Society of Military Psychology Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1655 Words
Date:  2022-08-15

Military psychology is a distinct branch of psychology that deals in survey, design, and use of psychological theories as well as empirical data that are aimed at understanding, practicing and predicting the behaviors of not only the civilian populace but also enemies and the friendly forces alike. It entails the assessment of psychiatric behaviors, examination, and treatment of mental problems. On the civilian point of view, the discipline loos at those perceived to be threatened, or those that are in potential danger to the safety and conduct of the military operations and force in general (Gade, 2017). It is important to take note of the fact that military psychology was transformed from many sub-branches of psychology into a critical and useful tool for the day to day use by the military. As such, it has become a very critical tool in that it has enabled the force to rally its troops for the greater good of the nations they protect and the larger civilian populace (Annen, Nakkas, & Gehring, 2017). The discipline has also formed an imperative component of the force in that it has made the military troops to survive the stresses and adversities that come their way in the battlefields. All the balancing and easing of tension has been made possible courtesy of the psychological principles that make it easier for the troops to unbalance the forces of the enemies on the battlefield.

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Essentially, all the emotional tortures, stresses and psychological problems that military psychology addresses are not military-specific as they also look at other issues of weighty concern. Be that as it may, military officers face a particular combination of the generic stresses specific to them (Heath, Seidman, Vogel, Cornish, & Wade, 2017). From this end, it is worth noting that military psychology tends to tackle an issue that borders on the unique combination of various stresses that plague the military service and the war settings. Some of these traumas include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), family challenges, guilt, flashbacks and nightmares (Maddi, Matthews, Kelly, Villarreal, Gundersen, & Savino, 2017). It is worth noting that military psychology is best applied in the approach of treatment and counseling of stress as well as fatigue of the military families and personnel and also as a treatment of the psychological trauma.


James McKeen Cattell came up with the term "mental tests" in 1890 with the suggestion that psychology should be viewed as a science in the same category with life and physical sciences. With this, he opined that such aspects as norms, procedures and statistical analyses would be appropriate in establishing the differences in human behavior. In 1907, there was a routine psychology screening plan that was rolled in hospitals for psychiatric patients and proved to be useful (Noble, 2017). As a result, St. Elizabeth's Hospital became popular for the treatment and research for the military and psychiatric medical officers. This was a development that prompted the navy medical officers that were stationed at St. Elizabeth's Hospital to publish a protocol that would be useful in the psychological screening of the navy recruits as founded on the works of Franz.

The American Psychology Association acquired the Military Psychology Journal, known to be the flagship of the journal, APA Div. 19, the first APA issue to have been printed. The journal has since been edited a couple of times as a way of contributing to and impacting on the readers within the APA and as a way of impacting the wider constituency of contributors (Heinz, Freeman, Harpaz-Rotem, & Pietrzak, 2017). Essentially, the Military Psychology journal was published for the first time in 1989. It was originally owned by the Taylor and Francis, an academic publishing company.

For ages, the journal laid focus on staple areas that related to the contribution of psychology to military life. The life included personnel issues and manpower, taking into account the measurements and testing; training and several human factors. The consideration also covered such aspects as health and clinical psychology, organizational and social psychology among other aspects (Juan, Nunnink, Butler, & Allard, 2017). It is established that Estrada who brought in the electronic submissions of the same and see it double in size, had the intention of keeping the general and original format it had under the APA ownership. At the same time, he wishes to expand the scope of the subject to suit the other core areas as dictated by the editorial team.

The disciplines related to military psychology include:

  • Navy psychology
  • Army mental health psychology
  • Army psychology
  • Air force psychology
  • Marine psychology

Each of the programs has their specific length in terms of the programs offered with the variations ranging from 2 year-programs, three and four years. For instance, a Bachelor's degree program on school-based plans runs for 4 years while a master's degree goes for 2 additional years. The Ph.D. programs on the counseling psychology take 2-4 additional years. All these offered within the campus and not on an online basis (Noble, 2017). With the sponsorship programs and fee waivers, it is important for any prospective students from the ULM to try their luck and experience the learning that comes with the specialized advantages insofar as the study of military psychology is concerned. Aside from the professional skills the course instills in the students, it also equips them with the necessary practical skills that enable them to go about their life encounters and everyday experiences in their lines of duty (Mobbs, & Bonanno, 2017). They can end up being military officers or they can serve humanity in various capacities as dictated by their expertise.

