Taking Care of Wounded, Ill and Injured Warriors

Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Chiarelli, kicks off the Warrior Transition Command Training Conference in Orlando. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel: http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/. Scroll down and click on the Warrior Care & Transition Conference featured video.

This Army Live blog post was written by the Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Commander of the Warrior Transition Command, Brig. Gen. Darryl Williams.

Hi folks. I’m back in Orlando this week. You likely recall I was here about two weeks ago for the AW2 Symposium. This week is all about the Warrior Transition Command and the Comprehensive Transition Plan or CTP. The CTP is a big deal. It’s the roadmap for Warriors transitioning out of military service or remaining on Active Duty and transitioning back to the unit or to another MOS.

I’ve gathered about 1,000 people here from across the Army who directly impact the care of our wounded, ill and injured Warriors and their Families—from WTU cadre to clinicians, resource managers and pharmacists.

The CTP is a seven-part multidisciplinary structured process for every Warrior in Transition that includes an individual plan that the WT builds for him/herself with the support of the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) cadre. Although it is standardized, it allows Warriors to customize their recovery process, including setting and reaching personal goals. It includes a personal, customized plan created for the Soldier by the Soldier. This week is about the CTP, about committing to networking, learning the processes and about standardizing how we support these Soldiers and their Families across the Army. The success of what we are doing this week will be measured in the extent to which what is learned results in real change. Change measured in terms of how well everyone, and I do mean everyone, implements every aspect of the CTP. So let’s galvanize this across the Army so that everybody is on the same sheet of music at the end of this week.

We couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. On Monday, GEN Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, kicked off our opening ceremony so we’re all energized and ready to take on the tough challenges. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel: scroll down and click on the Warrior Care & Transition Conference featured video.

I encourage you to take a look at this. For those of you haven’t had the opportunity to hear him speak, GEN Chiarelli is passionate about taking care of Soldiers and their Families. He recognizes there is nothing more important than caring for our own and he understands the challenges and commitment of all of you who support our wounded, ill, and injured, Active, Guard and Reserve. He was generous with his comments about how far we have come over the past few years, but clear that we still have improvements to make including continuing to take on Post Traumatic Stress and concussions. He also addressed the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and where we are on that. He is committed to taking this on and partnering with Army leaders at the local levels and the VA to streamline the process. Before he departed he challenged attendees to collaborate, share lessons learned, and commit to standardizing and implementing the CTP. It was great to hear him speak. It’s clear he gets that this is important, especially in a resource constrained environment. I want you to know that I share his passion and if we stay on track with training, education, employment and keep telling our story, we’ll get this job done.

Training is important. I want to improve resiliency for our Soldiers, for our cadre and for all of you in this room. Have you heard of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Master Resiliency Training? It’s a great course—resiliency is important for social workers, for nurses, NCOs, docs—everybody. Look into this. If you help yourselves, you help your Soldiers and their Families.

Education can be addressed on numerous levels. For now, I want you all to understand the COAD and COAR programs. I want Soldiers to know and understand the process for staying on Active Duty if that is what they want and they are able to do it.

Finally, you’ve all heard me say this before—we’ve got to work on careers and jobs for these Warriors. They all deserve a soft place to land regardless of whether they stay in the Army or not.

Before I sign off I want to give a big shout out to our social workers! This is one dedicated group—they worked all day Saturday and Sunday. That’s impressive. They are a vital part of the WTU team and contribute directly to the success of our wounded, ill and injured Warriors and their Families. They brought some issues to my attention, and we’re going to look into them. These are the conversations I want to have and plan to have this week. That’s why I’m here. I look forward to the week ahead. Hooah!