Commander’s Drumbeat: Visits to Warrior Transition Units Inspiring

By BG David Bishop, Commander, Warrior Transition Command
After two months on the job as Commanding General of the Warrior Transition Command and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care, I’m already deeply inspired by the indomitable spirit of our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers recovering at our Warrior Transition Units (WTU), their Families and by the cadre who support them. As an armor officer I’ve seen firsthand the significance and results of your efforts and I recognize the dedication and talent of everyone who supports our WTU Soldiers and their Families – here in the National Capital Area and in the field.

Almost immediately after arriving here I began visiting WTUs – I’ve seen 12 in 60 days.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk with Senior Mission Commanders, Soldiers, Family members, cadre, and interdisciplinary team members.  I was able to examine a variety of issues with a primary focus on suicide prevention, sexual harassment and assault prevention, and the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES), which directly impacts our WTU Soldiers.  I received invaluable input and feedback from leaders on supporting wounded, ill and injured Active Component and Reserve Component Soldiers and their Families. As a result of this great feedback, my staff is already working to address many of the challenges we encountered.

I toured barracks and saw for the first time virtual reality technology that helps our severely wounded adapt when they return home. At the U.S. Open in New York I met with wounded, ill and injured service members and U.S. Tennis Association representatives.  Physical fitness has always been important to me and this group helped me understand the special role adaptive reconditioning and sports can play in helping Soldiers heal. Our Warrior Games athlete, Army SPC Ryan McIntosh, was particularly impressive.  A positive, determined, and resilient below-the-knee amputee and Soldier, SPC McIntosh represented the Army well as a U.S. Open ball person and also during multiple national media interviews.  I expect to see him compete during the 2013 Warrior Games and very likely in the 2016 Paralympics.

As the WTC Commander and Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care, a significant part of my role is to educate, inform, and inspire the Warrior Care and Transition Program team.   Understand that you are all critical to ensuring that we honor our sacred obligation to continue to care for wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers as long as there is a need.

I am privileged to be a member of this team and look forward to serving you and keeping you up-to-date on what’s going on at WTC and throughout the Warrior Care and Transition Program.

Army Strong!

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