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• Leaders preaching the unit’s core values, but not putting them into practice• Failing to adequately honor the fallen• Events that do not make sense, logically or morally• Leaders failing to acknowledge and correct their own mistakes• Uncorrected breaches of discipline• Uncorrected breaches of two-way respectMEANING AND TRUST IN VALUESResearch on the mental and spiritual components of psychological trauma, loss, and moral injury has shown that one of the defining features of such stress injuries is that they shatter existing assumptions about God, goodness, and the moral order in a way that leaves a void in understanding and meaning. To heal and recover from such injuries requires individuals to reconstruct their core beliefs and trust in values to make new sense out of what has happened and their role in it. Since individuals tend to draw their moral values and core beliefs from the social organizations to which they belong, the leaders of those organizations—including the entire chain of command in a military unit—play a crucial role in conserving trust and meaning in unit members through promoting sturdy and realistic beliefs before deployment and then mentoring unit members to regain trust in values or meaning in life that has been lost during deployment.FAITH IN GOODNESSNot everyone believes in God, and those who do believe have widely varied conceptions of the divine and methods of worship; however, most people want to believe in goodness as a strong, central thread woven through life. A firm belief in goodness is so fundamental to respecting and making sense of life that those who have lost this belief are at risk of failing to treat themselves or others with basic human compassion and dignity. Unit leaders may have little interest in the nature and depth of their unit members’ faith in God or their religious preferences, but leaders have ample reason to monitor and conserve their unit members’ beliefs in goodness.Stressors that can damage faith include:• Bad things happening to good people• Betrayals of trust by leaders, close peers, or family members• Actions about which individuals feel intensely guilty or ashamed (and unforgivable)• Inability to forgive others• Moral dilemmasIDENTIFY
The first three core COSC functions can be compared with the broad tasks required to operate and maintain a warship in the fleet.In this metaphor:• Strengthen - Arming and equipping the warship for the specific mission to be accomplished before it gets underway;• Mitigate - Continually providing the warship with the fuel, ammunition, lubricants, and other resourcesneeded to operate, while keeping the ship well clear of storms, shoals, and other avoidable dangers;• Identify - Closely monitoring every available indicator of ship functioning and performance to quickly recognize when something may have gone wrong and repairs may be needed. Just as with the operation and maintenance of a ship, the identify function involves more than looking, listening, and feeling for signs of possible breakage or wear—it suggests anticipating these inevitabilities.