Discard military for a second, and think PTSD in general. A symptom of PTSD is hypervigilance. This means, what society classifies as normal, being a person who lacks significant deviation from society and/or conforms to the ideals of society, typically has little to no requirement to be hypervigilant. Without fear there is no requirement to be looking for something. The most a civilian is partially hypervigilant is within daily acts of driving a motor vehicle and crossing the road. That is the typical extent of a civilians hypervigilance. Now, a rape victim (male raped female). Due to the fear endured off being rendered powerless during the rape, the victim now creates a state of hypervigilance and awareness for any male who looks remotely threatening to themselves. They fear being raped again, so the brain has created an awareness and heightened state of alertness to specific males, even all males. What have we learnt so far? We learnt that without any military training whatsoever, the brain can create a hypervigilant state to identify specific fears. The military trains every recruit to a heightened level of hypervigilant status. This occurs from learning drill, to patrolling and tactics, weapons and so forth. You are trained to identify threats before they identify you. What is a threat? Something your brain distinguishes as a fear. Without any exposure to an actual trauma, every soldier has now been trained to a heightened symptom of PTSD through behavioural modification. The fear used for behavioural modification is imposed by a reward and punishment system. You do good, you don't get punished. You do bad, you get punished. Even when you do good, sometimes you still get punished. This mentally challenges you to strive for perfection, not just meeting a standard, but to perform to a high level and work as a team. Creating a team environment aids the process, as if you fail you're then punished by your peers. Fear in all forms is an exceptional motivator. Depending on your role within any force, depends on how far your hypervigilant state will be trained. Infantry are trained to be extremely aware of everything around them. In a crowd the slightest movement is detected, eyes scanning for threats. Patrolling down a street, eyes constantly scanning doors, windows, cars, any movement or identification of an object that doesn't look right. IED's often fit right in with their surroundings, so even looking right is a threat. Now the simplest of all issues combined; a person who has been trained to be hypervigilant prior to developing PTSD. What have we learnt so far? The military trained you to be hypervigilant, yet when PTSD develops the brain also by itself creates a hypervigilant state. 1 + 1 = 2. Why do military with PTSD have a much worse state of hypervigilance / alertness? Because not only have you been trained with a symptom of PTSD, but upon developing PTSD the symptom is now exacerbated in severity due to prior existence. One doesn't cancel the other out, instead 1 + 1 = 2 or PTSD Hypervigilance + Military Training Hypervigilance = Double The Symptom Severity. This document is Copyright © 2010 and may not be replicated in part or full without express written permission off the author.