Strategies for Enhancing Military Physical Readiness in the 21st Century
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Military readiness is negatively affected by the near-epidemic incidence rate of musculoskeletal injuries MSIs in service members. MSIs represent a major threat to the health and fitness of our Soldiers and a risk to our Nations ability to project military power. MSIs affect both the militarys finances i.e., economic burden from medical, healthcare, and disability costs and personnel readiness i.e., Soldiers medically unable to optimally perform their duties and to deploy. For example, MSIs represent 45 of the medically not-ready, non-deployable population the major cause of medical evacuation from a combat theater -- the majority resulting from physical training and an annual cost of half a billion dollars for diagnosing and treating more than 1 million Soldiers with MSIs and 6 billion dollars in salary. Annual Department of Veterans Affairs compensation paid for musculoskeletal disabilities is 5.5 billion 26 of total paid compensation. It is imperative for military leaders to understand that physical-training related MSIs are largely preventable. There is a need for a paradigm shift in the militarys approach to physical readiness policies. Minimizing injuries among military personnel and continued reductions in injury rates depend on institutionalizing existing best practices and establishing stronger linkages across commands, operators, researchers, medical providers, public health, and safety officials.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics