Did You Know? Transition Coordinators

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that Transition Coordinators (TC) assist eligible Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers with career and education goals according to their selected career path?

You may already know a lot about the interdisciplinary team that works together to help wounded, ill and injured Soldiers focus on their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Cadre members provide support and guidance to Soldiers and their Families in developing the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) and play a positive and active role throughout the Soldier’s transition plan. You can learn more about the Cadre on the Cadre Roles and Responsibilities section of the WTC website.

What you may not know is that there is one individual who serves as the Program Manager for Career and Education Readiness (CER): the Transition Coordinator (TC). The TC assists WTU Soldiers with Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities according to the Soldier’s career and education goals. CER activities may include internships, worksite placements, training, professional certificates and education programs (including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs).  Whether the Soldier goes back to duty or into their civilian communities, the TC focuses on the next step in the Soldier’s career. TCs specialize in navigating career and education options based on the Soldier’s individual circumstances.

TCs are available by walk-in or by appointment. If you are unsure who your TC is, check with your Squad Leader. While not all units currently have a full-time TC, but all units have someone acting in the TC role, with designated TC responsibilities. There are currently 37 TCs across the country, including 17 full-time TCs at WTU brigades or battalions and 20 part-time TCs at Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs).

Interested in an internship that can bolster your résumé and help you gain valuable skills? Maybe you would like to first return to school to earn a degree in a new field? Or maybe you would prefer to take a training course or gain a certificate to explore a new career? Your Transition Coordinator can help you get started in any of these next steps for your career and education.

U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Veterans have similar transition resources available. The AW2 Career and Education Section provides direct resume referral to a network of employers with an expedited hiring process for severely wounded, ill and injured Veterans.  They also educate employers about reasonable accommodations. Contact your AW2 Advocate to discuss your personal situation and career goals.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, the WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

1)   Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

2)   Community Support Network

3)   Internships

4)   Adaptive Reconditioning

5)   Transition Coordinators

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your Career and Education Readiness (CER) story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.


A Closer Look at Adaptive Reconditioning

By Cait McCarrie, WTC Stratcom

MSG Jarrett Jongema of the Warrior Transition Command.

MSG Jarrett Jongema of the Warrior Transition Command.

Adaptive reconditioning includes any physical activities that wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers participate in regularly to optimize their physical well-being. These activities can help Soldiers have a successful recovery whether they are transitioning back to active duty or to civilian life.

“Team building experiences, learning a new sport, and routinely practicing a challenging activity help Soldiers take responsibility for their own recovery,” said MSG Jarret Jongema, Warrior Transition Command, Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Branch.Adaptive reconditioning programs are not traditional clinic-based rehabilitation programs, however, they often support medical goals defined in the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

The CTP supports Soldiers in transition with personalized goals in six areas: career, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and Family. Adaptive reconditioning plays an important role in the CTP because it connects physical activity with each of those six components. It’s also a great way for Soldiers to incorporate competitive and non-competitive physical activity into their recovery.

Adaptive reconditioning is most well-known for servicemembers’ participation in adaptive sports, but it’s not just about sports. “The beauty of these activities is that no matter what your injury or experience, there is an activity for you,” said Jongema. Activities include competitive team sports, aquatic exercises, therapeutic recreational activities, gym-based training, functional training, and human performance optimization.

Adaptive reconditioning gives Soldiers the opportunity to integrate physical activity into their lives in new ways that addresses multiple parts of the path to recovery. “Whether competing on a team sport or in an individual activity, adaptive reconditioning reintegrates discipline, goal setting, and concentration into Soldiers’ lives,” added Jongema.  While each Soldier adapts to activities in different ways, participating in adaptive reconditioning often addresses physical and emotional parts of recovery.

Many Soldiers and Veterans who participate in adaptive sports and reconditioning go on to train for and even compete in the Warrior Games. This year’s games are from May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Learn more about the road to Warrior Games here.

Your Life Could Be Better Through Sports

Lt. Col. Danny Dudek emphasizes the power of adaptive sports and reconditioning in recovery and encourages all WTU Soldiers to try a new activity.

Lt. Col. Danny Dudek emphasizes the power of adaptive sports and reconditioning in recovery and encourages all WTU Soldiers to try a new activity.

By Sarah Bartnick, WTC Stratcom
“Your life could be better through sports.” That’s Lt. Col. Danny Dudek’s advice for all wounded, ill or injured Soldiers recovering at Warrior Transition Units.

And he knows what he’s talking about.  Not only did he command the Joint Base Lewis-McCord WTB after recovering from a spinal cord injury, he’s also defending three golds and a silver from his first Warrior Games.

As a WTB commander, Dudek saw success at the individual level when medical professionals focused on a “positive” profile.  “Instead of listing all the things a Soldier can’t do, some great doctors would list what the Soldiers can do,” he explained.  “For example, if my profile said I could go swimming, that swimming was good for my recovery, then my Squad Leader could make it my place of duty.”

“A lot of Soldiers aren’t willing to put themselves out there,” said Dudek. “Cadre and commanders can create an environment where Soldiers are willing to try, especially in small groups of five or less—epiphanies happen in small groups.”

Dudek encourages all WTU Soldiers to try an adaptive sport that’s best suited for their personality.  He competes in triathlons, skiing, and a variety of other sports throughout the year.  “Not everyone’s a daredevil like me,” he grinned as he leaned his wheelchair back into a wheelie.  “More exacting people like golf or shooting, but I like the element of danger.”

When he wrote the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) policy and guidance, Dudek emphasized adaptive reconditioning and Career and Employment Readiness, “because they’re both essential building blocks to transition,” he said.  “They enhance your quality of life.”

Going into the Warrior Games, Dudek’s most excited about his parents’ support.  “Cycling is on Mother’s Day,” he added, “and this year, both my parents are coming.”

Comprehensive Transition Plan helpful in Soldier’s recovery

To support each Warrior in Transition’s return to the force or transition to Veteran status, the Army developed a systematic framework known as the Comprehensive Transition Plan.

To support each Warrior in Transition’s return to the force or transition to Veteran status, the Army developed a systematic framework known as the Comprehensive Transition Plan.

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Stratcom
SFC Clem Cowan did not realize when he tore his Achilles during a physical fitness training session March 27, 2012 that it would lead to being diagnosed with other medical issues while assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU), Fort Polk, Louisiana.

“When I went to start the retirement process, I was told that I would have to postpone because I was going to a WTU,” said Cowan. “I didn’t think I was in that bad of shape just dealing with the normal wear and tear on the body.”

I’ve been dealing with pain for the past six years, but I thought it was the normal wear and tear on the body,” he said. “Once you’ve been in the military four or five years, or especially 15 years or more after carrying ruck sacks, road marches, constant physical fitness, it takes a toll on your body.”

The idea of being in a WTU was not Cowan’s first choice because he had a few misconceptions about the WTU being only for Soldiers being injured while deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. He has since changed this mindset, stating “being in a WTU has been thumbs up.”

“The WTU is for wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers,” Cowan said. “In the past that was something that I never wanted to hear, but I’ve served, gave my country 100 percent, and now I’m an injured Soldier trying to take care of my medical issues.”

“This has been an experience I wasn’t expecting,” he added. “I thought I would go in, do a little therapy and that’ll be it, but it’s so much more.”

Each Soldier in a WTU is assigned a Triad of Care comprised of a squad leader, nurse case manager (NCM), and primary care manager. These professionals work together to coordinate all aspects of the Soldier’s medical and non-medical care.

“My Triad of Care, my NCM, and my squad leader, really take care of Soldiers, they really listen and are very helpful,” Cowan said “They are definitely taking care of Soldiers.”

“I’ve been treated with respect; I wasn’t rushed; and they attended to each issue,” he said. He continues to describe his experience as being “a real blessing.”

Cowan is currently in the rehabilitation phase in his Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP is a seven-part process for every Soldier in a WTU that includes an individual plan that the Soldier creates for him or herself with support of the WTU cadre.

“My physical evaluation board (PEB) has found me physically unfit and I’m just waiting on my disability ratings from VA,” Cowan said. “I’ve been in 23 years and I’m ready to retire and spend time fishing with the grandkids.”

Commander’s Drumbeat—The Excitement of AUSA

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

It’s always great to see the Army Family come together.  Last week was a whirlwind of reconnections, fun experiences, and meaningful opportunities.  Sunday started at 0630 with the Army Ten-Miler.  I met with our team for photos, gave them a send-off and met our wounded warriors as they crossed the finish line.  One WTC employee told me that she was excited to run with the Missing Parts in Action team—current and past wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers who received treatment at Walter Reed—and especially enjoyed seeing them leave her in the dust.  Rehabilitation at its best!  The Warrior Transition Command and the Missing Parts teams were both impressive.

BG Darryl Williams, Warrior Transition Command Commander, congratulates world class runners Tesfaqe Sendekee, first overall male finisher, and Tezata Dengera, first overall female finisher at the 2011 Army Ten Miler (ATM) footrace. Both athletes competed for the 'I Run for God' (IR4G) team coached by LTC (Ret.) Sue Bozgoz. Each runner as well as additional IR4G runners donated their ATM trophies to WTC's Army wounded warriors.

I have to give a shout-out to everyone who participated but especially the International Running Team—I Run for God or IR4G.  These men and women ran for wounded warriors and took first place overall, first place in the overall male category, and first, second and third places overall in the female categories.  They very generously presented us their trophies on Thursday.

If you did not participate in the Army Ten-Miler, start making plans now for next year. It is a super event.  I’m already talking to my team about all the ways we can ramp up our presence and get more folks involved. I ran into people I hadn’t seen in years, ate great food, and saw some excellent exhibits.  I even heard some good music and saw a martial arts expo.  It was an all-around festive time with Families, friends, and colleagues—two of my kids were with me and even they had a ball.

You all know that I’m adamant about making it clear that we represent and work for Active Duty, Guard and Reserve.  To build on that—we were fortunate to share a Hooah Tent with Community-Based Warrior Transition Unit (CBWTU) Illinois.  Kudos to all the runners and the volunteers who showed up to share education and information products, and talk to visitors about WTC and what we do every day to support wounded, ill and injured warriors.  They also dished up a load of award-winning chili for runners and spectators—that was a big draw at our tent.

I had such a great time I didn’t think the week could get any better.  Then on Monday I had the privilege of listening to the Secretary of the Army.  While the Secretary did admit budget cuts sometimes keep him up at night, he also told us that unlike in the past, we saw this downturn coming and are better positioned than at any time in our nation’s history to deal with the fiscal realities, and do it in a way that truly makes sense.  He reinforced that part of dealing with these realities is to cut end-strength and that our Army will look different than it does now.  He emphasized that no conflict is ever won without boots on the ground and was confident the Army can handle the challenge of these pending reductions.

He addressed who we are and what we do when he said, “We’re still at war. We work diligently every day to try to make certain they get what they need, to get it when they need it, that we give them all the support they require to build resilience and all the care that’s necessary when they come home.”

For you history buffs, he was right on the money when he referenced  the book “This Kind of War,” and TR Fehrenbach’s passage, “You may fly over land forever, you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it, and wipe it clean of life. But if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men into the mud.”  He went on to acknowledge that “Fehrenbach’s observations are as relevant today as they ever were, because while we shocked, while we awed, at the end of the day, we did the most important thing to gain and ensure victory, we marched. And there is no getting around the fact that it is the Army that has been saddled with much of the burden these past years, providing between fifty to seventy percent of our deployable forces. And while I’m loathe to view our men and women in uniform as mere budgetary statistics, I think it’s important to remind people that while the United States Army represents half of our nation’s entire force, we consume only about a quarter to 30 percent of the entire defense budget.”

