FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) hosted an Army Medical Hot Topic with a focus on holistic health and the Soldier, on Dec. 7, 2021. Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the Army Surgeon General, and Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond D. Hough of Army Medical Command, opened the program that discussed insights into the future direction of Army Medicine.
Dingle began by thanking the leaders and membership of AUSA for supporting Army Medicine and the U.S. Army. In particular he noted retired Gen. Robert B. Brown, President and CEO of AUSA, and retired Lt. Gen. Guy C. Swan, AUSA Vice President.
“In the room, we have active duty, reserve, National Guard, international (service representatives), civilian, and government partners. I thank you for taking an interest in the holistic health and the readiness of our Soldiers and our families,” said Dingle.
Hough also thanked AUSA for what they do for the Army family. “I really appreciate what AUSA does for our Soldiers and our Families,” he said. ‘”Your support is phenomenal.”
Panels at the event discussed a range of supporting topics: Army Medicine in multi-domain operations; holistic health and fitness and Soldier readiness; the medical generating force enabling force protection; trauma initiatives, recruiting, retention, and skills sustainment; and community and command support for behavioral health promotion.
Everyone who attended received copies of the Army Medicine Strategic Vision, Army Medicine Strategy, Army Medicine Campaign Plan, and a brochure on the COVID-19 pandemic response lessons learned.
“We will be ready, reformed, reorganized, responsive, and relevant to the Army and it’s Soldiers and family members, as well as the beneficiary population we serve, and our Soldiers for Life,” said Dingle. “When the Army is called upon to deploy today and fight tonight to win wars with overwhelming lethality, Army Medicine will be there to return them to duty tomorrow.”
In his keynote remarks, Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, noted, “the expertise, the professionalism, the dedication, and the passion of everybody in the medical field, especially the combat medic.” Brito said, “You cannot separate combat readiness from medical readiness.”
Dingle discussed the operational approach for the future as defined in the Army Medicine Campaign Plan.
The Campaign Plan states that Army Medicine will synchronize and integrate the medical effort to remain responsive and reliable for teammates and stakeholders. We will build readiness in support of the warfighter. Army Medicine will support the modernization of the medical force, developing medical concepts on parallel with the Army. Medical reform will allow a pivot to readiness to improve business processes and gain efficiencies.
“Army Medicine will modernize, and we will not be left behind,” said Dingle.
Dingle stated in the opening remarks that there is a need to ensure there are enough medics, or 68 Whiskeys. “Life cannot be conserved if the 68 Whiskey is not there to stop the bleeding,” said Dingle.
The foundation of Army Medicine in the infantry squad is the medic, and the medic has enormous competency when it comes to trauma on the battlefield. “We don’t have any other provider there,” said Hough. “Their ability to get to the fight, to be trained, to continue to be trained as medicine evolves, making sure our Whiskeys stay in step is of the utmost importance.”
We continue to develop the competency of the 68 Whiskey, said Hough. “We have programs such as the SMART program and paramedic programs” to help keep the medics skills sharp for when it is time to deploy.
“There is a saying in Army Medicine,” said Dingle. “Army Medicine is Army strong! Army Medicine is strong because of the Soldiers, the civilians, the teammates, the government agencies, and businesses who support Army Medicine,” said Dingle.