(2) Example. This is starkly illustrated by the situation existing in the
occupation of Lebanon by United States troops in 1958.
Preventive medicine units were phased in three weeks late.
No provision was made for the procurement of unskilled labor to help
control arthropod-borne diseases.
Insecticides accompanying the units were not satisfactory because of
the high degree of resistance to DDT insecticide that had developed in the local insect
Unit commanders neglected enforcement of the most elementary
principles of basic sanitation.
Hospital admissions because of diarrhea and dysentery reached the
astronomical level of 3,650 per 1,000 men per year.
(3) Meeting health responsibilities. If health responsibilities are to be met,
command must understand military medicine and the implications of disease and injury,
and Army Medical Department personnel must be acquainted with military theory and
practice. Mutual effort is fundamental if planning and operations are to be successful.
(4) Importance of the military mission. 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 personnel.
c. Formulate Preventive Medicine Measures with the Mission in Mind. 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.
When troops are training for or engaged in combat, however, health
measures that interfere with military activity more than the condition, which they are
designed to correct, are not feasible.
Large-scale disease control measures must be practicable, simple, and
capable of being performed in a short period.