Title

So Others May Live: Enhancing Resilience and Performance for United States Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Candidates to Help Close the AST Body-to-Billet Gap

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

1-1-2018

Abstract

The Coast Guard is facing a shortage of entry-level Aviation Survival Technicians, more commonly known as helicopter rescue swimmers, due to high attrition from the training pipeline. Stretching thin a workforce which operates under some of the worst conditions on the planet is a recipe for injury or even loss of life. Positive and performance psychology offer tools to enhance candidates’ performance and resilience in this high-stress environment to enable them to meet rigorous graduation standards. Informed by the military’s recent focus on building resilience, traditional psychological skills training (PST) and mindfulness training (MT) offer empirically-grounded instructional paradigms to help address this shortfall of rescue swimmers. Situating PST and MT in the stress exposure training cycle already employed in many military settings offers a contextually relevant framework for applying these interventions. Specifically, I propose incorporating PST and MT into existing training in three places: 1) PREP, the five-day candidate preparatory program, 2) the web-based information portal for candidates, and 3) specific portions of the school. Introducing this targeted mental training as part of the rescue swimmer training pipeline should help increase graduation rates and produce more candidates prepared to live the rescue swimmer motto, “so others may live.”

Keywords

military, resilience, mindfulness, performance, coast guard

Topic

Achievement, Well-being/Flourishing

Format

Other Formats

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Date Posted: 25 September 2018