PEST MANAGEMENT DURING MILITARY OPERATIONS
a. History teaches that in past conflicts, more soldiers have been rendered non-
effective from disease and non-battle injury (DNBI) than from injury received as a direct
result of combat. Preventable cases of diseases transmitted by arthropods (malaria,
dengue, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and typhus) and diseases associated with poor
sanitation and personal hygiene (hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, and dysentery) have
occurred which greatly affected combat operations. At certain times, the occurrence of
preventable diseases and non-battle injuries has affected fighting forces to the extent of
rendering major units combat noneffective. This has happened during critical tactical
operations and has on occasion seriously jeopardized mission accomplishment.
b. The commander of a military organization is responsible for the health of his
command. In the fulfillment of this responsibility, he is assisted by a staff of trained
specialists. Using the technical advice and guidance of these individuals, he issues
orders and enforces measures which will most effectively maintain sanitation and
practices conducive to the health and well being of his troops. The maintenance of their
health, and consequently their fighting efficiency is one of his greatest responsibilities.
The commander must rely on the cooperation and assistance from everyone in his unit.
Now, we will discuss the responsibility of personnel in his command and others out of
his command in providing a healthful environment in the field situation. Detailed
guidelines are presented in AR 40-5, Preventive Medicine.
LEVELS OF RESPONSIBILITY
a. Individual. The individual is the key in the prevention of arthropod-borne
diseases. Although the commander is ultimately responsible for the health of his
command, the individual must assume certain tasks to ensure that this responsibility is
achieved. This can be achieved through:
(1) Personal hygiene. Daily use of plain soap and water reduces the risk of
louse, tick, and flea infestations and thereby helps control related diseases, such as
typhus, relapsing fever, and plague. Frequent changing and laundering of clothing will
further reduce the possibility of arthropod-borne disease outbreaks within troop
populations. Proper diet and physical exercise are essential factors in conditioning to
withstand the effects of various arthropod-borne diseases.
(2) Proper wearing of uniform. Proper wearing of the uniform, to include
sleeves rolled down and buttoned, trousers tucked inside boots, buttoning of collar, and
wearing a hat, will help prevent bites and/or envenomization by arthropods. Although
this method is not 100 percent effective, it will significantly reduce casualties due to