Status of Past Issues
Each year, delegates to the AW2 Symposium prioritize the top five challenges or "issues" facing wounded warriors and their Families. These issues are submitted to the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for resolution and progress is tracked.
AFAP Issues: Army issues are submitted to the Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) World Wide Conference. Each year at the AFAP Worldwide Conference, delegates representing all aspects of Army life prioritize the top five issues facing the entire Army population. Some of these prioritized issues originated through an AW2 Symposia. Delegates at the AFAP Worldwide Conference often change the name of the issues as they work them—this website displays both names.
AFAP is an Army Vice Chief of Staff (VCSA) program designed to identify and resolve Soldier and Family issues. The VCSA chairs a General Officers Steering Committee (GOSC) which reviews the status of AFAP issues twice a year. The VCSA must approve the closure of an AFAP issue.
The links below direct users to the AFAP section of Army OneSource , which displays the current status of each issue. At Army OneSource, users may search for any active AFAP issue by number, keyword, or other categories.
For more information on these issues, email AW2.Symposium@conus.army.mil.
Action officers in relevant Army commands and the VA are actively working to resolve these issues. The time necessary to resolve an issue varies. Resolution often involves coordination with other military services and federal agencies, change in Army or Department of Defense regulation, or change in federal law. Sometimes, these changes can take time, but the Army keeps the issue "open" until all avenues have been exhausted, allowing the issue to be considered a high priority.
NOTE: The original issue titles contained acronyms. The full names of these acronyms are provided for clarity on this website.
- Caregiver Education and Support (2006)
- Family Member Care Provider Stipend (2006)
(AFAP Issue #611: TSGLI Annual Supplement has now been combined with AFAP issue #654 : Monthly Stipend to Ill/Injured Soldiers for Non-Medical Caregivers)
- Global War on Terror (GWOT) Family Mental Health Clinic (2006)
(AFAP Issue #614: Comprehensive Behavioral Health Program for Children)
- Medical Evaluation Board (MEB)/Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) Processes (2006 and 2007)
- Soldier's Education on the Continuation on Active Duty (COAD)/Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) Program (2006)
- Compensation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Uniplegia (2007)
(AFAP Issue #626: Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) for PTSD, TBI, & Uniplegia)
- Fair Treatment of Soldiers with Combat Related Injuries (2007)
- Medical Retirement Pay for Wounded Warriors (2007)
(AFAP Issue #621: Minimum Disability Retirement Pay for Medically Retired Wounded Warriors)
- Alternative Treatment Options (Over Medication of Servicemembers) (2008)
AFAP Issue #641: Over Medication Prevention and Alternative Treatment Options)
- Career Counseling for Wounded Warriors (2008)
(AFAP Issue #631: Career Coordinators for AW2 Soldiers, Family Members, and Caregivers)
- Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) and Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) Process (June 2008)
- Comprehensive Psychoeducation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Servicemembers, Family Members, and Caregivers (2009)
- Understaffing of Behavioral Health Providers on All Army Installations (2009)
(AFAP Issue #648: Behavioral Health Services Shortage)
- Concurrent Receipt of Retired and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Pay (CRDP) (2009 and 2010)
(AFAP Issue #670: Medically Retired Servicemembers' Eligibility for Concurrent Receipt of Disability Pay) link on Army OneSource not yet active
- Coverage of Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors (2009) (AFAP Issue #653: Funding Service Dogs for Wounded Warriors)
- Enforcement of Medical Profile Compliance (2009)
- Stipend for Primary Caregivers of Ill or Injured Servicemembers (2009)
(AFAP Issue #654: Monthly Stipend to Ill/Injured Soldiers for Non-Medical Caregivers)
- Benefits and Entitlements Information for Wounded Warrior Primary Caregivers (2010)
- Case Managers for Continuation On Active Duty (COAD)/Continuation On Active Reserve (COAR) Soldiers (2010)
- Enhanced Access to Care for AW2 Soldiers not in Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) (2010)
- Extension of Medical Retention Processing 2 (MRP2) Time Restriction for Reserve Component Soldiers (2010)
(AFAP Issue #669 Extension of Medical Retention Processing 2 (MRP2) Time Restriction for Reserve Component (RC) Soldiers) link on Army OneSource not yet active
- Family Member or Designated Caregiver Input Into Servicemember Treatment Plans (2010)
- Formal Training on Wounded Warrior Abuse-Neglect Awareness and Prevention for Designated Caregivers (2010)
(AFAP Issue #665: Formal Standardized Training for Designated Caregivers of Wounded Warriors) link on Army OneSource not yet active
- Limited Access to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Care for Veterans Living in United States Territories (2010)
- Mandatory Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Training for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare Staff (2010)
- Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability to Dependents for all Medically Retired Servicemembers (2010)
- Transfer Option from Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL) to Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL) for Wounded Warriors (2010)
Closed issues have either been resolved as complete or considered unattainable. For most unattainable issues, the Army and VA made progress toward resolution but found the recommendations associated with the issue to be unfeasible for reasons such as cost constraints, lack of sister-service support, federal law, etc.
