Deployment related stress : the experience of naval families.
The sacrifices required of Navy families are substantial. In order to maintain readiness, the Navy must maintain high standards and retain well trained people. To retain experienced and productive service members, family life must be supported and enhanced as much as possible. This study examined deployment related stress as experienced by deployed staff of the SAS SCORPION and their spouses and the Command's responses in terms of alleviating such stresses. A qualitative research methodology was used employing an exploratory, descriptive strategy. The study made use of non-probability purposive sampling for all three samples. To ensure rich data semi-structured interviews were used for samples one and two. Data was collected by means of a workshop for sample three. Respondents from sample one and two indicated dissatisfaction in the areas of military support, crime, medical problems, military housing, crisis periods, unplanned trips, and prolonged sea service. Sample three responded by acknowledging hardships experienced by samples one and two. They agreed in principle that a deployment seminar be made compulsory for military families and an incumbent be employed as a Naval liaison officer to coordinate problems experienced by deployed members and their families. The findings of this research, indicated the need for support structures and preventative programmes.