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You'd expect a force commonly derided as a "Chair Force" to rank pretty high on a list of U.S. service branches by obesity, but apparently the Navy has snatched that king-size throne from the flyboys in the Air Force.
WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs will take the lead on improving access to medical care for military members exposed to potentially cancer-causing compounds during their service, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters Wednesday.
In response to a question from McClatchy on the rising number of cancers in the military that could be connected to compounds service members were exposed to while deployed overseas or during training, Esper acknowledged the role of both the Pentagon and VA may grow.
"That is one of the areas where I want to improve and make sure we are doing everything we can to assist soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines as they transition out of the service into the VA system," Esper said.
"VA has the lead on this," he added.
An 18-year-old man who planned to become a Marine aviation mechanic died on Friday after collapsing during a fitness test at a Maryland recruiting station.
The Coast Guard Academy wants to track cadets after graduation as part of a massive concussion study
The Coast Guard Academy, which is involved in the most comprehensive concussion study to date, is preparing to track cadets after they leave the academy to examine the impact a concussion can have on a person's brain over time.
The study, launched in 2014 by the NCAA and the Department of Defense, initially looked at the impacts from concussions or repeated head injuries in the hours, days and weeks after the injury, and compared those to assessments done beforehand. Now, it is expanding the study to look at potential cumulative effects.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Aug. 17. She had completed her PT test on Aug. 16.
As the military services each roll out new policies regarding hemp-derived products like cannabidiol, or CBD, the Defense Department is not mincing words.
"It's completely forbidden for use by any service member in any of the services at this point of time," said Patricia Deuster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
The warning, along with the policies issued recently by the Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of the Navy, comes as CBD is becoming increasingly ubiquitous across the country in many forms, from coffee additives and vaping liquids to tinctures, candies and other foods, carrying promises of health benefits ranging from pain and anxiety relief to sleeping aids and inflammation reduction.