SEALs Looking For Neurostimulation ‘Cognitive Enhancement’

Neurostimulation Cognitive Enhancement

Shooting well continues to save the lives of our soldiers, particularly among America’s elite units. Not content to merely drill using conventional training, today’s military leaders have reached out to industry to improve performance. Simply put, military brass seek “mission enhancement.” Not surprisingly, this includes cutting-edge nueurostimulation technology.

As George Patton once told his men: “No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.” That remains true today. Toward that end, today’s military has started researching unconventional methods to enhance the fighting skills and abilities of elite troops. If this can help our men concentrate and shoot better, for longer periods of time, that’s a good thing, helping our enemies die for their cause sooner. has the story:

At a conference near Washington, D.C., in February, the commander of all Navy special operations units made an unusual request to industry: Develop and demonstrate technologies that offer “cognitive enhancement” capabilities to boost his elite forces’ mental and physical performance.

“We plan on using that in mission enhancement,” Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski said. “The performance piece is really critical to the life of our operators.”

Szymanski expanded on his remarks in a brief interview later, saying he has his eye on a number of technologies, including pharmaceutical aids. But the results of one breakthrough involving the direct application of electrical stimulation to the brain have particularly caught his eye.

…Developed for elite athletes, the headset purports to work by stimulating the brain to enter a state of hyper-elasticity, allowing users to learn better and more efficiently. In physical training, he said, the technology has proven useful in developing explosive power for athletes whose sports require vertical leaps or sudden starts.

For operators, the same system could improve shooting performance, Wingeier said.

“Whatever you’re training on as far as a movement-based skill,” he said, “if you do deep practice, hard repetition, this accelerates the benefit of that.”

In a study conducted with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, ski jumpers observed a 13 percent gain in propulsion force and 11 percent gain in jump smoothness compared with a control group over four weeks of using the device, according to data promoted by Halo. As testimonials note, marginal improvements can make a big difference for elite athletes — a statement arguably true of special operators as well.

So there you have it: our armed forces continue to explore training that gives our troops the edge over our enemies.

As for us mere mortals, we’ll have to rely on old fashioned training to improve our skills. While it might be nice to wear a set of headphones that tickle our brains to improve our skill sets, that technology probably won’t be available us before we’re eating tapioca pudding in a nursing home. Until that time comes, we will continue to use conventional training, repetition and scenario-based force-on-force training to achieve better shooting performance.


  1. avatar More Dead Soldiers says:

    Will it zap the SEAL right before he throws a grenade at the hostage?

  2. avatar Stu in AZ says:

    It’s called meth, and the Nazis used it over 70 years ago.

    1. avatar 16V says:

      Actually the meth has guaranteed functionality (and some inherent side-effects). The neuro-stimulation? Umm, the jury is very much out on that. Especially when analyzing meta-data…

    2. avatar Nick says:

      I was thinking the same thing. This is a dangerous tightrope they’re walking and I’d imagine any pharmaceutical solutions they come up with will have harmful side effects or be ineffective.

      If big pharma can’t figure out how their antidepressants even work (ever hear “this drug is thought to work” in a commercial?), why should we believe they’ll be successful in this endeavor.

      1. avatar Lost Down South says:

        “If big pharma can’t figure out how their antidepressants even work (ever hear “this drug is thought to work” in a commercial?), why should we believe they’ll be successful in this endeavor.”

        Assuming they care. Most pharma are not in it for altruism. If they were, there would be all but zero profit.

        The biggest pushers of all time, hands down, are the Sackler brothers, creators of OxyContin. The story of the painkiller epidemic can really be reduced to the story of one powerful, highly addictive drug and its small but ruthlessly enterprising manufacturer, Purdue Pharma.

        Reps in suits and ties, junkets for doctors, no MS-13 visible. Nice guys. They’ll buy you lunch (and more). Will buy legislators and the FDA.

        Look it up for yourself. Read it all, send it to everyone. The only difference between them and MS-13 is who they hang out with and fund.

        They should be taken out behind the woodshed and beaten severely (and I’m being polite here.)

  3. avatar Bill says:

    Well I sure hope this isn’t a repeat of all the different drugs that have been experimented on soldiers by several nations with no real success. As for me, I’ll never let them chip me…

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      If they have to chip soldiers they’ll have to un-chip them when they are discharged, which would be cost-prohibitive.

