By George Jagels
During the thirteen years of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, servicemembers were exposed to psychological and physical strains common to warfare and yet unique to their wars. Survival rates from combat wounds are currently at their highest levels in history, which is a remarkable scientific and organizational feat; at the same time, concerns over traumatic brain injury and a lack of psychological healthcare as well as scandals at DoD health facilities dominate headlines related to military medicine. Clearly, there is more work to be done.
The DoD’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) is one joint effort to improve the lives of warfighters in theater and back home. With a mission “to develop effective countermeasures against stressors and to maximize health, performance, and fitness,” MOMRP works to identify issues that affect soldiers now and in the future, resulting in research efforts that will be relevant long after the last American forces have left Afghanistan.