U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) excels at supporting its operators and their families. By tactfully implementing the Preservation of the Force and Family (POTFF) program, the command is creating a culture of individuals that are stronger mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually.

According to an extensive article, published by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, the POTFF program is so effective and successful because of its unique ability to operate completely in-house. Patients in need can be seen right away. The staff that take care of these operators understand the stress, strain, and physical beating these operators go through in order to do their job. By having an intimate understanding of their patients and their backgrounds, they are able to provide effective treatment to operators, helping them stay at the top of their game, both physically and mentally.

Dr. Roger Schmidt, a psychologist assigned to SOCEUR’s POTFF program explained, “Being embedded in SOCEUR allows me to be uniquely positioned when and where I’m needed most. When the stress becomes a strain when people feel overwhelmed but aren’t willing to talk to their chain of command about it, and when functioning is starting to deteriorate personally and professionally.”

Supporting the successes of the program, a current patient at SOCEUR attested, “If it weren’t for the POTFF program I wouldn’t be having the conversations I am right now. I’ve needed to have these conversations for years but resisted. If it wasn’t for POTTF, I’d probably continue holding on to it until after retirement.”

There are four sub-programs, within the POTFF program: The Psychological Performance Program (PPP), the Human Performance Program (HPP), the Social Performance Program (SoPP), and the Spiritual Performance Program (SPP).

Psychological Performance Program

The PPP is a unique program. Psychological performance admittedly is an aspect of health that operators are sometimes hesitant to open up about. The POTFF program is trying to break down this barrier and make it known that being treated on a psychological level is just as important and acceptable as being treated for any physical injury.

For this reason, Dr. Schmidt said, “I am embedded in SOCEUR and not connected to the behavioral health clinic.”