  4. avatar travis m. says:

    In the last sentence of the first paragraph, neurostimulation is misspelled.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    Well, as long as no one ends up climbing trees to feed birds…

    1. avatar Mikial says:

      What does this have to do with cognitive enhancement to help keep soldiers alive?

  6. avatar Chris E says:

    Can they kill goats with their minds yet?

  7. avatar Rational says:

    Just what we need. Hackable soldiers.

    1. avatar sagebrushracer says:

      yeah, i was gonna say, make sure you turn off the bluetooth on that thing.

      also, side effects? the brain is the most complex, least understood part of the body.

  8. avatar Bob Watson says:

    A panel discussion on Neuro-Prosthetics at the 2016 World Science Festival placed the number of people currently walking around with a chip in the head at approximately 100,000. A little extra juice to the grey matter is being used to treat everything from severe clinical depression to Parkinsons and restoration of motor function.

    When I see an ad for an implant that will let me shoot like Jerry Miculek I will break out my Visa card without hesitation.

  9. avatar ferferfewrf says:

    Will it prevent them from transitioning from “the quiet professional, never seeking recognition for their actions” to blabber mouth attention whores? I’d rather not know who was on the Bin Laden raid, or who shot him, or who dumped him in the ocean etc, but mostly that’s because it took our first world might a decade to get him, and it’s just embarrassing.

    1. avatar Robb says:

      Might have been sooner if we didn’t waste all those years in Iraq.

  10. avatar BLoving says:

    I know I’m pretty useless until I get my morning neural stimulation, 20 ounces, hot, a little milk and a teaspoon of sugar please.
    Hmm. Better go wash my Grizzly cup before bed so it’s ready in the morning… nite, y’all.

  11. avatar Timmy! says:

    Mmmm, tapioca.

  12. avatar FulMetlJakit says:

    Some tech advisor should have told that “SEAL” to cinch that brain bucket.

  13. avatar Mattb says:

    One 20mg IR Adderall one 20mg XR Adderall after meal before deployment.

  14. avatar Max says:

    The reading comprehension is horrible with some people. It is not a chip or internal device and it isn’t used during operations. It is a headset that is used during training to get better results quicker than normal methods. The US Ski team wasn’t chipped and didn’t wear the headset during competition just to get better during training. Hacking is a non issue unless the enemy has people skilled to do so involved in the training of elite military members here in the US. Meth,Adderall and other stimulants have already been used by us and other military units in the past with mixed success. This is just an electronic way to attempt to get similar results with possibly less side effects.

  15. avatar Robb says:

    Just a thought; maybe provide some of that to the grunts on the ground instead of the SpecOps guys, who it seems get all the training already.

    Or are the high drag, low speed guys expendable and not worth it?

    1. avatar Detroiter says:

      I tho l you pretty much answered your own question.

  16. avatar Sergeant Bill says:

    I thought we already had this stuff, I saw it on the Jason Bourne movies, that was real right??

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Actually, The Matrix – “I know Kung Fu.”

  17. avatar Art out West says:

    I don’t like the thought of our military personnel being used as guinea pigs. The military has a long and dismal history of doing such things.

  18. avatar Donjinn says:

    “As for us mere mortals, we’ll have to rely on old fashioned training…”

    You can buy this technology right from Halo for $750.

  19. avatar Jay says:

    Tell them all to visit like everyone else does! Quality is everything when it comes to nootropics and nootropics city is one of the only few vendors you can trust.

  20. avatar Ben says:

    I’m fine sticking with meditation, reflex exercises and chi exercises to boost my cognitive function. We have all we need built in to achieve our highest potential. You just have to do the work to unlock it.

  21. avatar Ricky Spanish says:

    It’s called modafinal – we developed it as a non-addictive alternative to the methamphetamines the Nazis were so fond of, and we still give it to our troops.

    And it’s very popular with the Silicon Valley crowd.

    And you can order it online from India, so I’ve heard.

  22. avatar IHeartGlocks says:

    Adrafinil is legal in the US. The main metabolite is Modafinil. Once they realized this they went straight to Modafinil so Adrafinil was never scheduled. So you can get it legally from a US company. You can get anything you want from India, but they have ZERO quality control, so who knows what it is there.

    Good stuff, I use it instead of the six diet cokes and 2 pots of coffee I used to drink a day.

    Study with fighter pilots –

    Not sure what the rules are on posting links to websites, but if it ok I will post the best site to get it from (i am in no way affiliated, it’s just the cheapest, fastest shipping and independently confirmed).

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