As brain injuries in the NFL gain more attention, the brains of service members are under more scrutiny.
That scrutiny led to the discovery that shoulder mounted heavy weapons may be causing head trauma to troops during training.
“What we now know after doing a lot of research and based on a lot of science is some service members suffer from short term cognitive deficits from heavy weapons usage shot during training exercises,” said Lauren Fish, a research associate at the Center for a New American Security. “While these symptoms dissipate after about 96 hours, we don’t yet know the long term effects.”
The potential for brain injury from frequently used weapons like Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles is making the Defense Department rethink how it protects the brains of its troops.
There is currently no requirement to protect troops’ from blast waves even though primary blast pressure waves are mechanisms for brain injury.
CNAS made a number of recommendations on how DoD can protect troops’ heads during training.
One suggestion is to create a log of blasts troops are exposed to in order to track pressure to the brain.
The log would give troops something to show the Veterans Affairs Agency when they leave the military to prove any health issues caused by the blasts.
Listen to the Interview and More from Federal News Radio
More from CNAS
ReportsWhen the Chips Are Down
Introduction The United States is in a strategic competition with a well-resourced and capable opponent. China seeks a global role that is broadly at odds with the strategic i...
By Becca Wasser, Martijn Rasser & Hannah Kelley
PodcastThe Potential of RPA in Government; Future of FITARA; U.S. Military Posture in the Indo-Pacific
Stacie Pettyjohn, senior fellow and director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, explains what the U.S. military can do to build a resilient post...
By Stacie Pettyjohn
VideoUnited States Military Strategy Should Better Match Interests, Says Defense Research Expert
Becca Wasser discusses how U.S. military strategy has been linked to outdated priorities and should better reflect the country’s interests, including protection of the homelan...
By Becca Wasser
CommentarySpiking the Problem: Developing a Resilient Posture in the Indo-Pacific With Passive Defenses
This article originally appeared in War on the Rocks....
By Stacie Pettyjohn