b. Military medicine is an active part of the machinery of war. Unless military
medicine is thoroughly integrated into military plans and operations, unnecessary costs
in manpower and in time loss may be the price paid to meet objectives. This is starkly
illustrated by the situation existing in the occupation of Lebanon by US troops in 1958.
Preventive medicine units were phased in 3 weeks late; no provision was made for the
procurement of unskilled labor to help control arthropod-borne disease. Insecticides
accompanying the units were not satisfactory because of the high degree of resistance
to DDT insecticide that had developed in the local insect populations. Until
commanders neglected enforcement of the most elementary principles of basic
sanitation, the hospital admissions because of diarrhea and dysentery reached
astronomical level of 3,650 per 1,000 men per year.
c. If health responsibilities are to be met, command must understand military
medicine and the implication of disease and injury, and Army Medical Department
(AMMED) personnel must be acquainted with military theory and practice. Mutual effort
is fundamental if planning and operations are to be successful.
d. The commander employs the troops to fulfill his mission; however, he
requires troops in good health. His plans and decisions are based in part on information
he receives concerning the health of the command and on recommendations of AMEDD
e. The military mission of a command is all-important; all preventive medicine
measures for the command must be formulated with this in mind. (It is more reasonable
to prevent disease than to treat it, but when troops are training for or engaged in
combat, health measures which interfere with military activity more than the condition
which they are designed to correct are not feasible.) Mass scale disease control
measures must be practicable, simple, and capable of being performed in a short period
f. Within the military, there are two main types of preventive medicine. Garrison
preventive medicine involves activities similar to those of a local health department.
Field preventive medicine is unique to the military. It involves prevention of disease in
GARRISON PREVENTIVE MEDICINE
a. Just as cities, counties, and states have public health departments, military
installations have preventive medicine activities. One of these is to gather monthly
statistics concerning venereal disease incidence. These preventive medicine activities
have seven major program areas for which they are responsible:
Infectious disease control.