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THIS website is a private SUPPORT SITE for 4th ID veterans, active duty soldiers, family members, friends and everyone who supports our troops no matter how you feel about our leaders. Troublemakers, gossips. trolls, liars, etc are NOT welcome here. Posts that defame,, humiliate and/or intimidate other posters or the webmaster will be deleted without notice or comment. Please read the rules on the Main Page, thank you!
This forum has a long history, by interent standards anyway-unfortunately it has been abandoned for far too long due to real life circumstances knocking the heck out of what had been my very real desire to keep this board alive and well forever so that all of us could meet here and communicate with each other everyday.

I'm not sure that a forum like this is even needed nowadays since the advent of facebook, etc...but I hope that this once thriving BB does bring some of us back together again and that maybe some new folks will join us as well!   
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Proposal would bar medically unfit troops from combat

Proposal would bar medically unfit troops from combat

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

The U.S. military command that oversees troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan wants to make it harder for combat commanders to send medically unfit troops to war zones, according to a proposal reviewed by USA TODAY.

The proposal from Central Command would add 16 medical conditions that would bar troops from deploying for combat duty. It would toughen a 2½-year-old rule requiring combat commanders to seek a waiver before sending troops who need medical care to a war zone.

The broader intent of the guidelines is to make certain commanders seek the medical waiver rather than deploy soldiers with medical problems, says Ellen Embrey, a deputy assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs.

Since 2003, the U.S military has sent into combat 43,000 troops deemed "non-deployable" by military doctors in the weeks before arriving in Iraq or Afghanistan, Pentagon records show. The vast majority were Army soldiers, the records show.

Central Command is concerned that any influx of non-deployable troops could tax a system that "provides only limited medical care," the proposal says.

The new guidelines would keep troops with "any chronic medical condition that requires frequent clinical visits" out of the war zone.

It would tighten restrictions on deploying troops with hearing and vision loss and "any musculoskeletal condition that significantly impairs performance of duties in a deployed environment."

The proposal was confirmed by Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Speaks, a Central Command spokesman. He said it was in response to a May 8 USA TODAY report about the 43,000 non-deployable troops.

The waiver requirement was first spelled out in a February 2006 policy statement by David Chu, an undersecretary of Defense, following direction from Congress. Guidance issued by Central Command last year did not provide specific directions for waivers.

Last year, 36 soldiers of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson, Colo., were sent to war with medical problems, an investigation by the Army inspector general shows. Commanders sought no waivers for the 36 soldiers, according to the report released under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Six soldiers deployed with health problems were ultimately sent home. Two had shoulder injuries, two had mental health problems, one had a groin injury and a sixth could not carry a weapon, according to the investigative report.

Since last July, the Army sought deployment waivers for 22 soldiers with medical problems, Army spokesman Paul Boyce says.

GAO report: Three bases fail to examine troops properly

GAO report: Three bases fail to examine troops properly

By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — One in 10 soldiers sent to Iraq and Afghanistan from three Army bases have medical problems severe enough to significantly limit their ability to fight, according to a Government Accountability Office study released Tuesday.


Full GAO report here...

Highlights of report here...

Report summary here... http://www.gao.g


Pressure to rush soldiers into war zones caused leaders at Forts Stewart and Benning in Georgia, and Fort Drum, N.Y., to sometimes fail to assess health problems fully, the report says. The Army also lost files or inconsistently rated the severity of medical problems, GAO says.

The study's release comes as the U.S. Central Command is proposing to add more medical conditions that would keep troops from being sent to combat. USA TODAY reported in May that since 2003, 43,000 troops were listed as medically unfit but were still sent into combat.

"The GAO report confirms that some soldiers have fallen through the cracks when the Army failed to properly evaluate medical conditions," said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "Readiness requirements cannot be met by deploying injured or ill servicemembers when their health limitations should prevent it."

The largest numbers of physical ailments were musculoskeletal: herniated discs, back pain and chronic knee problems.

The Army works to restrict the war-zone duties of soldiers with medical problems, said Brig. Gen. Gina Farrisee, the Army's chief of personnel management. Also, she said, the mistakes found by the GAO were too limited to suggest "a widespread problem."

Government investigators looked at troops deploying from the three forts between April 2006 and March 2007.

Other findings:

• Investigators estimate that 3% of all deploying soldiers from those bases had serious physical problems requiring a medical board review to determine if they should change jobs or leave the Army; no such reviews were conducted.

• Medical profiles, or records describing how soldiers with injuries or illnesses should be limited in their duties, were missing from about a third of those cases where soldiers had health problems.

• An estimated 7% of all deploying soldiers had medical problems that should have limited their activity in the war zone, and yet they were under no such restrictions.

Commanders, the report says, said they "occasionally required their soldiers to perform duties potentially exceeding the soldiers' medical limitations." This happened because a soldier's file was incomplete or because "the soldier had special skills that were difficult to replace," the report says.