(2) Trash and garbage constitute a constant problem to military troops in the
field. In order to maintain sanitary and liveable campsites, free of rats and other
disease vectors, a unit must exercise extreme care over the proper disposal of refuse.
(3) One of the most important aspects of unit-level preventive medicine is
the proper construction and maintenance of facilities for the sanitary disposal of human
b. Food Service Sanitation. Food service operations in the field, like water
supply, are very critical from the standpoint of prevention of intestinal diseases as well
as from a morale standpoint. The old expression, "An army travels on its stomach," is
more fact than fiction. Any letdown in standards of food service sanitation can result in
widespread intestinal disorders and can practically immobilize a unit.
c. Personal Protective Measures. Whereas the commander is responsible for
the health and welfare of his troops, he must have the support and cooperation of
everyone in the unit to achieve and maintain a state of good health in his command.
The field sanitation team can aid by constructing handwashing facilities, field showers,
and other sanitary devices, but these aids are of value only if the men use them. Many
diseases encountered in the field are the direct result of an individual's failure to take
proper personal protective measures. These personal protective measures include:
(1) Using insect repellent, rolling down sleeves at night, and using the
mosquito net while sleeping.
Use of field sanitary devices for human waste disposal.
(3) Taking the anti-malarial pill regularly. Although this appears to be a
simple precaution, experience has shown that administering the pill by roster and
observing the soldier swallow it is the only reliable system of prophylaxis.
(4) Bathing as frequently as possible, changing socks and underwear as
frequently as practicable, and giving immediate attention to apparently insignificant
wounds and infections.
Proper cleaning of the messkit.
Use of individual water purification tablets.
d. Immunizations. The unit commander is responsible for ensuring that each
individual in his unit receives the required immunizations. He is assisted by the unit
personnel officer, who is the custodian of the health records and who is required by
Army regulations to screen the records periodically and notify the commander of those
individuals requiring immunizations. However, this requirement does not relieve the
commander of the responsibility for conducting periodic checks of individual
immunization records (PHS Form 731, International Certificate of Vaccination) and