The amount of time necessary for resolution varies from issue to issue. Some issues can be addressed quickly within Army programs, but others require coordination with the Department of Defense, other military services, or other federal agencies. Others require change in Army regulation or federal law, which can take some time. These issues remain "open" until every possible avenue has been explored, ensuring that the Army will continue to devote time and resources to the resolution of each open issue.
The issues below have been closed:
- Case Managers for Wounded Soldiers (2006)
Result: Complete. Both Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) and VA Medical Centers have increased the numbers of and training for Case Managers to provide adequate assistance for wounded warriors. In addition, the newly established Federal Recovery Coordinators provide oversight from the Department of Defense.
- Casualty Notification Process (2006)
Result: Complete. The casualty notification process has been addressed, and no similar issues have been submitted since this issue was prioritized at the 2006 AW2 Symposium.
- Identification and Active Management of AW2 Soldiers (2006)
Result: Complete. Medical Specialists are actively engaged with the identification of Soldiers who may qualify for AW2 support. AW2 now has more than 160 AW2 Advocates in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and Europe. AW2 coordinated with other Army agencies to develop an automated system to track, address, and document issues facing individual Soldiers.
- Inadequate Training of Medical (Med) Hold/Med Holdover Leadership (2006)
Result: Complete. Medical Hold/Medical Holdover units were transitioned to Warrior Transition Units/Community Based Warrior Transition Units. WTUs/CBWTUs have assigned Cadre and standard operating procedures that focus on the WTU's mission to support Soldiers as they heal and transition. Orientation programs were established for new WTU commanders and cadre, and the Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) has increased behavioral health training for social workers, WTU nurse case managers, and psychiatric nurse practitioners.
- Increased Special Adaptive Housing Grant at Military Treatment Facilities (2006)
Result: Unattainable. The original recommendation requested that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and TRICARE fund 100% if the cost of creating an accessible and safe home. While this was not achieved, the VA Special Adapted Housing Grant increased to $60,000 and was changed to allow eligible Veterans lifelong access to the grant and to allow them to use it up to three times within the financial limits set by law. In addition, the VA established the Temporary Residence Housing Grant to provide for modifications of homes temporarily lived in by eligible Veterans, such as a Family member's home.
- Living Wills and Powers of Attorney (POA) (AFAP Issue) (2006)
AFAP Issue #598: Education Regarding Living Wills and Powers of Attorney (POA) Result: Complete. The Legal Assistance Policy Division developed an Annual Legal Readiness Checkup, including a component that educates Soldiers on the importance of wills, Powers of Attorney, and Healthcare Powers of Attorney.
- Medical Hold System Case Management (2006)
Result: Complete. The Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) established WTUs that include a primary care manager, nurse case manager, and squad leader for each Wounded, ill, and injured Soldier. This has effectively improved case manager to Soldier ratios and provided a dedicated, trained structure.
- Monetary Compensation and Retroactive Eligibility for Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) (2006)
AFAP Issue #604 (Unattainable)
Result: Closed: Unattainable. This issue was deemed unattainable due to lack of support from other military services and Congress.
- On-Site Rehabilitation Services for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Patients While Being Treated for Other Injuries (2006)
(AFAP Issue #610: TBI Rehab Program at Military Medical Centers of Excellence) Result: Complete. Comprehensive integrated TBI screening, identification, treatment, and rehabilitation services are in place at each Army Military Treatment Facility, proportionate to the TBI patient population. TBI programs are validated to ensure comprehensive, consistent programs focused on improving detection, documentation, evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, restoration, follow-up, Family support, education, and training for patients with TBIs, specifically mild TBIs.
- Standardization of Support Groups for Family Members of Wounded Soldiers (2006)
Result: Complete. The Army Medical Action Plan (AMAP), a precursor to WTC, established formal Family Support Groups at military treatment facilities (MTFs) and WTUs and provided a full-time Family Readiness Support Assistant at each location.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) / Visually Impaired Rehabilitation Treatment (2006)
Result: Complete. The Veterans Health Administration continues to expand treatment and service capabilities for these conditions.
