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A scope of the problem: Post-deployment reintegration challenges in a National Guard Unit


BACKGROUND: More Reserve and Guard members have been activated in the past few years than in any other time in history. In addition to the high rates of psychological and behavioral challenges among military personnel, there are other equally important post-deployment reintegration challenges. Post-deployment reintegration challenges are particularly important to Reserve and Guard members, who transition rapidly from civilian-military-civilian.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the scope of challenges that a battalion of National Guard members (NGM) report experiencing after returning from a one-year deployment to Iraq.

METHOD: This article reports data from a sample of 126 NGM who recently returned from a one-year deployment to Iraq. The scope of post-deployment problems at baseline, 3- and 6-month post-deployment are presented.

RESULTS: Overall, the rates of post-deployment psychological and behavioral problems were elevated upon returning from deployment and remained fairly constant for up to 6 months post-deployment. Approximately 30% of respondents were unsatisfied with their relationship and upwards of 30% reported family reintegration challenges.

CONCLUSIONS: Comparisons with similar research and implications for prevention and improvement of post-deployment quality of life are addressed.