Medical & Dental Readiness

Monday May 22, 2006

What is it? The rigors of modern combat demand that Soldiers are physically and emotionally prepared for the stress of combat operations in austere environments. Medical and dental readiness are important components of overall preparation of Soldiers and units for deployment. The Army requires well-trained and well-equipped combat medics and healthcare providers to sustain the Soldier during deployment and to restore the Soldier to combat readiness or the maximum state of health possible by modern medicine. This includes periodic dental and health assessments, timely clinical treatment, and behavioral health screening and treatment to cope with the stresses of combat deployments.

What has the Army done? The Army conducts pre-deployment health assessments on every deploying Soldier in addition to annual dental examinations and periodic health assessments. More than 25,000 Soldiers have been evacuated from the Central Command Theater of Operations since October 2001. Nearly 90 percent of battlefield casualties survive their wounds due to a combination of improved Soldier protective equipment, advanced tourniquets and blood-clotting bandages, Emergency Medical Technician (Basic) certified combat medics, a rapid aeromedical evacuation system, and far-forward resuscitative surgical care. More than 27,000 Soldiers have been held over in active duty status to complete medical care and determine their fitness for continued service. Approximately 65 percent of these Soldiers are returned to full duty in both the Active and Reserve components.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army Medical Department is working closely with the Army, Navy, and Air Force to improve Individual Medical and Dental Readiness reporting. The Medical Protection System contains every Soldier's available medical and dental information and is accessible commanders down to Company level.

For more information on this and other topics see Addendum J in the Army Posture Statement.


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