By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division
Do you know how many Cadre are involved in WTU Soldiers’ Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities? Career and Education Readiness activities support wounded, ill and injured Soldiers as they transition, whether they remain in the Army or transition to Veteran status. All Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers set career goals as part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). Career and Education Readiness activities provide eligible Soldiers with the skills and knowledge they need to advance toward their career goals. Achieving career goals contributes positively to the rehabilitation and reintegration process, which is why there are so many Interdisciplinary Team members along with the Triad of Care available to support every Soldier.
You may already know that the Triad of Care – Primary Care Manager (PCM), Nurse Case Manager (NCM) and Squad Leader (SL) – coordinates to ensure all members of the WTU team operate synergistically to benefit the Soldier. Nurse Case Managers keep team members up to date on the Soldier’s medical status and physical profile. Squad Leaders coach, teach, mentor and counsel Soldiers on their responsibilities while participating in a CER activity. They also ensure Soldiers are at their places of duty and coordinate with their work site supervisor for assessments.
What you may not know is that in addition to the Triad of Care, each CER-eligible Soldier also works with an interdisciplinary team that includes a Transition Coordinator (TC), Occupational Therapist (OT), Medical Management (M2) and Career Counselor (CC). They may also participate in as external support programs such as the Army Continuing Education System (ACES) and Operation Warfighter (OWF). Interdisciplinary Team members work together and inform one another of important updates and changes to ensure Soldiers have the most productive and successful CER experiences possible:
- Transition Coordinator (TC): ensures the Soldier’s career goals line up with the CTP and helps coordinate CER activities.
- Occupational Therapist – Registered (OTR): completes Phase I goal setting with the Soldier and provides life skills training and goal reassessment throughout the Soldiers’ stay at the WTU.
- Medical Management (M2): works to determine eligibility for CER activities along with the WTU Commander.
- Career Counselor (CC): counsels Soldiers on the logistics of career changes.
Transition professionals at Warrior Transition Command talk about Soldiers experiencing the “fog of recovery”, or the emotional and psychological difficulties that may accompany physical injuries. Soldiers assigned to WTUs are encouraged to develop and strive to meet career goals to ease the fog. This often includes returning to the work force either in a familiar or new work environment. The CER program, with the support of the Interdisciplinary Team, helps Soldiers prepare and plan a career path that will put them on the right track for returning to, or creating, a new normal.