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
CommentaryPresentation is key: Why the Pentagon’s budget data needs a makeover
As technology advances, Congress and the DoD need to not only focus investments on capabilities, but also on DoD processes and organizational culture....
By Jennie Matuschak
PodcastHow Air Warfare is Changing
Guests Stacie Pettyjohn and Becca Wasser join Defense One Radio to describe lessons from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Gaza, and more in the future of air warfare. Listen to the full con...
By Stacie Pettyjohn & Becca Wasser
CommentaryConfronting Chaos: a New Concept for Information Advantage
The side that can deal with chaos and operate more effectively with degraded systems will likely seize the initiative....
By Chris Dougherty
PodcastMilitary and memories
Although a military conflict between China and Australia is highly unlikely, if it did happen would we be prepared? Thomas Shugart speaks to the Australian Broadcasting Compan...
By Tom Shugart