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Military Resilience: A Concept Analysis


  • Angela Simmons PhD, RN,

    Nurse Scientist, Corresponding author
    • Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX
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  • Linda Yoder RN, MBA, PhD, AOCN, FAAN

    Associate Professor, Director
    1. Graduate Nursing Administration and Healthcare Systems Management Program, School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
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  • The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of Brooke Army Medical Center, the U.S. Army Medical Department, the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Angela Simmons, PhD, RN, Nurse Scientist, 101 Corsica Drive, Cibolo, TX 78108




Since the events surrounding September 11, 2011, and natural disasters, research on resilience has shifted from children to adult resilience. The military began to embrace the concept in 2008 in an effort to decrease the number of military service member (SM) suicides.


The purpose of this article is to explain resilience as it relates to military SMs using the process for concept analysis outlined by Walker and Avant (2005).


Adaptive coping, personal control, hardiness, and social support are the attributes that characterize psychological resilience in SMs. Antecedents for resilience are life events such as serious accidents, prior deployments where death is witnessed, and combat involvement. Consequences of high resilience include decreased mental health symptoms and career and personal success, while consequences of low resilience include increased mental health symptoms and participating in high-risk behaviors.

Practice Implications

Understanding resilience as it relates to SMs is critical. Nurses must be able to assess SMs and be equipped to refer them or their family members to the most appropriate care. As more is learned about resilience in the military community, there may be broader implications to the civilian community. Improved understanding of psychological resilience may lead to improved interventions appropriate for both civilians and military SMs.