DoD Expands Efforts to Improve Brain Health

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TBI scanner
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DoD Expands Efforts to Improve Brain Health

The military is leading the way on brain injury care through its Warfighter Brain Health Initiative.

“A top priority for the DoD is taking care of our people,” said Dr. Lester Martinez-Lopez, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, in a DoD news release. “This priority includes promoting brain health and countering traumatic brain injury in all its forms.”

GAO Report Urges Action to Improve Barracks

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Barracks
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GAO Report Urges Action to Improve Barracks

Poor barracks living conditions are undermining troops’ quality of life and readiness, a new report by the Government Accountability Office found.

Sleep, Behavioral Health Still Challenge Soldiers

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Soldier participating in Army sleep study
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Sleep, Behavioral Health Still Challenge Soldiers

The latest edition of the Army’s annual Health of the Force report found that soldiers’ health has remained stable, but the service also dealt with a decrease in sleep and an increase in behavioral health diagnoses. 

Now in its eighth year, the 2022 Health of the Force report analyzed data for over 20 health, wellness and environmental indicators across 41 installations throughout 2021. 

Survey Reveals Pandemic’s Impact on Army Families

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Soldiers helping families at a food drive
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Survey Reveals Pandemic’s Impact on Army Families

Army spouses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had a “considerable impact” on their lives, a Rand Corp. survey found. 

The survey of Army spouses analyzed how the pandemic affected areas such as finances, employment and child care from August 2020 to May 2021. The report was released this year.

Swift Response Helped Army Weather Pandemic

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Soldier receiving vaccine
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Swift Response Helped Army Weather Pandemic

The Army met its mission requirements and kept its people safe during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the service’s swift and efficient response to the crisis, a senior Army official said.

“The Army showed yet again that in times of crisis, we will answer the nation’s call,” Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo testified Feb. 28 before the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel during a hearing to explore the impact of COVID-19 on DoD and its service members.

Crosland Becomes Defense Health Agency Director

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Maj. Gen. Telita Crosland
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Crosland Becomes Defense Health Agency Director

Maj. Gen. Telita Crosland is the new director of the Defense Health Agency, becoming the first Army woman to lead the agency.

Crosland, who most recently was deputy Army surgeon general and deputy commander for operations of Army Medical Command, was confirmed by the Senate for promotion to lieutenant general and is scheduled to receive her third star at a ceremony on Jan. 20. 

Rethinking Work-Life Balance as a Citizen-Soldier

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Lt. Col. Lisa Jaster speaks at the Warriors Corner about work-life balance at the AUSA 2022 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022. (Tasos Katopodis for AUSA)
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Rethinking Work-Life Balance as a Citizen-Soldier

Citizen-soldiers should reconceptualize work-life balance, said the first Army Reserve woman to graduate from Ranger School.

“There is no such thing as work and life; it is a continuum,” Lt. Col. Lisa Jaster said Oct. 12 during a Warriors Corner talk at the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition. “It’s work-life support.” 

More than 274,000 soldiers serve in the Army Reserve, and 336,000 soldiers serve in the Army National Guard, according to DoD’s 2020 demographics profile. 

Pandemic Had Wide Impact on Soldiers, Families

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Soldiers at a food bank
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Pandemic Had Wide Impact on Soldiers, Families

The COVID-19 pandemic had far-reaching impacts on soldiers, affecting their physical health as well as their behavioral health, finances and food security, according to the Army’s seventh annual “Health of the Force” report.

Released in mid-April, the report incorporates data from more than 41 installations around the world and evaluates them on over 20 health, wellness and environmental factors. This year’s report includes a section on COVID-19 and its effect on soldiers’ health, according to an Army press release. 

Army Resilience Director Speaks at AUSA Webinar

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Dr. Helis speaks
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Army Resilience Director Speaks at AUSA Webinar

Efforts by the Army to address harmful behaviors in the force will be the focus of an upcoming webinar hosted by the Association of the U.S. Army.

The event, part of AUSA’s Noon Report webinar series, will feature James Helis, director of the Army Resilience Directorate. It will begin at noon Eastern May 24.

The webinar is free, but registration is required here.