Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Our Dear Leader does love his soldier boys and girls.

But sadly that does not keep their morale up. However, thanks to the clever deployment of mental health specialists, suicides among troops are down. Still there are areas that need to be addressed.
National Guard and Reserve soldiers who serve in transportation and support units suffered more than others from depression, anxiety and other indications of acute psychological stress, the report said. These soldiers have often been targets of the insurgents' lethal ambushes and roadside bombs, although the report said they had significantly fewer actual combat experiences than soldiers assigned to combat units.

The report recommended that the Army reconsider whether National Guard and Reserve support troops are getting adequate training in combat skills. Even though they do less fighting than combat troops, they might be better suited to cope with wartime stress if they had more confidence in their combat skills, it said.

Only 55 percent of National Guard support soldiers said they have "real confidence" in their unit's ability to perform its mission, compared with 63 percent of active-duty Army support soldiers. And only 28 percent of the Guard troops rated their level of training as high, compared with 50 percent of their active-duty counterparts.
And what concerned them the most?
The thing that bothered soldiers the most, the latest assessment said, was the length of their required stay in Iraq. At the start of the war, most were deployed for six months, but now they go for 12 months.

Asked about this, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told a
Pentagon news conference that the Army's 12-month requirement is linked in part to its effort to complete a fundamental reorganization of fighting units.

"I've tried to get the Army to look at the length of tours and I think at some point down the road they will," he said.
I just knew Uncle Rummy would be looking out for them.


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