Later on Monday, I was on a panel with the Army Surgeon General, Deputy Surgeon General, and the FORSCOM Surgeon, Supporting the Deployment of Healthy, Resilient and Fit Soldiers…Soldier Medical Readiness.   There was significant focus on how we identify and deal with non-medically ready Soldiers, and fitness and nutrition.  It felt good to say that we return about 50 percent of our Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers to duty and support all our wounded, ill and injured with a personalized Comprehensive Transition Plan  that supports their goals to return to duty or transition out of military service.

Reflecting on the remarks by the Secretary and the Surgeon General on the future and resilience of our Army, I was reminded of who we are and how young we are.  This command is only about two years old and we’ve only had WTUs since 2007.  As the Surgeon General says, we are a learning organization and continuously changing.  Our history is already rich with success and change.  We went from medical hold companies to WTUs; from having no plan to the Army Medical Action Plan; from rehabilitation and therapy to Warrior Games.  Very soon I’ll be sending out the new Comprehensive Transition Plan guidance for coordination and I’ll have new command information product—a newsletter, Warrior Care and Transition Program Update—coming your way soon.

Before I sign off, remember that in November we will celebrate Warrior Care Month across the Army.  I want you all to be fully engaged as this is the most important monthly observance we have.  The Warrior Care Month joint-service theme is “Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit: Unlocking Unlimited Potential.”  You all know better than anybody what this means and that these men and women embody strength and resilience.  They are the products of prevention and research that resulted in more survivors of combat injures than ever before.  My three priorities for these men and women are education, training, and careers.  Let’s show the world who we are next month and what we do every day to support those who have given so much.  It’s a time to highlight our wounded, ill and injured—Active, Guard and Reserve, and the people who support them.

I’d enjoy hearing about your Army Ten-Miler, AUSA experience and plans for Warrior Care Month.  What stood out, and what we can do better on next year.  Please post your comments on this blog by clicking on the headline and scrolling to the bottom of the page to the comment box.

In closing, I would recommend you check out the remarks of the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Army during the annual AUSA meeting.

Senior Noncommissioned Officers Discuss Way Ahead During Training Conference

By CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., WTC Command Sergeant Major

CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., the WTC Command Sergeant Major, speakingduring the training conference held in Orlando, FL.

CSM Benjamin H. Scott, Jr., the WTC Command Sergeant Major, spoke with several senior noncommissioned officers during the training conference held in Orlando, FL.

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Sergeants Major, First Sergeants, and Senior NCOs from several Warrior Transition Units (WTUs), Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs), and the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) during the Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) Training Conference held in Orlando, FL.

During this Senior NCO meeting, I reinforced the idea of communication within our command and among each other resulting in a positive impact for the severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans.

I also listened to the NCO leadership express concerns, frustrations, and issues that plague them at their locations. Their suggestions and concerns have not gone unheard. The purpose of the WCTP Training Conference was to bring these ideas to the table, because if you don’t ask, you won’t get. While the Warrior Transition Command has come a long way, we still have a way to go, and the feedback from the Sergeants Major and First Sergeants will greatly improve the path to excellence.

A key component to the way ahead is understanding and implementing the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP will help strengthen the leadership in the WTUs, Military Treatment Facilities, and the Senior Commanders—allowing for the best care possible.

So many times, my boss, BG Darryl A. Williams has stated, “CTP is the core of what we do.”   And I completely agree. In order for the CTP to be successful, we have to support it, own it, and live it. We are not simply setting the standards, but creating a foundation that will help these Soldiers and Veterans succeed for the rest of their lives. I’m not saying we can resolve all issues immediately, but we can’t take the necessary steps to fix something if we don’t know there is a problem that needs fixing. And the CTP helps us get at this realization.

The bottom line is that the CTP is a big deal.

