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Firing Line: Conversation Week #4 September 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

a.  AUSA News – “What do you think of the changes to PT?”

Soldiers who want to move into a more physically demanding military occupational specialty - such as infantry or armor - soon will be required to take a new test before they can even qualify for training; the Occupational Physical Assessment Test.

Read more: https://www.armytimes.com/articles/army-rolls-out-new-fitness-test-for-soldiers-who-want-to-switch-moss

b.  AUSA Five Things - “Efforts continue to help those at risk of suicide and accidental death.

AUSA Five Things:  A Weekly Tip Sheet for AUSA Members, dated September 12, 2016:  “Looking to the STARRS.

Soldiers and veterans who took part in a 2009 Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers, known as STARRS, that looked for predictors of suicide and accidental death are now being contacted for a follow-up. The research looks at soldiers who served on active duty from 2004 until 2009, trying to prevent suicide and promote overall health but also looking for indicators of who is at greatest risk.

What to Watch: Earlier surveys found higher suicide risk among those who had recently deployed and who had four or fewer years of service, but no link between the total number of deployments or the amount of time between deployments. A fresh look at the soldiers might provide better information to identify those at greatest risk.

c.  AUSA Moderator – “It’s about taking care of Soldiers.” 

“In an era of shrinking budgets and increasing threats, Army Medicine remains the ‘best expeditionary health force in the world,’ Undersecretary of the Army Patrick J. Murphy said Sept. 22 at a one-day professional development forum hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.  And that health force has one overarching purpose:  To preserve the Army’s fighting strength, said Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, the Army surgeon general and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command.   Murphy and West were among the speakers at the Hot Topic forum, ‘Army Medicine: Enabling Army Readiness Today and Tomorrow,’ held at the AUSA Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Va.”  Read morehttps://www.ausa.org/news/army-medicine-called-best-world

d.  Veterans and Retirees – “What can be done to help veterans recoup GI benefits when their college closes? ” 

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill gives veterans 36 months of college tuition, plus expenses, to attend the school of their choice. It makes no accommodation for students who are enrolled in a school that closes. With ITT shuttering its campuses, the veterans who were attending classes there face several bad options.

“Lobbying for legislation to change this is ongoing. So far, though, there has been little effort to help veterans who attend failed schools because there's almost no precedent for it.  What if anything should the Veterans Administration, Department of Education and Congress do about this??”

THIS WEEK'S POLL QUESTION:

(To Vote: Scroll down to the footer of the page)

Should Nation Building be an important mission for the Army?

o    Yes

o    No  

o     Not sure