLong deployments, with family adjustment to life without servicemember/VeteranDifferent worldviewMay return with physical health problems and/or mental health problemsPain, back problems, knee problems, PTSD, depressionLackLack of employment opportunities to match their job skillsHigh unemployment rateChildren may be coping with a returning parent, changed by war
20Older Veterans Declining Health, Many with Chronic Pain Some Have Strained Family RelationshipsLoneliness & Depression - Need Peer SupportVietnam Vets Remember Nation’s DisrespectKorean Vets may feel forgotten “Forgotten War.”May Have Limited Computer Skills and AccessNeed Help with Community IntegrationNeed Special Volunteer OpportunitiesWant Help Learning about Appreciation Events
21Engaging Veterans Deserve to be respected & admired for service They appreciate seeing people show honor to Active Duty Service members and VeteransDisrespect to one Vet is felt by many VetsNever ask them if they had to kill anyone!!DO ask what their job (MOS) was in the militaryListen when they tell you their storiesThank them for their service!!!!
22Engaging VeteransDon’t surprise a Veteran (i.e. coming up behind them and touching them on the shoulder)Announce your presence and introduce yourselfLet them know you’re here to help them and explain your roleMean what you say, say what you meanRemember that Vets are trained to meet aggression with aggression
23Engaging VeteransUnderstand that crowded spaces, confined areas, and loud noises may be difficultUnderstand that some may seem standoffish, closed, suspicious. Determining “friend or foe”Understand that they may be see ethnic biases – be hypervigilantUnderstand the sensitivity around discussions of politics and war
24Recovery Model Approach Let returning Vets know problems readjusting to community after a war situation are normal. Offer help in terms that they are more likely to value and accept: "How can I help you get your feet on the ground? How about some help with a job? How about letting me help you put your GI bill privileges to work? How can I help you get into school and stay in school? How can I help you and your family make sure that you have your budget under control?"
25Things to Say to a Veteran Did you serve in the military?Which branch?Thank you for your Service.Welcome Home.Ask about their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)Ask if they deployed and where to.
26Things Not to Say to a Veteran “Did you kill anybody?”“Why are we even over there?”“I don’t believe in the War.” (etc.)Discuss political leanings or other beliefs about war.Don’t make assumptions. A very young looking Veteran may have a lot of combat experience. And older Veteran may have recently discharged.
27ReferencesHammond, J., Brigadier General (ret), M.A. ; Knight, IV, Roger A., “Military Culture and the Challenges of Coming Home.” From the War Zone to the Homefront II, Redsox Foundation and Massachusetts General Home Base Program. On-demand Web Training. MarchLast retreived 06/04/2013
28Tools to Educate Yourself on Military Culture http://www.essentiallearning.net/student/content/sections/Lectora/MilitaryCultureCompetence/index.html http://www.defense.gov/specials/insignias/enlisted.html