- Transition from Military Healthcare to Veterans Affairs Healthcare (2006)
Result: Complete. Liaisons from the Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration are co-located with nurse case managers at WTUs to support the continuum of care and benefits. The Army developed formal mechanisms to electronically transmit medical and administrative documents to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA has placed Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) coordinators at all VA Polytrauma Centers to facilitate communication with the Department of Defense.
- Veterans Affairs Facility Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries (2006)
Result: Complete. The Veterans Health Administration is actively engaged in improving facilities and treatment protocols on these conditions.
- Accessibility to Specialty Care for Qualified Veterans (2007)
Result: This issue is being addressed through AFAP-level issues, including:
- AFAP Issue: #558: TRICARE Prime Travel Cost-Reimbursement for Specialty Referrals
- AFAP Issue #537: Availability of Network and Non-Network TRICARE Providers, Including Those in Remote Areas
- AFAP Issue #608: Timeliness of TRICARE Referral Authorizations
- Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) Transition Process for Medically Separating Soldiers (2007)
Result: Complete. ACAP counseling is now required for separation from the Army.
- AW2 Information Dissemination (2007)
AFAP Issue #624: Standardized Army Wounded Warrior Information Packet Result: Complete. AW2 developed and distributes a standardized AW2 information kit to AW2 Soldiers. The kit contains a resource book, program fact sheets, program fact sheets on a variety of topics, contact information card, and 12-minute AW2 video. Accountability is achieved via a signed memo, verifying receipt. This memo is uploaded into the Soldier's electronic case file.
- Benefit Package for Non-Dependent Primary Caregivers of Severely Wounded Soldiers (2007)
AFAP Issue #619: Medical Care Access for Non-Dependent Caregivers of Severely Wounded Soldiers
Result: Complete. The Defense Authorization Act of 2008 authorized medical care to Family members of recovering servicemembers who are not otherwise eligible for medical care at a military treatment facility, on a space-available basis.
- Civilian Provider Access to Military Medical Records (2007)
AFAP Issue #627: TRICARE Network Provider Access to Military Medical Record
Result: The Bidirectional Health Information Exchange is fully deployed. The Service Chief Medical Information Officers developed a Personalized Health Strategy, including a Patient Portal, which allows patients to interact with healthcare providers online. The Military Health System launched a Personal Health Record with plans to expand. The Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs approved the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record in March 2009 to build a seamless information system to improve care and services to transitioning Veterans.
- Combat Related Special Compensation (CRSC) for All Medical Retirees (2007)
Result: Complete. Before this issue, CRSC was unavailable to medical retirees with less than 20 years of service. Public Law 110-181, effective January 1, 2008, eliminated the 20-year requirement.
- Contact with Returning Reserve Component (RC) Soldiers During Ninety-Day Drill Exemptions (2007)
Result: Complete. The Post-Deployment Health Assessment (PDHA) and Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment (PDHRA), and Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program were expanded to all 50 states. The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program fulfills the requirement of establishing a national combat-Veteran reintegration program through its goal of preparing servicemembers and their Families for mobilization, sustaining Families during mobilization, and reintegrating Soldiers with their Families, communities, and employers upon redeployment.
- Career Opportunities for Wounded Warriors for Government Positions (2007)
(AFAP Issue #617: Federal Hiring Process for Wounded Warriors)
Result: Complete. A new priority placement category for wounded warriors was not supported, but other initiatives have improved the federal hiring of wounded warriors. VA integrated its Veteran Resume Inventory (VetSuccess.gov ) with the Army recruitment process. The Army Civilian Human Resources Agency (CHRA) developed a wounded warrior webpage on Civilian Personnel Online , a wounded warrior referral process, and a web-based resume inventory for wounded warrior and spouses. These processes were integrated into New Supervisors' training. Many HR specialists were designated as Veteran Employment Coordinators.
- Regional Workshops/Symposia for Veterans and Family Members (2007)
Result: Unattainable. The Department of Veterans Affairs is not resourced to provide regional workshops on a quarterly basis
- Reimbursement of Veterans Affairs (VA) Travel Expenses and Accommodations (2007)
Result: Complete. Travel reimbursement rates were addressed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA established policy that increased the Beneficiary Travel Program mileage reimbursement rate.
- Understandable and Useful Information for Assistance Services at Military Treatment Facilities (2007)
Result: Complete. Escorts now meet Families at airports and bring them to the military treatment facilities, and Soldier Family Assistance Centers (SFACs) were established to provide administrate and financial assistance. The Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) provided trained Ombudsmen at WTUs to identify and assist in the resolution of problems at the earliest opportunity.
