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Today's Focus:

Personnel Blast or Contaminant Tracker

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Soldiers and their families wouldn't re-enlist if they didn't have a belief in something greater than themselves. We can be very proud because out of 300 million people, we represent two-thirds of 1 percent of the American population, and you are the best of everything America has to offer. I recently told the president that we can be proud as a nation that we still have Americans who volunteer and want to give back to their country."

- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston speaks with Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Joint Security Station Sadr City

Preston addresses concerns, outlines goals to Soldiers in Iraq

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"It's an honor to be able to take charge of these troops and see them actually perform in these ceremonies. That's the best part - to see all the hard work they do pay off during the ceremony - how sharp they look and how together they move - it's just awesome."

- Staff Sgt. John Wright, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center's Color Guard NCO in charge

NCOs step up, present unique color guard

CALENDAR

2009: Year of the NCO

2009: Year of the Military Family

2009: 100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

March 2009:

- National Women's History Month: Army Heritage and History Web site

- Brain Injury Awareness Month: U.S. Army Medical Department Web site

April 2009:

- Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

- Month of the Military Child

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

TODAY'S FOCUS

Personnel Blast or Contaminant Tracker

What is it?

The Army National Guard (ARNG) has developed a reporting process to identify and track uninjured, blast-exposed or contaminant-exposed Soldiers who may be at risk for future medical problems after redeployment. The personnel blast or contaminant tracker (PBCT) is a new module, but the very existence of the tracker has helped to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury (TBI).

What has ARNG done?

The ARNG has implemented data collection as a routine part of deployment. Incident reporting is handled in a professional manner with sensitivity to the risks of stigma. All deployed ARNG units collect and report data on all Soldiers exposed to a blast or contaminant. ARNG units can input this data into the new PBCT sub-module of the Line of Duty (LOD) module in the Medical Operational Data System (MODS). The LOD module is an ARNG personnel and medical application used by all 54 states and territories.

What continued efforts does the ARNG have planned for the future?

Access to PBCT (commonly known as "blast tracker" or "tracker") and instruction on how to input data may be added to pre-mobilization training to ensure that ARNG units are prepared. Units will only have visibility of Soldiers assigned to their unit. Data input to the database is confidential and will not be shared with unauthorized parties. The ARNG will be able to identify trends in blast and contaminant exposure and impacts on Soldiers and their futures.

Why is this important to the Army National Guard?

The intent of this follow-up capability is to serve as a personnel recording system for all ARNG members involved in a blast incident or contaminant occurrence, even in the absence of immediate physical symptoms. If the exposure to a blast or contaminant has long-term impacts to the servicemember, data will be used for LOD/benefits.

This program includes a record of those who were nearby but do not appear to be injured. People who leave the military might not have the same easy access to treatment and care as their active duty counterparts can get through military facilities that have personnel familiar with blast-related problems, especially those that show up as post-traumatic injuries.

Resources:

ARNG Web site

Medical Operational Data System Web site

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