BG Williams and I are committed to making this program a success by ensuring all severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans have the necessary tools and equipment to succeed and excel throughout their lives.

We will continue to stress the importance of the CTP and its essential role in ensuring the Soldiers, Veterans and their Families have the ultimate level of care and support that is standardized throughout the Army.

Along with our commitment to these Soldiers, Veterans, and Families, my personal commitment—and one that I stressed to the Senior NCOs during our meeting—is enforce the standards with compassion.

Read more about the Comprehensive Transition Plan on the WTC website.

Commander’s Drumbeat: Partnering to Face Our Challenges – Warrior Care and Transition Program Training Conference

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy

John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, cited the Comprehensive Transition Plan as a very tangible example of the positive work done through the Warrior Care and Transition Program.

We are on a roll here in Orlando, FL. My staff did a super job planning this conference! More than 1,000 attendees spent the first two days training on the Comprehensive Transition Plan. When they return home they can help us standardize the transition planning process across the Army. Today we’re on to training segments focusing on interdisciplinary team members and warrior care improvement including: comprehensive pain management, adaptive sports, polypharmacy, force structure models, and internship opportunities.

We started the day with a presentation by John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy. I have to say, he is a super advocate for the wounded, ill, and injured, and for the military and civilian men and women who take care of them. He made it clear he understands the challenges Soldiers face while coping with posttraumatic stress and the challenges of successful transitions back to the force or of leaving the military.

It’s great to know that we are definitely on the same page and moving in the same direction. We are both energized about education and employment for our Soldiers who transition out of military service. Mr. Campbell captured it perfectly when he said that “long after the guns are silenced, we have not succeeded if all of America does not hear the silence of the drums of war as a deafening call to action–a call to help lead our wounded warriors, the next greatest generation, into the classrooms as teachers, into the board rooms as executives, into their communities as small business owners and entrepreneurs , and into the lives of all Americans as leaders in their communities, their government, and back to their military to help others along the way.”

He reflected on his generation of Veterans who didn’t have the support they needed to overcome challenges and vowed it is a scenario he refuses to see repeated. Following his remarks, I had the opportunity to meet today with Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) commanders and NCOs; then with doctors, nurses case managers, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists.

The reason I’m sharing this with you is twofold. One, to let you know that leaders in the warrior care arena, military and civilian, like me and like Mr. Campbell, are committed to providing the best possible support to today’s wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers. Second, the meeting with this group of WTU medical professionals was historic. It was the first time we got them all together, and they are an extraordinarily dedicated and impressive group who deserve a shout out! They do good work, they change lives, they are critical to the success of our wounded, ill, and injured warriors. They also realize that Families are integral to the success of Warriors in Transition and that they need and deserve the same care and attention we provide their loved ones.

I feel confident—and you should too—that together with Mr. Campbell’s office and with our partners the Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Veterans Administration, we can continue to improve and leverage resources internally and in local communities. An example of this is Judith Markelz. Mr. Campbell recognized her during his remarks so on behalf of the Army and Mr. Campbell, I too want to recognize her in this forum. She runs the Warrior and Family Support Center in San Antonio, TX. Ms. Markelz saw a need for a place where warriors and their Families could go to find resources, counseling, and a respite from their worries. She built the center from the ground up and people noticed. In 2008 $4 million was donated to the center for expansions, renovations, and improvements. It provides services to Soldiers and their Families and didn’t cost the Army a dime. So, kudos to Judith Markelz for her dedication, enthusiasm, and her selfless contributions to our wounded, ill, and injured warriors and their Families.

Folks, the bottom line here is that we’ve made great strides and we can continue to improve because our fight goes on. Know that I’ll stand with you to meet the challenges. Hooah.

Commander’s Drumbeat: VCSA Kicks Off Warrior Care and Transition Program Training Conference

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Chiarelli, kicks off the Warrior Transition Command Training Conference in Orlando.

