A new report shows the US Army struggled to get its troops, and even generals, ready to deploy

A star is shown on display during a flag officer promotion ceremony. In 2016, one in five Army generals could not deploy, a report showed. Staff Sgt. Michael Cossaboom/US Air Force
  • An official report obtained by USA Today shows that while the US Army struggled to improve troop readiness, one in five of its generals was unable to deploy.
  • The report was conducted in 2017 but was only recently released through a Freedom of Information Act request.
  • Most generals are now ready to deploy after fixing minor issues in their medical records like updating dental exams and blood tests, the report says.

The US Army sent 62 of its generals to an “executive health program” at a military hospital in Texas, where they spent three days undergoing medical examinations and receiving healthcare, according to a new report obtained by USA Today.

The program followed a military-wide sweep of the Army’s top brass and reportedly showed that only one in five of its generals was ready to deploy during 2016.

The report highlighted the Army’s struggle to get its troops ready to deploy, which has become one of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis’ top priorities. Conducted at the order of former Secretary Chuck Hagel, the report was completed in 2017 after Mattis had taken over.

The generals and admirals who lead the US military have also seen their reputation suffer after years of scandals, corruption and ethical lapses. An investigation, also by USA Today’s Tom Vanden Brook, found that military investigators documented 500 cases of serioius misconduct by admirals and generals over a four-year period.

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Only 83.5 per cent of Army soldiers were able to deploy, USA Today reported. Other service branches reported higher numbers around 90 per cent, the report showed.

But among Army generals, fewer than 80 per cent were ready to deploy.

The report suggests this may be due to administrative rather than health reasons; most generals became deployable after receiving updated blood tests and dental exams, according to USA Today. The report recommended that generals take time to complete required examinations and necessary treatment.