According to the Washington Post, on February 14th, 2018, the Pentagon issued a warning that could affect almost 300,000 military service members. The warning is in regards to a new policy that deals with service members that are on the “unable to deploy” list.
For those of you who may not know, there are a variety of reasons why a service member can be deemed unable to deploy. They could have physical injuries, mental health concerns, pregnancy, a legal action and poor physical fitness.
The Pentagon issued a warning because they are trying to have this policy implemented so they can remove U.S. troops from the ranks who are deemed unable to deploy.
The reason this policy is trying to be implemented is that it will help with Defence Secretary Jim Matti’s guidance to have the military in a “fight first” mode, according to a memo released by the Pentagon. In addition, the memo also stated that, with a few exemptions, all service members who are deemed unable to deploy for 12 months will be processed for “administrative separation.” This memo was signed by Robert L. Wilkie, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
According to Wilkie, 13 to 14 percent of the military, which is estimated to about 286,000 service members, are considered unable to deploy. Sgt. Maj. John Troxell told the Military Times that about 100,000 of the men are unable to deploy because of administrative reasons. Those reasons include not having all their immunizations or medical exams up-to-date.
Troxell also added that if members want to serve their country and want to continue serving it and make it a career, they need to start following the proper path to recovery and becoming healthy. He also mentions that the United States needs healthy, fit warriors to help defend the nation.
This isn’t the first time that this issue has become a major concern. Senior military leaders have expressed their concern about the rising number of non-deployable service members. In fact, a 2011 study was conducted by several colonels at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. They found that there has been a steady rise in non-deployable service members over the last few years. On a side note, the memo released by the Pentagon says that the military services have until October 1st to start removing service members.
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