Program Overview



Strong Compass is a readjustment program dedicated to helping combat veterans make a purposeful and enduring transition to civilian life... improving the quality of life for the veteran and their family.


Exciting Initial Results

The STRONG COMPASS beta program produced positive results.  Veterans benefited by managing frequency, intensity, and duration of effort to push the Body -> Mind -> Life framework.  Observable results were measured using multiple and validated tools.  Professional counseling teamed with fitness/health trainers produced observable group results.


Integral Concepts

1. The mind and body cannot be separated.  

2. Calming the body will calm the mind.  

3. Fitness, proper nutrition and restful sleep are natural anti-anxiety, anit-depression and regulate PTSD symptoms.  

4. Interaction with other veterans sets the stage for "social medicine." 

5. Tangible benefits and progress are motivational.  

6. Intensity, frequency, and duration are critical perspectives affecting meaningful change.



“The Un-Group”

Rand Corp & Walter Reed research suggests that up to 50-65% of Post 9/11 Veterans may be “un-served” by existing programs.

Rand Corp & Walter Reed research also suggests that up to 25% of veterans served are “under-served” for various reasons. For example:

  • Longer they wait, less likely to seek help and follow through
  • They may see their peers struggling as well and not realize there is a problem. 
  • Stigma to seeking help 
  • Prior or anticipated poor experience 
  • Lack social support from family, friends, or other Veterans 
  • High drop-out rate after 3-5 visits when trusted relationship with provider is not developed 

Over 1,100 estimated “Un-Group” in the Twin Ports (Duluth/Superior) area  alone.

Strong Compass Program Overview table


Individual Reports


Individual Report – Outlook Tracker Core-6

At each group session, current outlook is tracked and summarized. For example, weekly level Indices on the left reflect progress toward a healthier state. 

Person “A” showed improvement on several fronts throughout the STRONG COMPASS  Immersion and Assessment phase.


Individual Profile – Indicator Details

Indices Interpretation Range:

  • 0-100 Reflects progress toward “optimum” or favorable state
  • Higher Value = More progress
  • Lower Value = Less progress

Observations for Person “A”: 

  • Significant sleep issues exacerbate PTSD symptoms, specifically “on edge,” also known as hyper-vigilance. 
  • Functioning/Quality of Life scales suggests the veteran is likely self-medicating with substances, hoping to sleep better, and likely a contributor to legal problems.
  • Self Scales show higher levels of Locus Control and Self-Efficacy vs. lower Self-Esteem meaning the veteran knows his/her capabilities, but is not getting the chance to prove it in the civilian world.  


STRONG COMPASS – Individual Dashboard Report

The Strong Compass program tracks over 170 variables using known and validated scales. 

Real-time data reporting allows facilitators to identify issues and address them when it matters.

As data gathering and reporting platforms are developed, the veteran will be able to view a real-time dashboard of reports. 


Counselor and Program Manager

  • Dustin Oosten, MS, LMFT 
  • Readjustment Counseling Therapist, Vet Center, Duluth, MN
  • Developed veteran case management program for St. Louis County PH&HS (First in Minnesota) 
  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) 
  • 23 years community counseling experience 
  • Former U.S. Army Infantry and Military Intelligence Officer  
  • Martial arts experience 
  • Fitness trainer/TRX certified 
  • Level 200 Youth rugby coach 
  • Professional Ski instructor, Level II