Mar 23,2009 00:00
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army is worried that its confusing combat fitness rules could result in ill troops being sent into war, an official report indicates.
An Army inspector general's report obtained by USA Today says there are more than a dozen "inadequate, unsynchronized or conflicting" official policies covering fitness, which ups the chances of "soldiers who do not meet medical deployability requirements" being sent into combat, the newspaper reported Monday.
The report was requested last year by Army Secretary Pete Geren after concerns were raised in Congress that medically unfit troops were being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Geren made the request after USA Today reported that since 2003 more than 45,000 troops had been sent into combat even though Army doctors had found them medically unfit for war, the newspaper said.
Geren told USA Today the Army will alter how it assesses a soldier's medical fitness for combat, saying, "More work remains to be done to fully correct the findings addressed in the report. We are making progress … to ensure that our soldiers meet medical requirements before they are deployed."
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