Hours of Boredom, Moments of Terror: Temporal Desynchrony in Military and Security Force Operations   [open pdf - 628KB]

"The 'hurry up and wait' phenomenon in many military operations is aptly called 'hours of boredom,' whereas the transition to meet sudden task demands when combat breaks out is sometimes deemed to consist of 'moments of terror.' Increasingly, other national security and paramilitary force personnel (e.g., police forces, border patrol, operational intelligence agents) also experience long periods of boredom interspersed with all-out response efforts when the going 'gets hot.' The authors examine resultant psychological and behavioral implications for combatant and security personnel performance as viewed through application of a traditional 'human psychological stress model'. Inadequate recognition of the implications resulting from long lull periods, combat pulses, and the need to recover from stress can lead to dysfunctional soldiering as well as poor individual and small unit performance. Accounting for such time-based transitions in the psychological state of military combatants and security force operators is important in configuring 'resilience training' for small group leaders, their personnel, and their organizational units."

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