The military is an organization of men and women who not only protect our country and the freedom that we now have today, but they too have families that they love and care for. Today’s military men and women do not get to come home for dinner every night and ask their families how their day was or what their plans are for the weekend. Soldiers have stress levels we never even imagined and some of that is seen through the different studies that are now being conducted.
Most of the studies that have been done were about war and what it is doing to our soldiers. There have been very few studies that have investigated mental health among the military men and women during peacetime, our soldiers that are here. The target of this study is to evaluate the frequency of command mental disorders and how it is related to job stress and rank in the military during peacetime.
This study looked at several different aspects such as rank, age, income, marital status, lifestyles, family dynamics, do they smoke or drink and their physical activity levels. Now when you hear rank, you wonder what kind of stress can come from that? There are different levels of rank and the higher the rank, the higher the duties. On the enlisted side you have your privates through your command sergeant majors and on your officer side; you have your lieutenants through generals. It is expected that a private will not have as much knowledge since he or she is brand new to the military, however it is expected that a lieutenant will know everything. The lieutenant is the lowest commissioned officer and the first rank above a non-commissioned officer. That being said, it has been found to be the most stressful rank.
The stress levels in the military have been found to be higher than expected during peacetime. The following are just some of the stressors our military men and women face today: soldiers don’t have set work hours and work over a 40 hour week for the same pay, they don’t know if they will see their families from one day to the next, they have to put their lives on the line for people that they do not even know, last minute mission changes, competition within the ranks, the females have competition with their counterparts and just being a female in the military, moving every two years, living with what they have seen at war, losing a friend while at war and so much more. These are just some of the characteristics that can have an impact on their job stress.
Stress has been pointed to as one of the important risk factors for the occurrence of common mental disorders. Our military personnel with high stress levels or stress related disorders suffer more physical and mental issues, miss more days of work, have less productive time and make more frequent visits to health services. Some see it as failure and will not get the help that they need. So they turn to alcohol, drugs, slip into depression and turn suicidal. Several think that these systems are from deployments, but we are seeing it in our soldiers that have never deployed as well.
For this particular study which consisted of a cross-sectional census-type study of armed forces personnel that served at a Brazilian army directorate from Rio de Janeiro City. There were 654 military personnel that served there, of those only 506