A healthy military is a strong and productive military, and the United States Department of Defense (DOD) is committed to the wellbeing of the entire military community. In addition to comprehensive healthcare services for those in uniform, the federal Military Health System has commenced a national campaign to promote healthy living. Called Operation Live Well, it focuses on injury and disease prevention in every aspect of military life.
Operation Live Well
Operation Live Well supports military families through numerous resources and healthy living initiatives. Various government policies and programs help military members and their loved ones make important choices that impact their health and wellbeing. The DOD encourages physical and psychological fitness through education and special programs. It also understands the importance of social interactions and spiritual pursuits.
Military Health Priorities
Emotional health, mental fitness and physical conditioning are directly related. The United States government encourages military families to eat healthy and exercise daily for health, strength and stress reduction. The DOD also encourages a tobacco-free lifestyle to prevent chronic illness and premature death. These basic priorities are essential for a strong, protected force as well as a healthy, resilient military community.
The government’s national prevention strategy seeks to avoid injury and illness due to any cause or situation that a service member may encounter. Natural disasters, occupational hazards, military exposures, traumatic brain injury and outdoor recreation are some of the specialized focus areas.
Natural disasters can happen at any time. Several agencies within and outside the federal government have resources that help military families prepare for emergency situations. Disaster preparedness is the best way to protect military families in emergency situations.
Environmental and occupational safety measures are essential for preventing illness due to military exposures. Mesothelioma, a fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure, is a potential risk for military personnel who work in old buildings or shipyards. Many veterans have long-term health problems due to radiation, warfare agents and chemical exposures. The DOD and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) can help service members prevent or manage the health risks associated with these elements.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) awareness is a top priority of the federal government. The DOD has made significant strides in education, prevention and healthcare delivery to military members with TBI challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The DOD continues to research and provide resources for those who suffer from these debilitating conditions.
Even outdoor recreation can pose health risks to military members and their families. From the prevention of heat exhaustion to protection during high-risk activities, outdoor safety is a major concern during the summer months. Fluid replacement, sunscreen and protective gear are some of the preventative measures for summertime health and wellbeing.
Operation Live Well is committed to healthy living for all people in the military community. To learn more about this national campaign, visit the Military Health System website here. The Military Health System is an agency of the United States Department of Defense.
- Military, civilians tackle mental health (kypost.com)
- Former Chiefs meet with Army to talk head injuries (kansascity.com)
- Medical schools join forces to improve health of veterans (stltoday.com)
- Imaging Shows Some Brains Compensate after Traumatic Injury (sacbee.com)
- Toomey files amendments to Defense Authorization Act (timesleader.com)
- Military Creates Brain Repository To Study Wounds (sci-tech-today.com)