Soldiers Claim Medically Unfit Being Resent into Combat Theater to Make Up Shortages

This is an amazingly serious charge. It seems credible given that it's corroborated by several soldiers.

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq: As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

On Feb. 15, Master Sgt. Jenkins and 74 other soldiers with medical conditions from the 3rd Division's 3rd Brigade were summoned to a meeting with the division surgeon and brigade surgeon. These are the men responsible for handling each soldier's “physical profile,” an Army document that lists for commanders an injured soldier's physical limitations because of medical problems — from being unable to fire a weapon to the inability to move and dive in three-to-five-second increments to avoid enemy fire. Jenkins and other soldiers claim that the division and brigade surgeons summarily downgraded soldiers' profiles, without even a medical exam, in order to deploy them to Iraq. It is a claim division officials deny.

Read the whole thing. I suppose it might not be true — but we'll never know for sure unless Congress (or SecDef Gates) investigates. And if true, it's just further black irony on the “support the troops” mantra.

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