Posts filed under ‘Lessons Learned’
Passing the Baton.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Laura Mercado)
Marine Corps Private First Class Maria Daume (left), is congratulated by a veteran Marine after graduating from the basic mortarman course at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger, North Carolina, on March 23, 2017.
This seemed like a fitting photo to close out Women’s History Month 2017, with one generation of Marines congratulating a member of the newest generation. The older Marine (she is unidentified in the photo caption) has the Korean Service medal, among others, on her jacket.
To see more photos of American servicewoman doing a variety of jobs, click here.
Mannequins to Marijuana.
Starting off 2017 with new leadership and a promise of additional funding from the Trump administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is exploring new techniques and new technologies to enhance patient treatment and caregiver training — amid increasing demands from a mushrooming veteran population.
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Simulation Center in Florida provides a high-fidelity training environment by replicating actual patient treatment areas with video recording for classroom debriefing and review. (VHA photo).
In addition to meeting the needs of aging 20th century vets, the VA health care system is trying to cope with a surge of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The number of veteran enrollees in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) grew from 7.9 million in 2006 to nearly 9 million a decade later, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is the most prevalent mental health challenge facing veterans, according to the VA’s National Center for PTSD. VA research indicates between 11 percent and 20 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD in any given year. For Vietnam vets, it estimates 30 percent have had PTSD in their lifetime. More than 330,000 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury between 2000 and 2015, according to the Defense Department’s Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center.
Dr. David Shulkin, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs has pledged to improve veterans healthcare services, including providing timely access, especially cutting the first appointment wait time for vets in crisis, and to do more to address the veteran suicide rate of 20 deaths a day. Veterans Affairs was one of only three federal departments to get a funding increase in President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal. The White House is seeking to increase VA’s funding by 6 percent to $78.9 billion.
Meanwhile, veterans’ groups are calling on Congress to increase funding for complementary and alternative therapies for the “invisible wounds of war,” PSTD and traumatic brain injury (TBI). VA is studying non-mainstream medical practices ranging from natural products like vitamins, minerals and herbs to mind and body practices like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy and chiropractic and osteopathic spinal manipulation.
The American Legion has suggested studying medical marijuana as a therapy for chronic pain. Chronic pain is the most common problem afflicting veterans. Almost two-thirds of veterans say they are in pain, and 9.1 percent say their pain is severe.
VHA has turned to advanced medical simulation and other high tech systems to standardize training procedures and education policies across its 1,233 healthcare facilities, including 168 medical centers.
VHA opened its new national simulation training center near Orlando, Florida last fall. Using computerized mannequins and other high tech equipment, students can replicate actual patient treatment situations that can be repeated as often as necessary. The training can be shared with other VA facilities through on-line video and other digital methods.
These and related topics will be discussed by government, medical and industry experts at the VA Healthcare 2017 conference May 15-18 in Arlington, Virginia. To read more, click here.
The Long Tan Line.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Danny Gonzalez).
This FRIDAY FOTO shows U.S. Marines snowshoeing downhill at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California on February 22, 2017. The Marines are assigned to the 1st Marine Division’s 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, which conducted training that tested Marines’ mobility and survival skills in a mountainous, snow-covered environment.
DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg
Veterans Fred Lewis (left) and Victor Sassoon — members of the U.S. Special Operations Command volleyball team –bump beards for good luck after beating Team Army in sitting volleyball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York June 15, 2016.
What’s sitting volleyball, you ask. It’s a tough competition for injured service members who can’t play volleyball standing up. See the photo below.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Carlin Leslie
The Air Force sitting volleyball team competes against the U.S. Special Operations Command team during the 2016 Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy.
For more photos of the Warrior Games, click here.
Assessing the Toll.
Memorial Day, a holiday that grew out of efforts to honor the dead of the Civil War — North and South — commemorates the fallen. Veteran’s Day, as the Washington Post points out, was created after World War I to honor all who served their country in war and peace.
They say Freedom has a price. The chart below shows how Americans have been paying that price for more than 200 years.
The photos below show that debt has been paid — with interest — by the living as well.
Army photo by Rachel Larue
Brittany, left, and her four-year-old son, Christian, spend time at the grave of husband and father, Marine Corps Sergeant Christopher Jacobs, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Christian wore his father’s cover (uniform hat) during the Memorial Day visit.
Dept. of Defense photo by Roger Wollenberg
Marine Corps veterans Eric Rodriguez, left, and Anthony McDaniel fist bump during the gold medal wheelchair basketball competition at the 2016 Invictus Games for wounded warriors in Orlando, Florida on May 12.
Adding a whole new dimension to the phrase “Stay Hungry,” U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Sam Teifke eats a live scorpion during Exercise Cobra Gold 16, at Sattahip, Thailand.
Teifke, with Maritime Raid Force of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, was taking part in jungle survival training course led by the Royal Thai Reconnaissance Marines. If you look closely, you can see his amused fellow Marines reflected in his sunglasses.
Cobra Gold, in its 35th iteration, is a multi-national exercise designed to increase cooperation and interoperability through solving solutions for common challenges.
Troops from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand participated in this year’s Cobra Gold, which is aimed at advancing regional security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area.
Back in September, we told what challenges Marine Corps planners and strategists think the corps will face later in the 21st Century. Much talk at the Modern Day Marine expo in Virginia focused on the kind of hybrid warfare seen in eastern Ukraine and the rise of teeming coastal mega cities around the world.
The future battlefield will probably look nothing like Afghanistan and Iraq, where Marines have been fighting for the last 14 years. Instead, urban areas near the sea and river deltas are expected to be the most likely environment, said Brigadier General Julian Dale Alford, commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
During a panel discussion at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Alford said the new environment will be “complex, congested, cluttered, contested, connected (with the cyber world), constrained and coastal.”
There’s plenty of evidence to back that conclusion.
A 2014 United Nations report noted that 54 percent of the world’s population already lives in urban areas — a proportion expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to the 2014 revision of the U.N.’s World Urbanization Prospects report.
Of today’s 28 mega-cities (with a population of 10 million or more) 16 are located in Asia, four in Latin America, three each in Africa and Europe, and two in North America. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. Many of those cities are in the littoral areas close to the sea.”That’s where our Marines are going to fight. That’s where we’re going to have to operate,” Alford said back in September.
Speaking at an industry training, simulation and education conference in Orlando, Florida last month, Alford asked industry attendees to help develop ways to better prepare troops to fight in high-rise warfare, Defense News reported.