On January 22, the School Infantry-West at Camp Pendleton launched a pilot course in meditative practices.
Marines participating in the course will both study and be studied. The 8-week programme will monitor and compare three groups of 80 soldiers: one group doing meditation exercises, one involved in mental resilience training (based on sports psychology techniques), and a control group.
If meditation practice is proven successful in reducing stress and raising performance levels, the U.S. military will aim at integrating it into the formal military training.
With long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. army has seen stress relief rise to the top of its priorities. Since 2011, the U.S. military has been losing more soldiers due to suicides than on the actual battleground.
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