Pakistan Cyber Force: 90,000 USZ soldiers Medically Unfit for combat

Pakistan Cyber Force [Official] Networked Blog

Top stories

Pakistan Cyber Force [Official]

Friday, November 4, 2011

90,000 USZ soldiers Medically Unfit for combat

Print Friendly and PDF

Nearly 90,000 USZ soldiers are either unfit for combat with health restrictions or are otherwise unavailable for combat, according to data released to USZ Today. Although the Army said it can fill combat brigades heading to Afghanistan with healthy soldiers — some rushed in at the last minute as units head overseas — the growing list of ill, injured or wounded is making the job tougher, military officials said. “The problem of a growing population of not-medically ready soldiers has begun to erode the readiness of the Army”, the service’s surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker, recently said at a military conference in Washington, D.C.

Army data show record numbers of soldiers either on the sick list, with limited-duty issues, or unfit and waiting months to receive their medical retirement. Plans are in place to reduce the Army by nearly 50,000 soldiers in coming years, further diminishing the pool of healthy GIs, said Claude Chafin, a spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee. “With larger numbers of nondeployable soldiers within a smaller force, the Army will continue to struggle to have sufficient manpower to adequately meet all mission requirements”, Chafin said. There could be even deeper cuts to the healthy ranks of the Army under plans to reduce the defense budget by $465 billion over 10 years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno told Congress this week.

The Army has 565,400 active-duty soldiers augmented by 52,600 mobilized National Guard and Reserve soldiers. There are another 500,000 Guard and Reserve soldiers available to call up.
The categories of staffing problems include:
  • 47,000 soldiers who are temporarily out of action recovering from wounds, injuries and illnesses, said Lt. Col. Tim Beninato, another spokesman.
  • 23,000 soldiers who are on limited duty. Many have health issues, although some deploy for restricted jobs. Others are unavailable for war because they are in transit between bases, caught up in legal cases or in school, although many of them could be sent to war in an emergency.
  • 18,178 soldiers are in a disability process for soldiers who are no longer fit for combat that takes more than a year on average to complete.
But that system has become bloated and slow over the years, Army officials said. The Army cannot replace soldiers who are waiting for medical retirements until they are gone. “It’s taking us too long to get through the (disability retirement) system” said Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff. To speed up the disability process, Chiarelli has pushed to hire 700 civilian evaluation case managers, assistants, lawyers, doctors and others at a cost of $65 million next year, said Lt. Col. David Gercken, an Army spokesman. Assessing disability for rising numbers of mental problems is particularly time-consuming, Army officials said. “An Army at war for 10 years has a voracious demand for behavioral health,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Stone, deputy surgeon general.
(USZ Today)

Pakistan Cyber Force



Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...