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Department of Defense Releases First Quarter Suicide Information

September 12, 2014 Comments off

Department of Defense Releases First Quarter Suicide Information
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Defense released the quarterly suicide report (QSR), today, for the first quarter of calendar year 2014. The report summarizes suicide counts for all services and components. During the months of January through March of this year, there were 74 suicides among service members in the active component, 24 suicides among service members in the reserves, and 22 suicides among service members in the National Guard.

The report also shows 2013 annual counts and annual rates as published last month in the 2013 4th Quarter DoD QSR, as well as 2012 annual counts and annual rates as published in the DoD Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) Calendar Year 2012 Annual Report. The QSR is intended to communicate the department’s suicide data on a routine and frequent basis.

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Complacency: a threat to homeland security?

September 7, 2014 Comments off

Complacency: a threat to homeland security?
Source: Naval Postgraduate School

This thesis presents an unconventional approach to addressing a threat to homeland security by focusing on complacency through the lens of human factors and complexity. This approach requires a paradigm shift. In addition to focusing on external threats from enemies who wish to do this nation harm, and building capabilities to prepare for disasters, it is also necessary to look internally to the behaviors, attitudes, and states of mind of people within homeland security organizations to optimize the success of this country’s efforts. This thesis draws from human factors science, folk science and folk psychology, complexity theory, homeland security doctrine, psychology and biology reference works, and applied research to develop a concept of complacency for the homeland security discipline. The hypothesis is that a clear definition may lead to actionable, observable measures to mitigate it. The research concludes that complacency is more commonly used as a proverbial threat than an actionable threat, but reveals a plethora of future research opportunities for a human-factors approach to addressing threats of this nature.

Department of Defense Announces Guidance for Upgrading Discharge Requests

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Department of Defense Announces Guidance for Upgrading Discharge Requests
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Department of Defense announced today that it has issued supplemental guidance to Military Department Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records (BCM/NR) when considering petitions regarding discharge upgrade requests by veterans claiming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Recent attention has been focused upon the petitions of Vietnam veterans to BCM/NR for the purposes of upgrading their discharges based on claims of previously unrecognized PTSD. In these cases, PTSD was not recognized as a diagnosis at the time of service and, in many cases, diagnoses were not made until decades after service was completed.

This supplemental guidance was issued to help review boards ensure fair and consistent results across the military services and ease the application process for veterans who are seeking redress. It is not intended to interfere with, or impede the boards’ statutory independence to correct errors or remove injustices through the correction of military records.

BCM/NRs fully and carefully consider each petition brought by every veteran. This includes a comprehensive review of all materials and evidence provided by the petitioner.

DoD — Small Business and Strategic Sourcing: Lessons from Past Research and Current Data

August 28, 2014 Comments off

Small Business and Strategic Sourcing: Lessons from Past Research and Current Data
Source: RAND Corporation

The Department of Defense (DoD) may face challenges as it attempts to maintain its goal of spending about 23 percent of its prime-contract dollars for goods and services with small businesses and at the same time apply strategic-sourcing practices to reduce total costs and improve performance in ways that will not conflict with small-business goals while making DoD purchasing more effective and efficient. Strategic sourcing practices, for example, recommend consolidation of the supply base to reduce total costs, which can lead to fewer, larger, longer-term contracts with fewer and, often, larger suppliers.

DoD and VA Take New Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Service Members and Veterans

August 26, 2014 Comments off

DoD and VA Take New Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Service Members and Veterans (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Today, President Obama will announce 19 new executive actions that the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) are taking to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families. Today’s announcement builds on the actions the Departments have taken in response to the President’s 2012 Executive Order on service members, veterans and their families’ mental health. In response to the Executive Order, VA has increased its mental health staffing, expanded the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line, and enhanced its partnerships with community mental health providers. DoD is reviewing its mental health outreach programs to prioritize those with the greatest impact; DoD and VA worked to increase suicide prevention awareness and, DoD, VA and the National Institutes of Health jointly developed the National Research Action Plan on military and veteran’s mental health to better coordinate federal research efforts. These efforts and actions represent the latest in DoD and the VA’s continued commitment to ensure that this Administration is working to fulfill our promise s to service members, veterans and their families, and we will continue to look for additional ways to do so in this space, both thorough our work and work with the private sector.

DOD Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

August 6, 2014 Comments off

DOD Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and potential use by actors of concern pose a threat to U.S. national security and peace and stability around the world. Adversaries may use WMD to threaten or carry out attacks on the United States, our forces at home or abroad, or our allies and partners. Our political will and military capability to provide security, resist coercion, and defeat aggression must not be undermined by WMD.

This document, the Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, represents the Department of Defense’s response to the WMD threat. It specifies desired end states, prescribes priority objectives, delineates a strategic approach for achieving those objectives, and outlines the countering WMD activities and tasks necessary for success.

In a constrained fiscal environment, we are focusing our efforts on preventing acquisition and countering the most likely threats. Accordingly, this strategy emphasizes early action through pathway defeat, shaping the environment to dissuade actors from pursuing WMD, and cooperating with partners to achieve countering WMD goals. We are prioritizing capabilities that counter operationally significant risks and activities that are best executed by the Department rather than by partners in the U.S. Government or the international community.

This strategy provides foundational guidance for enacting the Department’s countering WMD policies, plans, and programs and advances a comprehensive response to existing and developing WMD threats.

See also: Fact Sheet on DOD Strategy to Counter WMD (PDF)

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014

August 5, 2014 Comments off

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The People’s Republic of China continues to pursue a long – term, comprehensive military modernization program designed to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win short – duration, high – intensity regional contingencies. Preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait, which includes deterring or defeating third – party intervention, remains the focus and primary driver of China’s military investment. However, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also is placing emphasis on preparing for contingencies other than Ta iwan, including potential contingencies in the South and East China Seas.

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