By Sgt. 1st Class Joel QuebecNovember 2, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Medical readiness has always been an ongoing issue in the Army, especially during the last decade through two wars and numerous other missions worldwide. Some Soldiers are processed through what seems to be a virtual swamp of medical status terminology, acronyms and web-based information systems, resulting in some troops floating through that swamp for months and even years.
For that reason, the U.S. Army Reserve G-1 and US Army Reserve Command co-hosted a Medical Programs conference at the 81st Regional Support Command through the week of October 24-28. The USAR-wide train-the-trainer event covered Line of Duty (LOD) reporting, Medical Evaluation Boards (MEB) and Physical Evaluation Boards (PEB) processes as well as the Medically Not Ready (MNR) tracking system and how they should work together.
"There needs to be training on all the systems," said Lisa Cieutat the chief of the 81st RSC Health Services Branch. "To focus on what needs to be done, all the information is needed ultimately to get the Soldier either found fit and returned to duty or medically discharged."
Soldiers receiving the training are expected to go back to their commands and get their subordinate medical personnel trained on the systems so that the quagmire of medical readiness can be eased. Approximately 15,000 soldiers are either on P3 or P4 profiles according to Master Sgt. Don Hammons, the medical support NCO for the USARC G-1 Services and Support Division. "It's all about medical readiness," he said. "15,000 P3s or P4s is a significant issue." Understanding the systems speeds up the processes so a Soldier can be placed on active duty orders, if necessary, to be placed in a Warrior Transition Unit and get treatment if needed.
"This [training] is fantastic," said Maj. Teresa Bierd, the Deputy G-1 of the Army Reserve Sustainment Command in Birmingham, Ala. "It's putting all the pieces together so I'll be able to clearly explain the whole process."
Ms. Alynda Roundtree, the Health Readiness Coordinator for the 377th Theater Support Command, Belle Chase, La. agreed, adding, "I'll be more able to go back and do my job with the tools I didn't have before." Roundtree will be presenting this training to over 600 people in her command.
"As this training is passed down throughout the Army Reserve there should be a much better understanding of all our medical processes," said Toshiko Fraley, the 81st Health Readiness Coordinator, who was one of the presenters at the conference. "This will greatly reduce the issues and help our Soldiers get back to the business of being Soldiers."