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Resources Available through Combat Operational Stress Control

military family sitting together on porch steps

Army photo by Sgt. Jensen Stidham

Combat and operational stress describes the reactions you may have while performing challenging military duties that push your mind and body to the limit. You might have these reactions because of one or many deployments, during combat or because of difficulties during training. Any of these experiences can impact your psychological well-being.

Combat and operational stress is a normal reaction and doesn’t necessarily indicate that a psychological health concern will develop. However, getting care early can prevent complications and help you stay mission ready. The services have combat and operational stress control (COSC) programs to help you at home and downrange.

The Role of COSC Programs

COSC programs exist across the Defense Department. They focus not just on treatment, but also prevention by creating a culture of support that over time helps you build coping skills. This prepares you to better manage challenging stress reactions that could later hurt military readiness and your personal relationships.

COSC support can be accessed at home and in the field. COSC teams in the field evaluate, treat and educate troops. In most cases, these teams help troops stay in their units without referring them to higher-level care.

Service-Specific Combat and Operational Stress Control

Each of the armed services has their own COSC resources to meet the unique needs of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen. Below are service-specific resources that can help you and your family cope at home, during training and on deployment.


Air Force

Navy and Marine Corps

  • Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control (NCCOSC) – Provides sailors, Marines and their families with resources and support for combat and operational stress
  • 21st Century Sailor Operational Stress Control – Promotes understanding of stress and awareness of support resources to build resilience of sailors, families and Navy commands
  • The Gear Locker – The official Marine Corps intranet for Marine and Family Programs Division, which includes training for combat and operational stress (CAC required)
  • DSTRESS Line – (1-877-476-7734) - Provides a 24/7 anonymous phone and chat referral service using a “Marine-to-Marine” approach for Marines and their families


Talking with a chaplain, family or friends is another good way to cope with stress. It’s important, however, to always talk to a health care professional if you have psychological health concerns.

Reaching out is a sign of strength. If you or a loved one needs additional support, contact the Psychological Health Resource Center 24/7 to confidentially speak with trained health resource consultants, call 866-966-1020 or use the Real Warriors Live Chat. You can also visit our “Seek Help, Find Care” page to see a list of key psychological health resources.

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