Posted on Nov 7, 2014
LTC Instructor
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A friend (seriously, not me) is on the Army's borderline for HT/WT. He has to maintain his physical fitness, appearance, and HT/WT standards for the National Guard as if he were an active duty Soldier. Injuries, some sustained while on active duty (82nd), make physical fitness maintenance near impossible. Here is the contradiction.

If he fails a PT test, he can be chaptered out, so he must do PT outside of drill because "you are a Soldier all the time." He cannot get military medical benefits, e.g. active duty Tricare, because "you are only a Soldier during drill." So, what are the limits of LOD? I should know, but I don't and I'll take anyone's advice or information on sources.

You might say "he should go to the VA," but that is not really an option. Should Reserve component healthcare be privatized? How is the line drawn between LOD and non-LOD? How should it be drawn? Any advice for my friend?
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LTC (Join to see) you do bring up a good point Sir. I would also ask your friend what kind of physical training he is engaging in. I've found that I have to train much differently now than I did while I was on AD. (I fractured all four of my limbs in a motorcycle accident and have metal in each)

There are low impact and less stressful exercises that will (coupled with a healthy diet) allow a soldier to maintain active duty standards without sacrificing money to the injury train. From a cardiovascular perspective, I alternate between an elliptical set to 6 or 7 on the resistance scale (to give me a similar experience to being on a road) and swimming. Both exercises have cut my injury problems to zero, and actually improved my APFT scores.

So the bottom line is, train smarter as you grow older.
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LTC Instructor
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Absolutely, SSG (Join to see). I'm not sure exactly what type of exercise he's doing that is causing or exacerbating the problem. The relevant point here is the tired cliche that "you break it, you buy it." What is it about active duty that breaks us? Running, rucking, jumping, fighting, and wearing armor. Active and Reserve share all of those things, and all in the contexts of our frail bodies.
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Amen to that Sir. I think with AD it ultimately comes down to the 'cookie cutter' approach to physical training, and while rucking, wearing armor, and moving around in it is an important part of our job we need to adjust our daily PT regimens to more accurately reflect the damage and stresses that our bodies incur.

I'm not saying we need an 'Old Man' group or anything like that, but perhaps tweaking the program as a whole so that we provide a workout that still keeps you in fighting shape but minimizes the damage to our bodies would be a positive step.
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SGT Kris Jacobson
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Try calling the Defense Health Agency (previously the Military Medical Support Office). The DHA approves and directs LOD healthcare for Guard and Reserves when not "on duty". DHA [login to see]
At the very least, its a good place start. That's what the MMSO did (prior to the DHA name change). We all know how that goes.
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Lt Col Squadron Commander
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Wow, that's a tough one! I would have him call the IG just to see what his options are.
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LTC Instructor
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Now I know we're doomed. The medical professional is deferring to the IG!

In all seriousness, that is probably one of the best options. A congressional doesn't seem out of the question.
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