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STAND-TO! Edition: Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Today's Focus:

Army Initiates Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) Improvements

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"For all those things that we are in the middle of, we need to drive down costs wherever we can. So we have to get cost that has crept-in in 'the decade of plenty' out of our programs and activities."

- Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Ashton B. Carter, while giving a candid and sweeping assessment of the need to revamp outdated processes and take a fresh look at how the Department of Defense can improve its performance by focusing on wringing more efficiencies and value out of taxpayer dollars, at the Lindner Conference Center, May 3

Pentagon acquisition chief underscores need for change as defense spending slows

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"It's a little tough being a Soldier. But it's worth it."

- Zach Wooden, a ten-year old and one of the 170 children who attended the Girl Scouts/1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment Boot Camp, echoes the sentiment of many in the armed forces, while summing up his experience of the boot camp.

Tots get a taste of Soldier's life at Children's Boot Camp

CALENDAR

2010-2013: 60th Anniversary of the Korean War

150 Years: The Battle of Gettysburg: The American Civil War

May:
National Military Appreciation Month

Mental Health Month:
- Army Behavioral Health

Asian Pacific Heritage Month:
- Asian Pacific Americans in the US Army

Monday, May 30: Memorial Day

TODAY'S FOCUS

Army Initiates Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) Improvements

What it is?

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have generated over the past ten years a significant number of Soldiers with multiple and complex medical conditions that require a disability evaluation.

What the Army has done?

The U.S. Army and Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) implemented an expansion strategy on April 1, 2011, to deploy an augmentation team comprised of activated Reserve Component Soldiers and TRICARE Management Activity support contractors to Dwight. D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Fort Gordon, Ga. The augmentation team supplements existing resources at the medical center and enhances the Army's ability to provide timely, quality and compassionate Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) disability processing for Soldiers. The expansion also helps ensure the Army has adequate personnel and resources available to process MEB cases and enhance continuity of care so Soldiers do not lose entitlements or benefits.

The Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) is another initiative the Army, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collaborated on to improve the disability process. The IDES, which began as a pilot program in the National Capitol Region in 2007, combines the separate rating systems used by the Army and VA into a single disability rating that the VA prepares for use by both departments. The Army will deploy IDES to all of its military treatment facilities by the end of the fiscal year. The Army also recently opened a new Reserve Component Soldier Medical Support Center in Pinellas Park, Fla., to transform and improve the disability evaluation process for Reserve Component Soldiers.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

The Electronic Medical Evaluation Board (eMEB) is another initiative the Army recently implemented to enhance the MEB process for Soldiers. In the future, an Electronic Physical Evaluation Board (EPEB) will be added to enhance the disability evaluation process even more to allow for the seamless transfer of Soldiers' medical information between the Army and VA.

Why is improving the MEB process important to the Army?

The Army and MEDCOM want wounded, ill and injured Soldiers to get the care they need at the right time and right place. The improvements streamline the MEB process; helps Army meet current and future demand for MEBs; enhances continuity of care and benefits entitlement for Soldiers; promotes and supports readiness and the Army mission "To Conserve the Fighting Strength".

Resources:

The Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy

DOD and VA Begin Pilot Disability Evaluation System

STAND-TO! NEWS

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