Army Vice Chief of Staff, GEN Peter Chiarelli, kicks off the Warrior Transition Command Training Conference in Orlando. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel: http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/. Scroll down and click on the Warrior Care & Transition Conference featured video.

Hi folks. I’m back in Orlando, FL this week. You likely recall I was here about two weeks ago for the AW2 Symposium. This week is all about the Warrior Transition Command and the Comprehensive Transition Plan or CTP. The CTP is a big deal. It’s the roadmap for warriors transitioning out of military service or remaining on active duty and transitioning back to the unit or to another Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).

I’ve gathered about 1,000 people here from across the Army who directly impact the care of our wounded, ill, and injured warriors and their Families—from WTU cadre to clinicians, resource managers, and pharmacists.

The CTP is a seven-part multidisciplinary structured process for every Warrior in Transition that includes an individual plan that the Warrior in Transition builds for him/herself with the support of the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) cadre. Although it is standardized, it allows warriors to customize their recovery process, including setting and reaching personal goals. It includes a personal, customized plan created for the Soldier by the Soldier. This week is about the CTP, about committing to networking, learning the processes, and about standardizing how we support these Soldiers and their Families across the Army. The success of what we are doing this week will be measured in the extent to which what is learned results in real change. Change measured in terms of how well everyone, and I do mean everyone, implements every aspect of the CTP. So let’s galvanize this across the Army so that everybody is on the same sheet of music at the end of this week.

We couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. On Monday, GEN Peter Chiarelli, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, kicked off our opening ceremony so we’re all energized and ready to take on the tough challenges. His remarks were carried live on the Pentagon Channel.  Enter GEN Chiarelli, Warrior Care, or Warrior Care & Transition Conference in the search box to the left of the All Videos ribbon or click on this direct link.

I encourage you to take a look at this. For those of you haven’t had the opportunity to hear him speak, GEN Chiarelli is passionate about taking care of Soldiers and their Families. He recognizes there is nothing more important than caring for our own and he understands the challenges and commitment of all of you who support our wounded, ill, and injured, active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve Soldiers. He was generous with his comments about how far we have come over the past few years, but clear that we still have improvements to make including continuing to take on post-traumatic stress disorder and concussions. He also addressed the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and where we are on that. He is committed to taking this on and partnering with Army leaders at the local levels and the Veterans Administration (VA) to streamline the process. Before he departed he challenged attendees to collaborate, share lessons learned, and commit to standardizing and implementing the CTP. It was great to hear him speak. It’s clear he gets that this is important, especially in a resource constrained environment. I want you to know that I share his passion and if we stay on track with training, education, employment, and keep telling our story, we’ll get this job done.

Training is important. I want to improve resiliency for our Soldiers, for our cadre and for all of you in this room. Have you heard of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Master Resiliency Training? It’s a great course—resiliency is important for social workers, for nurses, noncommissioned officers (NCOs), doctors—everybody. Look into this. If you help yourselves, you help your Soldiers and their Families.

Education can be addressed on numerous levels. For now, I want you all to understand the Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) and Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) programs. I want Soldiers to know and understand the process for staying on active duty if that is what they want and they are able to do it.

Finally, you’ve all heard me say this before—we’ve got to work on careers and jobs for these warriors. They all deserve a soft place to land regardless of whether they stay in the Army or not.

Before I sign off I want to give a big shout out to our social workers! This is one dedicated group—they worked all day Saturday and Sunday. That’s impressive. They are a vital part of the WTU team and contribute directly to the success of our wounded, ill, and injured warriors and their Families. They brought some issues to my attention, and we’re going to look into them. These are the conversations I want to have and plan to have this week. That’s why I’m here. I look forward to the week ahead. Hooah!

Family Focus–New Online Tool Aims to Better Inform Wounded Warriors Loved Ones

By LTC (P) Hugh Bair, WTC G-3,5,7 Chief

LTC (P) Hugh Bair announces the launch of a new online resource for Families of wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers.

