We use cookies to improve your website experience. To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies.

Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Military Psychology

For a Special Issue on
The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Military: Lessons Learned for Readiness and Resilience

Manuscript deadline
15 January 2022

Cover image - Military Psychology

Special Issue Editor(s)

Richard Griffith, Florida Institute of Technology
[email protected]

Constanze Dostal, FH Steyr
[email protected]

Visit JournalArticles

The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Military: Lessons Learned for Readiness and Resilience

A Special Edition of Military Psychology

Richard Griffith, Ph.D.

Constanze Dostal, M.Sc.

Guest Editors

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019, military organizations throughout the world have been asked to take on unfamiliar tasks while maintaining a state of readiness under fluid and uncertain conditions. For example, military support has been utilized to assist overwhelmed civilian health facilities and personnel, transport medical supplies (Kalkman, 2020), and support vaccination efforts (Lopez, 2020) all while protecting the physical and mental health of service members and military families (Segal, 2020; Wynn et al., 2020). The pandemic was a powerful force that impacted the military across various levels. Aside from operational capacity (Wilén, 2021) and force readiness (Kalkman, 2021), previous research on viruses such as SARS (Cov-2) suggests wide-spread implications on intermediate levels-of-analysis such as team cohesion (Nair & Banerjee, 2021). Other studies highlight potential individual effects on wellness (Maunder et al., 2006), mental health (Han et al., 2020), PTSD (Reger & Rothbaum, 2020) and sexual assault (Leardmann et al., 2013) through stress mechanisms.

While military organizations and their respective personnel around the world have answered the call under the strain of Covid-19, a bit of reflection regarding performance and desired outcomes may be in order. The events of the last 18 months were indeed challenging, but offered the opportunity to learn, adapt, and overcome a major trial of military readiness. Before moving on, the military community would benefit from an after-action-review to consolidate lessons learned, and prepare for future shocks to the global environment. In addition, Covid-19 lessons from military personnel and families (e.g. Gribble, Connelly, & Fear, 2020) may be leveraged to better address future challenges and improve overall readiness.

Due to the nature of their mission, military organizations have spent considerable resources building capacity in proficiencies underlying readiness (Moore et al., 1991; Schneider & Martin, 1994), resilience (Meredith et al., 2011), and adaptive leadership (Cojocar, 2011; Charbonnier-Voirin & Roussel, 2009).  In essence, the military has been purposefully organized to respond to stress and trauma (such as combat, public relations failures, etc.), and thus should be well positioned to adapt to crisis situations. In addition, the organizational structure and reliance on adaptable, agile leaders are design components that allows the military to be resilient to the unknown shocks of challenges like Covid-19.  In the current Covid-19 crisis, military bodies around the world have endeavored to extend capacity and make advances against a deadly virus. But the in the words of the author Ian Fleming, “Once is happenstance…”. Future crises are inevitable, and the military will again be called on to assist. Military organizations, personnel, and military families can apply insights from the Covid-19 crisis to future situations in a number of different ways.

Rather than lose the tremendous learning opportunity that stems from the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe it is time to reflect on possible lessons learned from successes, challenges, and failures, and leverage the experience of the military to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic stronger, more resilient, and better able to adapt to future tests. To that end, the proposed special edition of Military Psychology will invite a group of international researchers and military professionals to discuss key lessons in their experience that led to notable outcomes in the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, researchers will be encouraged to submit empirical papers that present data and analyses supporting those positions. We also invite papers that span various topics across multiple levels-of-analysis. Prospective contributors are encouraged to contact the guest editors, Richard Griffith ([email protected]) and Constanze Dostal ([email protected]) to discuss proposed topics to assess fit with the special edition theme.

Submission Instructions

Interested authors should submit a 1-page summary (with an attached Table or Figure if applicable) of their proposed manuscript through the Covid-19 Special Issue link to guest editor Richard Griffith at [email protected] with the subject “Special Edition on COVID-19 and the Military.” Below is information regarding deadlines and timeline for the special issue:

  • September 30, 2021: Deadline for 1-page summary
  • October 15, 2021: Authors notified of a request to submit a complete manuscript
  • January 15, 2022: Full manuscript submission deadline