Troops May Be Suffering Major Head Injuries Before They Even See Combat

Martial Arts Marine

Photo: Pete Thibodeau via US Marine Corps

A recent study conducted in Fort Hood on just less than 2000 soldiers concludes that initial mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) might effect troops in training prior to ever heading to combat.National Public Radio reports that “combatives” classes, hand-to-hand combat training in other words, could be causing an initial, undetected concussion in patients, which generally leads to more damaging concussions in combat. The report is not conclusive, researchers note, because the number of soldiers sampled is not large enough for a truly representative figure.

Nonetheless, researchers found that about 6 per cent of the sample reported mTBI symptoms during the conduct of combatives classes. This percentage becomes startling when applied to the more than 100,000 troops who participated in combative training last year.

Commanders and policy makers are concerned that, like quarterbacks in football, these slight initial mTBIs in training will set up troops for major problems once they hit the battlefield.

The solution to the problem doesn’t lie in the training though — after all, troops have to train for combat — but possibly in alterations to protective equipment.

Now: See what it takes to fire a gun on a US Destroyer >

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