- Local Community Support of Wounded Warriors (2008)
(AFAP Issue #632: Community Support of Severely Wounded, Injured and Ill Soldiers and Their Families)
Result: Complete. AW2 implemented the AW2 Community Support Network to connect AW2 Soldiers, Veterans, and Families with caring organizations in their local communities. AW2 hosted quarterly conference calls with Community Support Network to discuss specific injuries and common challenges facing wounded warriors.
- Non-Dependent Caregivers Eligibility for Support Services (2008)
(AFAP Issue #630: Availability of Standardized Respite Care for Wounded Warrior Caregivers) Result: Complete. Servicemembers who incur a serious injury or illness on active duty are now authorized respite care per the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Respite services may be provided by a TRICARE-authorized home health agency. The VA expanded respite services to include care in VA Community Living Centers, community nursing homes, and non-VA/non-institutional settings, such as adult day health care and in-home respite services. AW2 Advocates, case managers, and counselors inform wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers and caregivers of respite services.
- Treatment of Continuation on Active Duty (COAD)/Continuation on Active Reserve (COAR) Soldiers by the Physical Evaluation Board (PEB) (2008)
Result:(Closed-Complete) PDES Boards do not consider the COAD/COAR election in determining the fitness of a Soldier nor do they include it in the disability computation.
- Eligibility Criteria for Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) (2008)
Result:(Closed-Complete) More stringent WTU eligibility criteria was put in place in 2009. The WTU population has decreased from 12,000 to approximately 10,000 as a result. On average there are 8,000 Soldiers in WTUs and 2,000 Soldiers in CBWTUs The WTU eligibility criteria has been re-evaluated.
- Mental Health Treatment and Confidentiality
Result: (Closed-Unattainable) Due to space restrictions and the concern about patient confidentiality, it is not feasible to re-locate mental health services into the confines of the MTF at all installations. Precautions are taken to protect the PII and identity of individuals seeking mental health services.
- Process to Address Patient Feedback System in All VA Treatment Facilities (2009)
Result: Complete. The Veterans Health Administration is actively engaged in patient feedback mechanisms to improve services and processes in its facilities.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) Education for AW2 Advocates (2009)
Result: Complete. AW2 conducted a survey of all AW2 Advocates to determine the Veterans Affairs topics where the staff required the most training. Quarterly training sessions were conducted throughout 2009 and 2010 on these topics, and several sessions were added to AW2 Annual Training. Additional VA content was also added to the New Hire training curriculum.
- Servicemembers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Separated under Psychological/Behavioral Disorders Chapters (2009)
Result:(Closed-Complete) ALARACT(s) 036/2009, dtd 11 Feb 2009 & 298/2009, dtd 21 Oct 2009 Requires that separations on the basis of personality disorders for Soldiers who have served or are currently serving in imminent danger pay areas mush meet additional criteria. The Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG) issued policies in August 2007 and May 2008 requiring higher level review of recommendations for administrative separations for PTSD, and screening for PTSD and TBI for these and other administrative separations. In August 2008, DoDI 1332.14 mandated similar requirements across the DoD, including the requirement that the diagnosis of PTSD for Service members who have served or are serving in imminent danger pay areas must be endorsed by the Military Department's Surgeon General.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Education for All Department of Defense (DoD) Healthcare Personnel (2009)
Result: (Closed-Complete) TBI 201 Training for Healthcare Personnel was published on January 4, 2010 and has been implemented. The training is mandatory and must be completed by April 30, 2010. The training includes both pre and post tests and also had interactive pieces. It is intended as a one-time training and is not required to be repeated every year.
- Community Support Coordinators in Geographically Dispersed Areas (2009)
Result: (Closed-Complete) Related to completed AFAP Issue 632 Community Support of Severely Wounded, Injured and Ill Soldiers and Their Families and Issue 562 Army Integrated Family Support Network. AFAP 632 was closed complete at the January 2011 AFAP GOSC. The web-based Community Support Network has approximately 180 organizations, located throughout CONUS, who provide services and support to Wounded Warriors. The web-based National Resource Directory, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) program are resources available to Wounded Warriors and their families to help them identify support and services in their local areas. Military One Source has 50 Community Support Coordinators across the United States. Their role is to work with the local communities to help them determine how they can assist returning Wounded Warriors. While they do not work directly with Wounded Warriors and their families, they are a resource for those helping Wounded Warriors, such as AW2 Advocates and Federal Recovery Care Coordinators.