Moral Injury: What Leaders Don’t Mention When They Talk of War

Excellent article on moral injury…

ARMY Magazine

By Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer

I received a Combat Action Badge because, for a short time in Iraq, I seemed to be a magnet for enemy fire. Years later, explosions still cause me minor discomfort. The sounds of fireworks, gunfire and engines backfiring are unsettling. But was I traumatized by enemy fire? No, I was not.

What caused me to suffer some symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) does not actually meet the criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for this condition. My most significant combat experiences are sewn together with a thread other than extreme, life-threatening violence. This thread is moral dissonance. It is clear to me today that I and others sometimes failed to make wise choices. To our shame, we should have known better.

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A growing number of mental health experts argue for the existence of a condition…

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