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Military psychology as a branch of modern psychological science, its structure and functions

Military psychology is one of the independent applied branches of modern psychological science. Like any other branch of psychology, it has its own subject and object of study, its own tasks and structure. It should be noted that despite the fairly long period of existence of this branch of psychological science, there is no generally accepted definition of military psychology. Therefore, further, when speaking about military psychology, we will proceed from the following definition: military psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the patterns of manifestation of the human psyche and psychology of a military team when performing professional duties and tasks due to the specifics of military service.

Thus, the object of military psychology is people who are doing military service on a draft or contract basis, as well as those who can be involved in military duties in wartime. In addition, military collectives are the object of military psychology.

Accordingly, the subject of military psychology is the manifestation of the psyche of a soldier in various conditions of military professional activity, as well as the psychological processes, conditions and properties characteristic of military collectives.

The modern Armed forces are a very complex and diverse organism. The normal functioning of this organism is possible only under the condition of coordinated actions of all its structural elements aimed at maintaining high combat readiness of units and subunits. Probably, among the main areas of activity of representatives of state power and the military leadership of the country, two areas are most significant for maintaining high combat readiness of the Armed Forces. These include the improvement of technical equipment and the increase in the level of professional and psychological readiness of the personnel of units and subunits to perform functional duties in a combat situation.

Military psychology is directly related to the second direction. Its main tasks and areas of research are:

• development of methods for manning units and subunits of the Armed Forces based on the consideration of individual psychological and personal characteristics of military personnel;

• determination of ways to increase the effectiveness of the training process based on the consideration of individual psychological and personal characteristics of military personnel during the organization and implementation of military training;

• development of a methodology for the psychological support of the professional activities of military personnel in a combat situation;

• development of psychological methods for uniting military collectives and strengthening military discipline in order to increase the effectiveness of units and subunits;

• development of methods for the psychological support of combat duty, guard and garrison services, etc.

The listed tasks are inherently integral, that is, they generalize in themselves a whole series of other practical tasks. For example, the development of methods to increase the efficiency and quality of manning of units and subunits of the Armed Forces based on the consideration of individual psychological and personal characteristics of military personnel in practice involves solving the following tasks:

• development of professiograms and psychograms of military specialties;

• development of methods for the psychodiagnostics of professionally important qualities of a soldier;

• development of criteria for matching the level of development of professionally important qualities of a soldier with the requirements of a military specialty;

• development of the organizational basis of measures for the professional psychological selection of military personnel;

• psychological support for career guidance activities.

In turn, such a direction of research in military psychology as improving the effectiveness of professional training based on the individual psychological and personal characteristics of military personnel involves solving the following problems:

• development of organizational and methodological foundations of the psychological support of the educational process;

• development of methods for the psychodiagnostics of the state of military personnel in order to identify persons experiencing difficulties in military-professional adaptation;

• development of methods for correcting the functional state of the body of military personnel and providing psychological assistance in order to increase the efficiency of adaptation to the conditions of military professional activity and the prevention of mental and psychosomatic disorders;

• development of the psychological foundations for the organization of the educational process and methods of pedagogical impact on military personnel, taking into account their individual psychological and personal characteristics, etc.

The development of a methodology for the psychological support of the professional activities of military personnel in a combat situation is another very complex and voluminous area of ​​research in military psychology.
It involves solving the following practical problems:

• study of the influence of the factors of the combat situation, including the real vital threat, on the mental state of military personnel;

• development of methods for predicting the performance of a soldier in a combat situation based on the consideration of his individual psychological and personal characteristics;

• development of scientific and methodological foundations for manning units for activities in a combat situation based on an assessment of the degree of psychological preparedness of military personnel for such activities;

• development of methods for the effective correction of the functional state of military personnel in combat conditions;

• search for effective ways and methods of psychological rehabilitation of military personnel after performing professional duties in extreme conditions of activity in order to prevent post-traumatic stress syndrome and restore professional performance;

• substantiation of psychological techniques aimed at the formation of mental readiness of military personnel for activities in combat conditions, including the development of emotional-volitional and stress resistance, as well as the development and testing of methods of self-regulation of the mental state.

Another area of ​​research in military psychology is associated with the development of psychological methods for uniting military collectives and strengthening military discipline in order to increase the efficiency of units and subunits. This direction involves solving the following practical problems:

• study of the psychological mechanisms and patterns of formation and development of military collectives, as well as the formation of a climate in a military collective;

• search for ways and development of psychological methods to strengthen military discipline and crime prevention;

• development of methods for managing a military team based on the consideration of its psychological characteristics and patterns of development.

It should be noted that among the above tasks and directions, only the main ones are given. Changes in the situation, the emergence of new factors affecting the nature of the activities of both individual military personnel and entire military collectives predetermine the possibility of the appearance of ever new tasks that military psychology must solve.

At the same time, we can unequivocally say that modern military psychology is not only an independent, but also a synthetic branch of psychological science, since military psychologists use knowledge from other branches of psychology, including social psychology, labor psychology, to solve their tasks and engineering psychology, educational psychology, medical psychology, etc. Therefore, it is very difficult to imagine the structure of military psychology as an independent discipline. It is more correct to assume that its structure is largely determined by the level of development of psychological science as a whole.
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Military psychology as a branch of modern psychological science, its structure and functions

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