family assistance so that all agents, including chaplains, may
access them for those in need.
Adequate copies of Biblical readings, prayer books, and other
literature of spiritual reconciliation and comfort should be
Division memorabilia (e.g., coins, medallions,
ribbons, or other simple mementos with local crests) should also
be available from chaplains. Chaplains should have quick access
to basic medical/personal supplies at all times (aspirin, antacids,
ammonia ampules, tissues, coffee/tea, etc.).
One chapel should remain open 24 hours a day, and daily prayer
services should be held until the installation-wide memorial
Before the Gander tragedy, the U.S. Army had not seen either combat or
accident mass casualties for well over a decade. At the level of an
Army company, for instance, only senior NCOs had personally
experienced significant loss to their organizations.
In addition to this lack of
experience, the predominant military
reaction to tragedy is to
minimize its effect on unit task
When the members of an affected unit are in significant emotional
insensitive, and disrespectful.
Thus attention must be given to
possible negative consequences of resuming normal activities too
The repercussions from ignoring potential stress and grief
effectiveness, but also in long-term individual and group or unit
Throughout this report, a key emphasis has been that grief and stress
reactions to traumatic events are normal and to be expected.
addition to an awareness of these normative reactions coupled with the good
intentions of leaders, reassurance, support, and expert advice often will be
required in order to implement appropriate interventions under crisis
This is due to the situation-specific nature of the particular traumatic
event, operating in conjunction with the unique features of an affected
Additionally, each stage of the community response to a
traumatic event must be considered.
For example, interventions and
responses appropriate in the immediate aftermath of the event may not be so
Consequently, flexible responding is required, along with the
knowledge and ability to shift strategies over time as needed.
A cookbook application of the recommendations proposed in this report will
not address the shifting requirements of a community in crisis. Even though
a good deal has been written about human responses to disasters and