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After downsizing health care for years, Pentagon says medical readiness was a casualty

Todd Rasmussen, a former Air Force surgeon, recounts his military career that took an unexpected turn after the events of September 11, 2001. He shifted to trauma surgery due to the high casualty rates, witnessing both the challenges and innovations in military medical care during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Click here for article.

  • Rasmussen's military career changed dramatically post-9/11, leading him to focus on trauma surgery as casualty numbers rose.

  • Innovations in battlefield medical care, such as treating wounds within the "golden hour," led to significant reductions in casualty rates.

  • However, after a decade of downsizing, the U.S. military health care system is in need of a course correction to rebuild medical readiness and the general health of active-duty troops.

  • The Pentagon now acknowledges the need to reverse outsourcing and bring more medical care back to military hospitals to ensure readiness for future conflicts, which may differ from past wars where the golden hour was achievable due to air superiority.

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