New weapon against operational stress

3 Mar 2011 | Cpl. Samuel A. Nasso

Approximately 40 Marines with Marine Air Control Group 28 attended the one-day Operational Stress Control and Readiness training program at the Jerry Marvel Training and Education building Feb. 16.

The issue of individual, operational and combat stress is a warfighting issue that directly impacts unit readiness and effectiveness – positively if handled well and negatively if mismanaged, were the remarks of Gen. James T. Conway, the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps in regard of the training program. 

The OSCAR training program is a leadership program for Marines led by Marines that gives leaders new tools and insights to use stress to build strength and resiliency in individuals, units and families.

“OSCAR is a dynamic interactive unit training curriculum designed for all Marines, from corporal to colonel,” said Lt. Col. Paul W. Miller, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing OSCAR coordinator and lead trainer.

The program also provides tools and training to recognize and respond appropriately to stress reactions in Marines. It also teaches the Marines to proactively manage their resources of medical personnel, command religious support and myriad support agencies and programs in order to maintain and improve unit readiness, Miller added.

“I think the training is important because it helps identify stress and gives you the tools you need to be able to assist your Marines in seeking the help that he or she needs,” said Sgt. Steven R. Salazar, the assistant trainer for Miller.

Miller designed the training after becoming certified in October 2010 and plans to have many more units aboard Cherry Point attend the class.

“This is the largest class we have trained to date in 2nd MAW, and per the 2nd MAW OSCAR standing operating procedure the OSCAR trainers will be providing the unit training to every squadron and battalion annually,” said Miller.

The OSCAR program was developed from the Combat and Operational Stress Control program that was implemented throughout the Marine Corps in 2005. The current training curriculum for all operating forces units was passed down by Headquarters Marine Corp’s behavioral health directorate in late 2009 and has now been implemented in some fashion in all three Marine expeditionary forces.

Personnel interested in attending OSCAR training can contact their chain of command, their unit training officer or the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing OSCAR coordinator, Lt. Col. Paul Miller at

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point