Comprehensive soldier fitness: building resilience in a challenging institutional context

Am Psychol. 2011 Jan;66(1):4-9. doi: 10.1037/a0021420.


The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program is designed to increase psychological strength and positive performance and to reduce the incidence of maladaptive responses of the entire U.S. Army. Based on the principles of positive psychology, CSF is a historically unique approach to behavioral health in a large (1.1 million members) organization. There are four program elements: (a) the assessment of emotional, social, family, and spiritual fitness; (b) individualized learning modules to improve fitness in these domains; (c) formal resilience training; and (d) training of Army master resilience trainers (MRTs) to instill better thinking skills and resilience in their subordinates. In contrast to traditional approaches, CSF is proactive; rather than waiting to see who has a negative outcome following stress, it provides ways of improving resilience for all members of the Army. CSF aims to move the full spectrum of responses to trauma and adversity-ranging from stress-related disorders to ordinary resilience-toward personal growth. This program may provide a model for implementing similar interventions in other very large institutions.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Military Personnel / education
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychology, Military* / organization & administration
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • United States
  • Warfare