When you think of the injury risks that soldiers face, you often think of men and women on the front lines, contending with enemy fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). But the reality is that, while these things are a risk, many soldiers simply get injured on the job like workers in any other profession. They get hurt while training, while still in the United States, and while practicing or preparing for combat operations.
The top threat to readiness
One doctor said in an interview in Business Insider that “injuries are the number-one medical threat to readiness.” He went on to add that “training and vigorous operations” cause most of these injuries, and that many are musculoskeletal in nature. Overuse injuries were common, and running to stay in shape was one of the biggest contributors.
It’s not just exercise that leads to injury, though. Soldiers also get hurt while doing equipment maintenance and other work-related tasks. In many ways, being in the military is much the same as working in construction or on a road crew. Soldiers have to use power tools and heavy equipment on a regular basis. They have to lift heavy items and put in a significant physical effort. These are the types of things that, necessary or otherwise, increase the odds of getting injured. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, can be life-altering.
Have you missed work due to your injuries?
In 2019, reports found that soldiers missed more than 4 million days of work due to their injuries. And that was just for the first half of the year. If you have been injured on the job, especially if that injury has led to a disability that will keep you from pursuing your chosen career, you absolutely need to know about the legal options you have.