On Thursday, the Department of Defense (DOD) released a new policy memo on retention of nondeployable service members. The policy comes as DOD reports approximately 286,000 service members are medically nondeployable at any one time.
The new policy requires military members who have been nondeployable for 12 continuous months be processed for separation via administrative procedures or referred into the Disability Evaluation System.
Members who have been recently determined to be nondeployable and are anticipated to remain so for more than 12 months can also be immediately referred for separation processing.
The interim policy guidance, effective immediately, applies to all service members, with the exception of pregnant and postpartum service members, regardless of the reason they are nondeployable. Implementation of the policy will be open to interpretation by the military services, and questions remain on how this policy will be applied to wounded warriors, sole survivors, immuno-compromised individuals and others.
Operation Homecoming anniversary
Operation Homecoming marks the 45th anniversary of the start of Operation Homecoming, in which the first 40 of 591 U.S. prisoners of war were returned from Vietnam.
On Thursday, in a somber display of remembrance and a call to intensify efforts, the House unanimously passed H. Res.129. The resolution calls on the Department of Defense, other appropriate elements of the federal government and foreign governments to resolutely intensify efforts to investigate, recover and identify about 82,000 United States personnel who are still designated as unaccounted for from past wars and conflicts around the world.
The resolution’s sponsor, Rep. Sam Johnson, a life member of VFW Post 4380 in Plano, Texas, spent more than six years as a POW in an annex of the notorious Hanoi Hilton and was one of the first POWs returned to the U.S. in February 1973.
Women’s History Month
The VA will display the stories of 10 female veteran athletes throughout the month of March as part of its celebration and recognition of Women’s History Month. The Women Veteran Athletes Initiative will highlight the strength, diversity and resilience of women who served our country.
Navy Molder 1st Class Kenneth B. Armstrong was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Navy Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Arthur Glenn was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor. Interment services are pending.
Army Pfc. David Baker was a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Interment services are pending.
Until next week, praying for all service members.
– By Charles Castelluccio