Charles River Analytics Develops Training Program to Enhance Resilience and Performance of the Marine Corps

Image from Charles River Analytics project SHEILD

Charles River Analytics Inc., developer of intelligent systems solutions, has announced a follow-on contract to build a low-cost, flexible option for training psychological flexibility and enhancing the resilience and performance of the Marine Corps. The two-year contract for Strengthening Health and Improving Emotional Defenses, or SHIELD, awarded by the Office of Naval Research, is valued close to $750,000. Charles River is partnering with Intelligent Automation, Inc. on the effort.

Psychological stress experienced by Marines has a profound impact on health and performance. In addition to affecting Marines, it also impacts job performance and interactions with family and peers. Charles River Analytics is developing SHIELD to train Marines in developing psychological fitness, and promoting healthy responses to adverse and stressful events. SHIELD is a comprehensive and portable psychological resiliency program based on the latest evidence-based strategies from psychological skills training, stress management strategies, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

“While the benefits of psychological skills training and stress management strategies are clear, one significant challenge is how to deliver these benefits to Marines,” said Dr. Seth Elkin-Frankston, Scientist at Charles River. “We are developing a program in SHIELD that will improve Marines’ ability to flexibly adapt and cope with stressors and avoid the negative consequences associated with increased adversity. The SHIELD program will be delivered through a mobile application designed to build a composite of individual needs and guide personalized training objectives.”

A Marine uses a mobile app to engage and interact with the SHIELD program, accessing content, engaging in training exercises, and providing periodic self-assessment reports through an intuitive interface.

Charles River will build on its expertise in psychological skills training, mobile platform development, data fusion, and biosensor technologies, as well as its familiarity with Marine Corps training, to build the SHIELD program. SHIELD aims to improve Marines’ ability to flexibly adapt and cope with stressors and avoid the negative consequences associated with increased adversity.

SHIELD is Charles River’s latest in a range of healthcare support and training efforts, reflecting its commitment to engineering focused on improving the lives of Warfighters and Veterans. Other efforts include medical skills training, therapeutic applications, decision aids, and sensors and sensing technology. See other examples of our Healthcare Support and Training efforts.


This material is based upon work supported by the Office of Naval Research under Contract No N68335-17-C-0084. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Naval Research.

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