NEW YORK - As its commitments abroad increase, the US Army, in an effort to improve combat performance and stave off post-traumatic stress disorder, plans emotional resiliency training, officials said. The $117m programme is an effort to transform a military culture that has generally considered talk of emotions to be so much hand-holding, a sign of weakness, General George Casey, the US Armys chief of staff told The New York Times in an interview. Im still not sure that our culture is ready to accept this, Casey told the Times. Thats what I worry about most. The new programme is to be introduced at two bases in October and phased in gradually, starting in basic training, but officials plan to require all 1.1m of soldiers to take intensive training in emotional resiliency. The programme, designed to help people cope better with stressful conditions, is usually taught in weekly 90-minute classes. It seeks to defuse or expose common habits of thinking and flawed beliefs that may develop into anger, frustration and a tendency to assume the worst - such as, My wife didnt answer the phone; she must be with someone else. Army officials said it is hoped the programme will help head off mental health problems, including depression, PTSD and suicide that plague about one-fifth of troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.