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Wounded Warriors Won’t Be Separated Under DoD’s Non-Deployable Policy
The Pentagon has finally exempted wounded warriors from its non-deployable policy, nearly six months after Defense Secretary Mattis announced that troops wounded in combat would not be separated for being unable to deploy.
Published on Tuesday, the Defense Department policy includes a provision specifically for combat-wounded troops that clearly states they will not be separated if they are unable to deploy for 12 consecutive months or longer.
“These are service members whose injuries were the result of hostile action, meet the criteria for awarding of the Purple Heart, and whose injuries were not the result of their own misconduct,” the policy says.
Now that it is in writing, the policy reflects Mattis’ guidance from February, when he told reporters that combat wounded service members would not be involuntarily separated because “they’ve earned that special status.”
“The office of the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness will monitor the implementation of this guidance by all services to ensure compliance with the secretary of defense directive,” said Air Force Maj. Carla Gleason, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The service secretaries can delegate the authority for retaining combat wounded troops and other service members to general and flag officers as well as senior civilian leaders, Gleason said on Wednesday.
About 143,000 of all active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops were listed as temporarily or permanently non-deployable as of May 31, Gleason said. That represents nearly 7% of all troops, excluding trainees.
“The reasons vary, but they are predominantly medical,” Gleason said:
Some 2.9% (61,000) of our service members are temporarily non-deployable due to illness or injury. Our focus is to help these members heal as quickly as possible so they can get back to training with their unit. Another 1.2% (25,000) is considered permanently non-deployable and pending a disability evaluation for medical reasons. The department's goal is to render a timely disability decision and transition the member to life outside the military.
The Pentagon initially announced in February that service members listed as non-deployable “for any reason” would be processed for administrative separation if they could not deploy after 12 consecutive months of recuperation. Mattis quickly clarified that wounded warriors needn’t worry about being separated.
When Task & Purpose asked Mattis in June why it was taking so long to update the non-deployable policy to exempt wounded warriors, he replied: “There is no delay. Believe me. When I say it, that’s it.”
Other than wounded warriors, all U.S. service members are expected to be able to deploy, Mattis has said.
“I'm not going to have some people deploying constantly, and then other people who seem to not pay that price to be in the U.S. military,” Mattis told reporters on Feb. 17. “The bottom line is: We expect everyone to carry their share of the load. Sometimes things happen: People bust their legs in training or they're in a car accident. We understand that. Sometimes that even takes a months of recovery. We understand that.
“But this is a deployable military. It's a lethal military that aligns with our allies and partners.”
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
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"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."