Deploy or Get Out Policy Unveiled
Pentagon planners have released a sobering statistic: Up to 14% of the force is non-deployable. More than a third of that number can be linked to late medical and dental exams and missing immunizations.
The Secretary of Defense has directed that Service members who have been non-deployable for more than 12 consecutive months, for any reason, will be processed for administrative separation. Exceptions (waivers) will be processed at the Military Service headquarters level—for example, at the Department of the Army level.
Processing for separation must begin by October 1, 2018, and may begin immediately, at commander’s discretion.
The memorandum for all services that establishes the new DoD retention policy was released on February 14, 2018 can be found here https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/DoD-Universal-Retention-Policy.PDF
A formal DoD Instruction will be forthcoming.
In the Army Reserve, each Soldier is required to complete a Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) and a dental assessment. These provide commanders with essential information regarding the health and mission readiness of their units. The individual Soldier is personally responsible for remaining current in PHA and dental assessment, and current in immunization according to Department of Defense Instruction 6025.19 Individual Medical Readiness. A Soldier is delinquent when the most recent assessment is more than 15 months out of date. Immunizations are considered out of date 30 days after scheduled due date. Medical Readiness Classification 4 (MRC4) is assigned when a Soldier fails to complete their annual dental and health assessments as directed by AR 40-501.
To put teeth in the requirement to complete assessments on time, the Army Reserve Policy for Medical Readiness Classification 4 (MRC4) dated July 21, 2017 states that TPU Soldiers who are delinquent in medical or dental assessment are not authorized to attend Battle Assembly or Annual Training until verification of current medical and dental assessments is provided. This puts the Soldier into the category Unsatisfactory Participant. Having this status can put at jeopardy their participation in Servicemember’s Group Life Insurance (SGLI) as well as health and dental insurance for the whole Family, if the Family uses TRICARE or TRICARE Dental.
Soldiers attend mass medical and dental evaluations organized by their units during Battle Assembly or they may receive individual appointments for which they will be paid and receive retirement points. These scheduled evaluations are very important and every effort should be made to attend. Soldiers who are enrolled in the TRICARE Dental Program can receive a no cost dental exam from network dentists who will complete the dental exam form http://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/forms/dd/dd2813.pdf so the Soldier can return it to their unit. This form can also be used by Soldiers who use other dental insurance when they receive exams.
The basic fairness principle in play is that Soldiers who are not medically ready to rapidly deploy put extra burden on those who do maintain their readiness. Individual medical readiness is an essential component of deployment capability. The nature of the business of Soldiering requires the ability to rapidly mobilize and deploy. The Army Reserve has special functions within the Total Force, things that the Active duty component must depend upon. Each individual is a part of the success of the mission and must be ready.
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