USSOCOM’s Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition) may have changed their name but what remains the same is that it still provides service to special operations forces wounded, ill or injured Service members and their families.
The program was implemented to assist the wounded members of the command in the recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration as quickly as possible, thus improving USSOCOM readiness. In the event of a more serious injury, the program will assist the wounded warrior with the medical and career transition to civilian life.
Founded in 2005 with the charter to advocate for SOF and their families after life changing events, the organizations primary focus has always been on retention rather than transition. In fact, according to U.S. Army C ol. Cary Harbaugh, Warrior Care Program (Care Coalition) director, SOCOM’s retention rate after illness or injury is 73 percent, the services are at about 10 percent.
“We are the gold standard in Warrior Care. Unfortunately, we have a steady flow of ill and wounded. Today, SOF are in dangerous and hazardous environments and our training is high risk. So as we have a steady influx of ill and wounded and our focus is on returning them back to the force and we take all measures to do so,” said Harbaugh. “We view the medical evaluation board as the last step and we do everything we can to appropriately delay the board to ensure all treatments are tried. I think that is why we have such a high retention rate.”
“They made a promise to us when they joined, whatever service they joined, and then they made another promise to us when they came in as special operations and we’re making a promise to them, that we’re going to be with them for the rest of their lives if anything happens to them and we’re going to help take care of their families as well.” Former USSOCOM Commander U.S. Army Gen. Doug Brown at the founding of USSOCOM’s Care Coalition.
The Warrior Care Program works on a comprehensive recovery plan to include goals for the wounded members, services that will be required, such as education, employment, and housing. The program also provides adaptive sports programs and transitional assistance.
The USSOCOM Warrior Care Program is located in Tampa, Florida, but the recovery care coordinators and liaisons operate in multiple locations around the globe. These include major military treatment facilities and Department of Veterans Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation centers.
Any questions about the USSOCOM Warrior Care Program can be asked on their hotline number (877) 672-3039 or from the website: https://www.socom.mil/care-coalition/. With the many questions surrounding the waiting time for VA services in some locations, the knowledge that the command is looking to take care of their own has to be a big benefit and peace of mind for the families and the troops in the command
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Photo courtesy DOD