Why The Army is Training in Mindfulness

Standing at attention isn't the same as paying attention. Mindfulness trains soldiers to regulate their stress and learn how to stay in the moment.

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Army Lieutenant General Walt Piatt currently serves as the Director of the Army Staff. Piatt has been working with neuroscientist Amishi Jha to understand the impact of mindfulness training for high stress situations. Plus, listen to neuroscientist Amishi Jha explain the science of focus and attention.

I first met Dr. Amishi Jha back in 2010. I was a brigade commander in Hawaii, and we were on a deployment rollercoaster like everyone else, year on, year off since 2001.

We were just trying to do something different when we came back from deployment because we were just falling to pieces. And you could see it in the soldiers and families when we came back, we weren’t reintegrating, and no matter how good our training was on what not to do we seemed to do the exact opposite, and it just happened faster the more times we were deployed.

We were lucky enough at that time, we were introduced to Dr. Jha. And in three minutes she just described us perfectly, and I realized we were really living on fast forward and fast rewind, we’re never really here, and it got my attention right away.

I knew how to…