FORT RILEY, Kan. - The Warrior Transition Battalion is made up of Soldiers who require complex medical care. These individuals require care because they were either wounded in combat or became ill or injured in a non-combat situation.

An ongoing reorganization process of the WTB will reflect this, as individuals with combat-related injuries will be grouped together.

This reorganization process has been going on for about six to eight weeks, said Lt. Col. Andy J. Price, WTB commander.

The reorganization to create combat and non-combat units will happen gradually through the normal process of receiving incoming and outgoing Soldiers.

"We didn't want to draw a line in the sand and say, 'as of this date we're going to change your unit,'" Price said.

This gradual transition process was to ensure the triad of care at the WTB wasn't adversely affected.

The WTB functions at the squad level with a triad of care that includes a squad leader, a primary care physician and a nurse case manager.

"Every warrior has these three people that they bond with, get to know," Price said.
The squad leader, nurse case manager and physician remain constant and individuals see them regularly.

"So because that creates a therapeutic relationship, the last thing that (Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley commanding general) wanted to do was cleave the relationship somehow voluntarily," Price said.

To speak to a gradual transition, the reorganization started at the beginning of the summer with the right-sizing of the WTB.

A new change of order reduced the warrior load. At one point there had been 400 Soldiers in the WTB at Fort Riley. Now that number is down to around 190 Soldiers, the number fluctuates with the coming and going of Soldiers.

The WTB deactivated their Company C and now has the ability to care for 250 to 350 Soldiers.

Prior to the reorganization, the WTB companies were based on "projected levels of acuity, or how tough it was to help manage that individual's complexities," Price said.

For instance, if Company A received two or three Soldiers who maintained a significant amount of challenge, the next few Soldiers might go to Company B.

This was done to maintain a balance of work effort between the two companies. The numbers between the companies also was kept fairly equal, for the same reason.

Within the new reorganization they are going to maintain that concept. The organization will be realigned while still maintaining its basic structure.

"The ongoing effort now is to align the organization so that the combat-related Soldiers, those that have shared experience, can have a unit of similar experience. That is the driving force right now of the reorganization process," Price said.

Through the reorganization process, two-mirrored companies will be created. Within these companies there will be a return to duty platoon that consists of a combat-related squad and a non-combat related squad, the same will be true with the transition platoon.

"That allows us to still maintain that work load, that focus of effort, but with a different flavor," Price said.

One of the expected benefits of the reorganization is a heightened camaraderie between individuals with combat experience.

"When they start talking and when they start communicating, they have that shared experience," Price said.

They also hope grouping combat-related individuals together will have another benefit.

"By having combat-related folks in an organization that allows a certain focus to be given to them, the goal is to have them as the examples of how to succeed against some bad situations," Price said.

This positive example is expected to rub off on others within the WTB.

"Those that are not combat-related, who have suffered an injury through physical training or through an illness process, diabetes, cancer, what have you, they can look and say, 'hey there goes the guys who have set an example of how we can continue to improve and get better and become a force multiplier,'" Price said.

For more information about WTB visit the Irwin Army Community Hospital Web site at iach.amedd.army.mil.

Page last updated Wed September 23rd, 2009 at 19:10