JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
“Anger is as much a part of war as weapons and armor.”
This concept is the basis for A Warrior’s Anger, a chapter written by Nancy Sherman in her book, Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy behind the military mind.
Additionally, several other thoughts and ideas were expanded upon during a focus group session led by Jaclyn Urmey, Director of Psychological Health at the 514th Air Mobility Wing.
Attendees discussed how they felt about anger. Specifically, what causes anger and whether it was generally considered good or bad.
Urmey led the group in evaluating the statement: the root of anger starts with a thought. Once that thought was founded, a person had the ability to decide on what to do with it and how to respond.
This concept lead the group to discuss whether a person could actually control their thoughts and feelings. Being able to do that, called upon a person to be introspective and in control of their responses.
According to Sherman, the Stoic societies proposed doing away with anger all together.
This, however, is not easily accomplished, and it is arguably not psychologically healthy for a person to suppress or delete their natural responses to certain situations.
Urmey stated that anger could illicit needed responses from a person, such as adrenaline required to win a fight, or fear needed to spark taking cover or act on something that was otherwise left unresolved.
“The horrors of war, whether the result of just actions or unjust ones, are the work of unrestrained rage,” Sherman wrote, as she referenced the works of Seneca.
This statement suggests war is at its worse when warriors are unable to harness or control their feelings when tasked with the mission of battle.
As this statement was analyzed by the participants, they reflected on their own personal feelings, life-struggles and taskings. Most agreed that being self-aware of their feelings, and controlling them, would result in healthy mental states and better decision making.
With this in mind, the anger of the enemy verses the understanding that opposing forces are merely following orders too, is why our service men and women can complete their jobs with professionalism and morality.
“Resiliency and dealing with anger,” were the takeaways from the participants after talking through the core concepts of A Warrior’s Anger.