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Karen Estrada, M.S. Military Health Matters, LLC. training@militaryhealthmatters.



Transforming your learning experience from learned information to knowledge in action.

Military Health Matters, LLC. - Transformational Training Courses - 2015

Course Instructor: Karen Estrada, M.S., Military Health Matters, LLC.


For people who have never served in the military or have a family member or close friend who has
served in the military, military life can seem like 'another world'. In a sense, it is. The military isn't a
monolithic entity; it is multiple entities with many cultural differences within. Yet, there is a strong
commonality among all branches of service and across all ranks: selflessness, honor, duty, and service
to country.

It is imperative for the professionals working with Service members or for professionals who would
like to work with service members or veterans, to have a fundamental understanding and appreciation
of the military culture and to tailor clinical practices based on that understanding and appreciation.

My eldest son enlisted in the US Army in July 2001 soon after his 18th birthday. A self-proclaimed
'nerd', needless to say we were all very surprised at his decision. He had been in gifted classes
throughout middle and high school, not particularly athletic, his college tuition already (pre) paid.

His Dad had served in the US Air Force at the end of the Vietnam War and my own father had served
in the US Navy in WWII, and although we have always been proud and supportive of our service
members and veterans, we considered military service to be a choice that both our sons could
determine to pursue if they wanted to.

My son made this decision quite thoughtfully, we were fully supportive, and so off he went to boot
camp. He was in boot camp on 9-11-2001, on that day, our nation was stunned as the horrific events
unfolded before our eyes.

I knew that day was going to change us as a nation and I knew a lot of changes were in store for us as a
family. When I look back today, I see just how little I knew.

In 2008, after my eldest son's third and most difficult deployment, (2006-07), 15 months in Samarra
Iraq, our younger son informed us that he would be enlisting in the US Army as well, after completing
his first bachelor's degree. His reason was simple, he felt in our family his older brother had shouldered
enough of the responsibility of service and that it was time for him to step up as well. We were all
extremely proud but I knew I would have to grow a second steel spine. Meanwhile, my eldest was
getting ready, yet again for another deployment.

There are a variety of 'Military Culture' courses that introduce civilian health and mental health
professionals and providers to the very distinctive world of the US Military.

What makes this 'Military Culture' course so unique?

Karen Estrada, M.S. Military Health Matters, LLC.

Fourteen years of personal and professional experiences are woven throughout the course.

Your journey from session one will start just as mine began in July 2001. Participants will get a candid
glimpse into the lives of service members and military families. You will acquire perspective and
knowledge; the "nuts and bolts" of military culture so that you can understand, communicate, and
effectively interact with service members and their families.

I will share personal photographs taken on the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq over the span of a
decade and introduce you to some very brave soldiers, some of who made the ultimate sacrifice in
service to our nation.

As a military mom, I am truly grateful for the many professionals, like yourselves, who genuinely care
and seek out to help our service members and veterans in very meaningful ways.


Session 1: Self-Awareness - Self-Assessment

Introduction to Military Ethos, (2 - 60 minute sessions)

Learning Objectives
You will learn the fundamentals of military ethos and it's impact on service members and Veterans.
After this session, you should be able to:
• Identify factors that shape opinions about the military and military service.
• Analyze potential assumptions and biases that you may hold related to military culture, Service
members, and/or Veterans.
• Describe the characteristics and functions of military ethos and how it may impact interactions
you may have with Service members, Veterans, and their families.
• Describe how military ethos may contribute to stigma, help seeking, and health behaviors.

For all course sessions/parts: each will end with a 'no holds barred' Q & A.

Session 2: Military Organization and Roles

(1- 90-minute session)

Learning Objectives
You will learn how military organizations and roles impact the lives of service members and Veterans.

After you complete this session, you should be able to:

• Identify the key functions and roles in military organizations.
• Recognize how military organization and roles affect Service members and Veterans in need of
• Determine how healthcare professionals can apply knowledge of military organization and
roles to improve practice.

Karen Estrada, M.S. Military Health Matters, LLC.

Session 3: Common Military Stressors

The Deployment Cycle, Resilience, Resources, (2 - 60 minute sessions)

You will learn about the most common stressors in military culture, their impact on Service members
and Veterans and families.

Learning Objectives
After you complete this session, you should be able to:
• Identify common military stressors.
• Describe the stressors unique to the military deployment cycle from both a Service member and
family member perspective.
• Describe common stress reactions related to military life stressors.
• Identify support systems to build resilience and promote behavioral health.

Session 4: Military Culture and Health Related Conditions

Treatment Tools, Self-Assessment (2 - 60 minute sessions)

You will integrate what you have learned about military culture into your care assessment and
treatment of health problems impacting Service members, Veterans, and their families.

Learning Objectives
After you complete this session, you should be able to:

• Identify the core competencies that are necessary for military culture competence.
• Re-assess your own strengths and weaknesses.
• Discuss the role of stigma and other obstacles to treatment seeking and compliance.
• Identify ways to incorporate military cultural competency into assessment, support, or
treatment planning and delivery.

Intellectual Property Policy

Military Health Matters, LLC. certifies that the material contained in all course presentations and
related support materials is original and created by said author. In cases where materials have been
used from other sources, proper documentation is provided and proper credit is given to the original