MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Stress is something almost every person on the face of this planet has to deal with on a regular basis - Marines are no exception. With the ongoing deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terrorism, Marines have already begun returning to Camp Lejeune with symptoms of Combat and Operational Stress.
But combat stress isn't the only problem Marines have to contend with. Other stressors include things such as marital problems, substance abuse and suicidal behavior, to name a few. After two years in development, the Marine Corps released the Leaders Guide for Managing Marines in Distress on Nov. 16, 2005.
The guide provides an exciting new web-based tool for leaders of Marines, from fire team leader to commander, to maximize personal and unit readiness when a Marine is confronted with a potentially distressing situation, according to MARADMIN 582/05.
"It was designed as a quick-access, one-stop tool for leaders to use in helping their Marines handle and overcome problems," said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron D. Werbel, a behavior health affairs officer with Headquarters Marine Corps, and key developer of the project.
Problems Marines face can occupy a significant amount of a leader's time and can have detrimental consequences for both the Marine and the unit if the issue is not quickly addressed and handled effectively, according to MARADMIN 582/05.
"The best benefit of the tool is the ability to have instant access to more than 40 different problems in one place," said Werbel. "Marine leaders have always been able to provide the support for, and instill confidence in their Marines. With this resource, they no longer have to waste valuable time searching for information on the subject."
The guide was developed based on the award winning Air Force Leader's Guide for Managing Personnel in Distress. Though similar, the Marine Corps website has a lot more information and is tailored with resources available to Marine leaders.
"The Navy and Marine Corps originally wanted to do a joint product, but they quickly realized that it wouldn't be very efficient," said Werbel. "Marine Corps culture and Navy culture are totally different."
The guide is a dynamic Web site tool that will be expanded and updated on a daily basis or as needed, according to Werbel. On an annual basis, subject matter experts will review the Web site and recommend changes and/or additions that need to be made.
"We are working on downloadable and pocket sized versions of the guide that will enable leaders out in the field a way to access this important and useful information," said Werbel.
For more information on the Leaders Guide for Managing Marines in Distress, go to www.usmc-mccs.org/leadersguide.