Over the Fourth of July holiday, I had the opportunity to spend time with my Family at a North Carolina beach. It was great to kick back with my dad and brother and get caught up. As they are both now Veterans, there was much focus on and interest in my new job supporting the Army’s wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and their Families.

Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of serving with Soldiers at the tip of the spear. My Family during those missions was often far away back home figuring things out without me. Well, that might be OK for normal circumstances, but I know when things aren’t going well, like when your loved one gets injured in a training accident, diagnosed with a deadly disease, or wounded in a firefight, you should not be figuring things out on your own. You need help.

To that end, the Army worked hard to create a comprehensive support system for our Soldiers Families and loved ones. For our wounded warriors, focusing on the mission at hand—to heal and transition, is clear. Medical appointments, visits with a squad leader, rehabilitation, adaptive sports, career planning. For the Family members however it’s often hard to figure out the Army system, learn the acronyms, or understand their role in the recovery process.

So, it’s my pleasure to launch a new online learning tool exclusively for those who are caring for our wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers. The Warrior Transition Command’s new Comprehensive Transition Plan Learning Module for Families walks loved ones through the structure of the Warrior Transition Unit, outlines their role in the seven-stages of the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP), includes four videos, and provides links to additional resources.

We’ve made this tool accessible online so that a Soldier’s immediate caregiver and extended Family around the world can better understand what they are going through and how to help. As a multi-generational military Family, I know the value of having my loved ones near and supportive of my career goals. The more they know, the more I can focus on the job at hand.

I look forward to hearing from our wounded warrior’s Family members about this new tool through the blog comments feature. Is it helpful? What needs to be added? How can we make it better? I know my own Family is watching to see what we do for our wounded, ill, and injured, and are ready to hold me accountable at our next Family vacation. I want to do them, but more importantly, our wounded warriors, proud.

Commander’s Drumbeat: Setting the Tone

By BG Darryl A. Williams, WTC Commander

BG Williams speaking at the Army Medical Command Symposium

WTC Commander BG Darryl A. Williams (left) welcomed more than 100 attendees from the WTC and WTU personnel from across the Army on the first day of the Army’s Medical Command Training Symposium in San Antonio, TX.

The first day of the Army Medical Command Training Symposium started off on a high note with me getting to meet with about 100 attendees from the Warrior Transition Command and WTU personnel from across the Army. Before the symposium ends I’ll meet with WTU commanders, we’ll host a WTC cadre recognition ceremony, discuss some personnel issues, and delve into adaptive sports.

Yesterday, I kicked off the Warrior Transition Command track by discussing the Comprehensive Transition Plan or CTP, as we call it. I believe that the CTP is at the core of what we do—and some WTUs are doing it very well. We ask a lot of Warriors in Transition and we owe them the resources to help them heal and transition simultaneously. When you do it right, when the fundamentals of the CTP are in place, the plan works.

This week we have the benefit of a lot of smart people coming together for the greater good. I found it very interesting to hear the participants highlight the vital roles Family members play in setting and achieving CTP goals. I was also impressed by the discussion of the importance of including the right multi-disciplinary specialties in the scrimmage and in focused training reviews so that we help Soldiers map out their way ahead and help knock down any obstacles in their paths to success.

My three priorities are cadre training, education, and jobs and careers. These go hand-in-glove with being able to successfully support our wounded, ill, and injured warriors as leaders and mentors. I reiterated this yesterday at the symposium and want to ensure that we continuously look at improving cadre training, educating our Soldiers more, and setting up conditions so that our Soldiers and their Families have a good place to land whether they remain in the military or transition out of military service.

I charge my team to continue to provide the highest caliber support to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers—they deserve nothing less. We are all here to prepare them to turn potentially limiting events into unlimited potential. This is going to be a great week! Hooah.

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Write a blog for WTC

Warriors in Transition can submit a blog by e-mailing WarriorCareCommunications [at] conus.army.mil.