Professionals in high-risk organizations, such as the military, need to develop effective coping styles in order to deal with dangerous and stressful situations. Although most of these organizations already offer programs and interventions aimed at improving employees' coping styles, there is still little research on the predictors of coping style development. This two-wave study examined how goal orientation and metacognitive awareness contribute to coping style development during basic military training. Participants were 235 Dutch military recruits who completed a questionnaire before and after basic training. The results showed that participants with a strong learning goal orientation developed more effective (i.e. more problem-focused coping and less emotion-focused coping) coping styles, and that this effect was mediated by metacognitive awareness. Together, the findings yield theoretical as well as practical implications for organizations that aim to enhance effective coping styles in professionals in high-risk jobs.