As noted, military psychologists can either end up being civilian psychologists or serve as enlisted officers. In any event, there are merits and demerits to the case. With enlisting, the officers are assured of job security, excellent retirement and benefit scheme, and additional education. Some may work in hospitals, research centers, medical centers and military schools and bases.

Education and Training

Notably, there is a growing demand for the military psychologists in the military force as the awareness that surround the great necessity for these officers' services continue to spiral by the day. One of the significant roles of the military psychologists is to inspire hope to the hopeless, diagnose and treat the veterans that have at least undergone trauma in their wartime.

As noted, military services come with a number of mental and psychological problems among various homesteads and military personnel. This means that the idea of military psychology is not a new issue. Studying military psychology is a critical component of the military service and therefore gives every recruit a reason to adopt at least the fundamental points of military psychology (Noble, 2017). For one to undertake a course in military psychology, they need to have held a degree in the field of psychology as a graduate. They should then pursue their masters or doctoral degrees earned through either the traditional universities or from the military schools. There are those who earn their degrees from the military schools from where their fees are paid and accommodation expenses catered for.

As a psychology student, the student will have to choose any of the following courses at their favorite universities. They include:

  • Addiction and Recovery Psychology
  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Counseling
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

The relevant careers for the pursuance of military psychology include being a research associate, marriage or family therapist, mental health counselor, rehabilitation counselor, youth counselor, supervisory vocational counselor, and readjustment counseling therapist. It should be noted that some of these professions may call for certification or licensure.

Some of the Universities that offer some of these courses include:

  • South University in Savanna
  • Ohio Christian University in Dublin
  • American University in Washington and Massachusetts
  • Appalachian University in Boone
  • Arizona State University in Scottsdale

A student who has undergone one of the military psychology courses has the pleasure of earning salaries up to the tune of $85,420, with the lowest paying being about $54,160, all these depending on one's specialty. The total credits for the psychology course are 180 while the general education requirements for the course are 64 (Martin, Houtsma, Bryan, Bryan, Green, & Anestis, 2017).


Conclusively, any student who wishes to pursue military psychology must take into account the listed subject requirements beforehand. This will make them come up with an informed choice with regard to the subject scope and course outcome. They should above all, be driven by passion and the ability to pursue the course.


Annen, H., Nakkas, C., & Gehring, T. M. (2017). "What If?" the Swiss Armed Forces' Approach to Military Psychology. In Handbook of Military Psychology (pp. 539-548). Springer, Cham.

Gade, P. A. (2017). Organizational Commitment in the Military: A Special Issue of Military Psychology. Psychology Press.

Heath, P. J., Seidman, A. J., Vogel, D. L., Cornish, M. A., & Wade, N. G. (2017). Help-seeking stigma among men in the military: The interaction of restrictive emotionality and distress. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 18(3), 193.

Heinz, A. J., Freeman, M. A., Harpaz-Rotem, I., & Pietrzak, R. H. (2017). American Military Veteran Entrepreneurs: A Comprehensive Profile of Demographic, Service History, and Psychosocial Characteristics. Military Psychology, 29(6), 513-523.

Juan, M. J. D., Nunnink, S. E., Butler, E. O., & Allard, C. B. (2017). Gender role stress mediates depression among veteran men with military sexual trauma. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 18(3), 243.

Maddi, S. R., Matthews, M. D., Kelly, D. R., Villarreal, B. J., Gundersen, K. K., & Savino, S. C. (2017). The continuing role of hardiness and grit on performance and retention in West Point cadets. Military Psychology, 29(5), 355-358.

Martin, R. L., Houtsma, C., Bryan, A. O., Bryan, C. J., Green, B. A., & Anestis, M. D. (2017). The impact of aggression on the relationship between betrayal and belongingness among US military personnel. Military Psychology, 29(4), 271-282.

Mobbs, M. C., & Bonanno, G. A. (2017). Beyond war and PTSD: The crucial role of transition stress in the lives of military veterans. Clinical psychology review.

Noble, D. D. (2017). The classroom arsenal: Military research, information technology, and public education. Routledge.

Shibutani, T. (2017). Society and Personality: Interactionist Approach to Social Psychology. Routledge.

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