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Disabilities


rmy leaders told lawmakers recently the service is revamping its disability eval- uation system because the current process is inefficient.


Army Working to Streamline Disability Evaluation System A


September, officials said. It’s expected the IDES program will


Both Lamont and Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, deputy chief of staff, G-1, ap- peared May 11, 2011, before the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on person- nel. Bostick explained how the Army is working to fix the disability evaluation system. “We are working very close with OSD


(Office of the Secretary of Defense) to fig- ure how we can streamline it,” Bostick said of the Army’s old system. “As you know we have worked closely with the VA on the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, so instead of doing two physicals we now do one physical.” The Army worked with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Depart- ment of Veterans Affairs to develop the Integrated Disability Evaluation System, or IDES. That system is expected to streamline the disability evaluation pro- cess, and the Army hopes to expand that program across the service by the end of


help all current and future Soldiers and servicemembers by delivering enhanced case management, a single comprehensive disability examination, a single-sourced disability rating, increased transparency, and faster disability processing. Lamont also responded to lawmaker’s


concerns about the number of civilian con- tractors employed by the Army. He said the number was about 200,000, and told legis- lators the Army requires its military orga- nizations to know of which of their con- tractor positions can be converted to government-employee jobs. “Each Army military organization is re- quired to maintain an inventory of all their functions to assess whether those func- tions are inherently governmental, closely associated or not at all,” he said. “From that we determine then which positions can be converted to internal, full-time em- ployees, as we look at our total force poli- cy.”


Also of concern to lawmakers was the relatively low number of recruitment-age


Americans that are actually qualified to join the Army. “I think weight and education are two areas that the country needs to go after,” he said. “But education is something the country needs to help us with.” The general also responded to ques- tions about how Soldiers who have sepa- rated, especially those in the 20-to-30-year age group, might find employment outside the Army. Bostick said that both those who have served and those who have not served are having a difficult time finding work in the private sector.


He called for assistance by waiving ci- vilian requirements for certification in some jobs to allow former Soldiers who have the training, but not the civilian certi- fication, to begin work.


“Our Soldiers that come out may not be


certified in the areas that they need,” he said.


Some examples, he said, include Army


truck drivers, medics and instructors -- all who have training in those areas, but who do not have civilian certifications to do similar jobs.


“What can the country do to accept those military without those certifications, get them into those jobs, and then allow them to work the certifications as they go along,” he asked legislators. The general said the Army is doing something similar to what he suggested to make it easier for civilian alcohol and sub- stance-abuse counselors to come aboard. “We are desperately short of alcohol and substance-abuse counselors,” he said. “And the one thing that those counselors really need to be independent counselors is they need two years of study and tutelage under a supervisor. And no one on the out- side really has the time to deal with folks that need two years of study.” “We are bringing them on, we are mak- ing them commit to moving with us when we tell them they have to move to a part of the country that is not a big city,” he said. “And they have to stay with us for a certain amount of time.” Source: www.army.mil


48 www.blackeoejournal.com The Black E.O.E. Journal


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