Report | Aug. 7, 2013

Assessment of DoD Wounded Warrior Matters – Fort Riley


What We Did

We assessed whether the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Riley, Kansas (hereafter [WTB]) managed effectively and efficiently the programs for the medical care and transition of wounded, ill, and injured Warriors.  Specifically, we evaluated the missions, policies, and processes in place to assist Warriors in Transition with their return to duty status or transition to civilian life.

What We Found

We identified several noteworthy initiatives implemented at both the Fort Riley WTB and Irwin Army Community Hospital (IACH).  We also identified a number of significant challenges that require corrective action by the responsible Army Commanders to increase program effectiveness and efficiency.

What We Recommend

We recommend that the Commander, Army Medical Command (MEDCOM); Commander, Western Regional Medical Command (WRMC); Commander, Warrior Transition Command (WTC); Commander, IACH; and Commander, WTB:

  • Evaluate the current and future cadre personnel requirements of the Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) to ensure that the staffing levels, including squad leaders and Nurse Case Managers, are appropriate to meet the mission for effective management and support of Soldiers during their healing and transition.
  • Conduct an analysis to determine whether the WTUs and; WTBs have adequate funding and other resources to support the necessary level of WTB personnel, ongoing staff training requirements, and support services in order to maintain optimal staffing levels and ratios.
  • Complete the migration of the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) from the Army Knowledge Online to the Army Warrior Care and Transition System.
  • Review the CTP policy and guidance for relevance and effective content in supporting Soldier and Family transition needs.
  • Assess the effectiveness of WTB leadership and cadre in actively engaging the Soldiers’ CTP and encouraging Soldiers’ involvement and adherence to the plan for a successful transition.
  • Track each phase of the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES) process to identify and resolve the barriers to timely IDES completion for Soldiers assigned or attached to WTBs.
  • Identify obstacles within the Soldiers’ MEB referral, claim development, medical evaluation, and Medical Evaluation Board (MEB) processing phases that inhibit prompt MEB completion, and provide sufficient staff support for Physical Evaluation Board Liaison Officers and ensure that staff to Soldier ratio is sufficient to ensure timely processing of MEB packages.
  • Educate Soldiers and ensure their families are educated on how to execute the IDES process to include a realistic timeline for what the Soldier can expect once the process begins.  Additionally, develop a mechanism whereby a Soldier can track and be informed of their status in the IDES process.

Management Comments

Management comments from the Surgeon General were responsive.