The U.S. military underwent substantial changes after the end of the Cold War, resulting in a smaller, more flexible, lighter-equipped and more lethal military force with new health care needs. To meet and adapt to these changes, the Department of Defense developed an innovative health care strategy to protect the health of its soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. This strategy, called Force Health Protection (FHP), uses preventive health techniques and emerging technologies in environmental surveillance and combat medicine to protect all service members before, during and after deployment. FHP is designed to improve the health of service members, prepare them for deployment, prevent casualties and promptly treat injuries or illnesses that do occur.
The overarching goal of FHP is casualty prevention, achieved through a physically and mentally fit force trained for modern combat and supported by mobile, technologically advanced medical teams. FHP has re-engineered the military's approach to combat medicine -- expanding beyond acute care services and toward proactive, preventive services that improve the health of service members and identify and address medical threats before casualties can occur. Three interrelated pillars support the goal of FHP:
Proactive and preventive medicine drives the FHP strategy. TRICARE, the military's health care program, plays a large part in the successful implementation of FHP.
FHP will succeed in maintaining a healthy and fit force and preventing casualties through the cooperative efforts of the following participants:
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