Marines Learning Push Ups For The Brain

US MarinesPush ups for the brain is what one general called pilot program of mindfulness training for Marines Corps troops at Camp Pendleton, California starting today. The pilot program is designed to help troops deal with the stressful conditions that they may find at work.

The Marine Corps plans to adopt mindfulness-based activities such as meditation and yoga if the pilot is successful. The programs will help Marines cultivate a calm mind and a means to deal with stress.

The pilot project was initiated based on the need to reduce the record suicide rate and post traumatic stress disorder in Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The article states,

The U.S. Marine Corps, known for turning out some of the military’s toughest warriors, is studying how to make its troops even tougher through meditative practices, yoga-type stretching and exercises based on mindfulness…

Marine Corps officials are testing a series of brain calming exercises called “Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training” that they believe could enhance the performance of troops, who are under mounting pressures from long deployments and looming budget cuts expected to slim down forces.

“Some people might say these are Eastern-based religious practices but this goes way beyond that,” said Jeffery Bearor, the executive deputy of the Marine Corps training and education command at its headquarters in Quantico, Va.. “This is not tied to any religious practice. This is about mental preparation to better handle stress.”

The pilot project consists of three groups of about 80 Marines each. One group will get the Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training and the other will get “mental resilience training based on sports psychology techniques. The third one will act as a control group.”

We’ll be watching this pilot project carefully over the next few months.

This program raises a few questions which we should consider.

First of all, making the Marines “even tougher” seems to indicate that mindfulness practices and yoga may make them more effective warriors because of their ability to be mindful.

Friends of mine have commented that being more mindful may not necessarily make them better marksmen. Being an accurate shooter takes a different type of concentration than that developed in mindfulness practices.

Another friend remarked that soldiers may be less reactive in tense situations having to do with civilians and be more resilient in stressful situations.

Like everything else, there will be some good outcomes from this pilot project and some bad.

I think that because the Marines will get mindfulness training before they go on active duty, they will benefit completely. Their ability to cope with stress before, during, and after active duty will improve their lives.

What are your feelings and thoughts about mindfulness training for Marines? Please share.

Connect with Meditation Practices

Connect with

Or enter your name and email address below.