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Tags: dod | tbi | ptsd

Stop Playing Politics with our Military's Health

military service personnel health and wellbeing
(Steven Cukrov/Dreamstime.com)

Van Hipp By Tuesday, 24 January 2023 02:24 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The health and well-being of our men and women in uniform should be a top priority for any presidential administration.

However, as it stands now, the assistant secretary of Department of Defense Health Affairs position, that is, the primary individual responsible for all health and medical issues affecting our military, has been left vacant for far too long.

This is a concerning and unacceptable situation; one that must change immediately.

The assistant secretary of Department of Defense Health Affairs is responsible for overseeing and interacting with nearly all offices and programs impacting the health and well-being of U.S. military personnel.

This includes the Defense Health Agency, TRICARE, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Army Medical Command, the Air Force Medical Service, and the Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

The importance of this position cannot be overstated.

It's responsible for ensuring the health and well-being of those serving and protecting our nation.

Unfortunately, the appointment of an assistant secretary of Defense (Department of Defense Health Affairs) is now a political football.

Republicans and Democrats alike are sadly guilty of playing politics with finding an assistant secretary. 

Not surprsingly, our troops and their families are the ones not only hurt, but suffering, as a result of this.

The last time the vacancy was filled by a non-acting official was during the Obama administration, with the exception of an 18-month period at the end of the Trump administration.

This is a more than concerning trend that must change — now. 

Military medical authorities are currently facing a number of challenges, including alarming suicide rates and the ongoing struggles of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Trauamtic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The Department of Defense (DoD) must do more to combat suicide and find effective treatments for TBI and PTSD.

We need a medical and health leader at the Defense Department to lead the charge in fighting against these medical and health challenges, and for our service men and women.

It's time to put politics and political gamesmanship aside in confirming an assistant secretary.

Let's put our military troops and their families first, as they are so often last.

The appointment of a qualified and dedicated individual is critical; it should be one of the first posts filled by any incoming administration, yet both Presidents Trump and Biden waited too long to come up with a nominee.

When they finally did, the U.S. Senate waited too long to begin the confirmation process.

In some instances, we've even seen the Senate put a hold on a nomination for something that has nothing to do with the nominee.

This is unacceptable and must change.

The confirmation process for the assistant secretary role should be a non-partisan, quick, and efficient process. 

President Biden has nominated an exceptionally well-qualified physician and former military doctor: Lester Martinez Lopez, M.D.

Gen. Martinez Lopez once commanded Fort Detrick, home to many of our top medical research and biodefense facilities.

He's highly respected in the medical and military communities.

It's his nomination which should be met with swift confirmation.

Putting "acting" officials/officers in a position directly impacting the health of the military is a possibility our nation absolutely can't afford.

Confirm Gen. Martinez Lopez, M.D. without delay.

Our troops and their families deserve nothing less.

Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of "The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It." He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Sept. 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. Read Van Hipp's Reports — More Here.

© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


VanHipp
As it stands now, the assistant secretary of Department of Defense Health Affairs position, that is, the primary individual responsible for all health and medical issues affecting our military, has been left vacant for far too long.
dod, tbi, ptsd
610
2023-24-24
Tuesday, 24 January 2023 02:24 PM
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