Detainee operations guards in Iraq and Afghanistan reported elevated risk for posttraumatic stress disorder during deployment.

This study investigated posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in U.S. Navy sailors assigned to guard duty in detainee operations (DETOPS, n = 444) facilities and other duties (non-DETOPS, n = 1,715) in Iraq and Afghanistan via analysis of cross-sectional, self-report surveys. The majority of DETOPS sailors reported being in serious danger of being injured or killed (61%), a frequency significantly higher (χ2 = 19.45, p < .001) than non-DETOPS sailors (49%). The assumption of measurement invariance for the PTSD Checklist was confirmed with both samples possessing the 4-factor structure identified by Simms, Watson, and Doebbelling (2002). Consistent with previous reports, the DETOPS sample was significantly higher, Wilks's λ = .98, F(5, 2146) = 10.93, p < .001, than the non-DETOPS sample when compared across 4 PTSD Checklist factors observed in the 2 samples. The percentage of sailors scoring above the threshold for probable PTSD, based on 3 scoring methods, ranged from 11.9% to 16.1%, frequencies significantly higher (p < .001) than that of the non-DETOPS sample (6.4%â€"9.6%). The results provide the first empirical evidence that DETOPS sailors in Iraq and Afghanistan were a high-risk population for developing PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)