Given the psychological problems commonly associated with military life, sustainable social and economic life of personnel is strongly dependant on close monitoring of their mental health status. This assertion is grounded on the fact that this form of employment is marked with physical and mental traumatic past experiences which negates the worldview of the individuals. In addition, with long periods of staying away from their families while on official duties, most military families have been found to lack the social principles of love and care that determine a healthy family in the society.
Due to this reason, social workers are of instrumental importance in enhancing the sustainable survival of military personnel both active and retired in the civil society. It is no doubt the duty of the government to ensure sustainable homeland security for its citizens, an element that calls for having a devoted and patriotic military force (Zaleznik A., 1956). However, given the nature and operational structures in the defense force, psychological alienation can be a source of security threats to the civil society. The author of this essay seeks to identify and discuss the functions of a social worker as an important profession in the military service.
Social worker can be defined as a health care professional marked with the responsibility of ensuring that individual members of the community are effectively dealing with their social, physical, emotional, and psychological health problems. Based on this definition, it is clear that social workers are marked with the duty of engaging clients in counseling to mitigate possible depressive behavior. As a vital component in the military service, social workers are dictated to engage military personnel and their families in a number of psychological therapies to mitigate inhuman conduct, thus safeguarding the social structures in the society.
First, military life involves continued engagement of members of the workforce in inhuman and life threatening operation. This is clearly evident from the psychological implications military invasions in other nations has on the personnel. It is worth noting that due to their nature of operation, members of the military force are sufficiently denied of their personal consideration of morality and will. Such are to be blamed on the fact that the service is mainly on obedience to command from the seniors with limited chances of being consulted in the decision making process.
Due to this reason, despite the contradiction of one’s moral principle members of the military must execute operation commands to mitigate incidences of disciplinary measures. On the other hand, according to principles of psychological development, the mentality of deviance is not mainly nurtured through lack of command but can be instilled by forcing an individual to doing perfect duties which a contradictory to the will. Through this, most military employees tend to develop the problem of feeling self guilty for what they perceive as crimes committed against innocent civilians in the name of patriotism.
Another reason why military social workers are necessary is seeking to neutralize the character traits instilled on military personnel during training. Unlike other law enforcement force such as the police whose training entails appreciation of their relation-building ability with members of the community, military recruits are trained to condemn any form of incidences that might threaten the national security in a martial manner. Due to this reason, the force is marked with individuals who have a compromised perception towards common social behaviors which are otherwise protected by human rights.
As an example, it is not the role of the military force to engage in keeping law and order through conventional means but through combating security insurgences by military operations. This has the implication that the force is marked with undue authoritarianism. True to the letter, military principles and operations are significantly distanced from the constitutional criminal justice provisions. On the other side, it is only in the criminal justice system approach to fairness and justice where due process procedures are observed by the law enforcement. Such can be blamed for the unethical conduct witnessed among military force persons in the civil structures of living in the community.
This problem is clearly evident from assumed command approach in dealing with issues in military families. According to available statistical reports on family violence, military families are ranked the highest. To mitigate this problem, social workers engage in counseling of military personnel and their families in coping with emerging social problems in a civil manner as a prerequisite to sustainable source development. It is worth appreciating that irresponsible behavior is not to be blamed on lack of obedience to commands in the military. Crimes against innocent civilians are quite commonly perpetuated by military personnel, an element that enhances their emotional distress in future life.
Therefore, unless well guided by guide and social workers escalated engagement by military members in crimes against humanity serves more harm than good to their future life. It has been sufficiently identified that the process of developing character traits in an individual is a gradual process which is strongly influenced by the surrounding environment (Staples Lee, 2002). This claim is based on the psychological fact that character traits are instilled in an individual’s subconscious mind through copying and pasting of such from the surrounding. On the contrary, it is quite hard to change character after it has been instilled in a person. Indeed, this is the reason why criminals are commonly found to relapse into the behavior even after serving long time in correctional facilities.
Based on the above reason, it is in the common good of the social and economic sustainability for military personnel that social workers must seek to conduct early identification of emerging problems with the individuals and provide necessary remedies such as counseling and other psychological therapies. In addition, the question of family and military life is a source of contention for most military personnel. In its most based nature, military employment has been blamed for alienating individuals into patriotic mentality at the expense of nurturing their personal life. This brings with it limit appreciation of family among military force members. In fact, this has to be closely explained with evidence of the high divorce rates among members of the force.
Still, the problem of physical and emotional distress is to be blamed for compromising the social lives of military force professionals. It is not uncommon for military personnel to fall victims of serious physical injuries during operations. On the other hand, it is not the wish of an individual to live a life of permanent defamation. Nevertheless, given the unpredictable nature of war operations, most servicemen gain serious physical injuries (Zugazaga Carole, 2006). on the contrary, it is the operational rule in the military that accommodation of persons with disability must entail that they are capable of executing their main duty functions, an element that is negated by serious physical injuries thus dismissal from service. Further, witnessing the death of fellow military officers is a source of long-term emotional distress to military members.
To mitigate this problem, social workers serve to engage in providing services to both retired and ex-military officers. Such services include but not limited to making them appreciate their physical condition and continue with normal life. In addition, social workers engage in monitoring and providing necessary medical interventions to escalating health conditions of military personnel who fall victims of physical injuries. Lastly, the lack of an efficient mechanism to promote a culture of ethical behavior among military professionals has been a longstanding problem in the traditional military setting. Such include irresponsible sexual behaviors that have witnessed high rates of HIV/AIDS infections among members of the military force.
However, through counseling and availability of voluntary counseling and testing services in the force, social workers have significantly aided the process of mitigating most problems such social, financial management, and health issues among officers. Therefore, guide and social workers are an instrumental component for the reliable running of the military force. This is due to the fact that they engage in caring for wounded soldiers and their families as well as with families of martyrs. In addition, social workers identify and conduct crisis awareness, assist in crisis or undergoing emergencies as well as finding therapy or mental and emotional help service. They also support families involved in issues of traumatic past experiences, delayed stress type issues, and disease and physical illness that afflict soldiers and their families. Such are achieved through support, counseling, and professional referrals to Army and military personnel who are on active duty, and retired military personnel.