Military psychologists counsel and administer therapy to members of the military. Military psychologists do not need to be enlisted in the military. Many civilians work as military psychologists. Some military psychologists specialize in research specific to military issues. Military psychologists also work with family members of enlisted military personnel.
In addition to clinical responsibilities, many military psychologists participate in developing training programs for elite soldiers, such as the Navy SEALS. Specifically, they assist in the development of Survival, Escape, Resistance and Evasion (SERE) training. Some military psychologists evaluate aptitude test results, counsel soldiers at deployment centers, and administer marriage counseling. A select few military psychologists recommend soldiers for special missions and collaborate with leaders responsible for promoting officers.
Military psychologists are primarily responsible for administering clinical treatments to soldiers struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In fact, many participate in research to learn new ways to treat PTSD.
A Diverse Job Profile
Military psychologists focus on problem prevention rather than treatment. Since soldiers, especially those participating in combat, experience severe stress, military psychologists teach them how to effectively manage stress.
Military psychologists provide counseling at deployment centers, military bases, veterans’ hospitals, and other settings. Some military psychologists travel with units in warzones, including the Special Forces. Certain military psychologists work as supervisors, training specialists, and teachers.
Some military psychologists possess expertise in aviation psychology. These experts participate in pilot selection and training. They also recommend airmen for special missions and conduct flight crew safety training.
Military psychologists can hold any of these positions:
- Army Mental Health Specialist
- Air Force Psychologist
- Military Chaplain
- Army Psychologist
- Army Chaplain
- Air Force Chaplain
- Military Counselor
- Navy Chaplain
- Military Family Counselor
- Navy Psychologist
- Military Psychologist