Former US Army soldiers to join fight against Covid-19

13 April 2020 (Last Updated April 13th, 2020 15:24)

Around 25,000 former soldiers have volunteered to join the battle against coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic, after the US Army reached out to retired soldiers.

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Former US Army soldiers to join fight against Covid-19
To contain the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic, 25,000 retired, gray-area and Individual Ready Reserve soldiers have volunteered to rejoin the US Army. Credit: VIRIN: 200406-Z-AO733-0031/ US Department of Defense.

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Around 25,000 former soldiers have volunteered to join the battle against coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic, after the US Army reached out to retired soldiers.

To reduce the increasing gap between the available and required health care workers, the US Army called for about 800,000 retired, gray-area and Individual Ready Reserve soldiers to rejoin the Army.

Following the screening of the volunteered Army personnel, qualified individuals will be eligible to provide additional capabilities to support the response team.

US Army Human Resources Command (HRC) deputy commanding general Twanda Young said: “This effort seems very simplistic — soldiers volunteer and we just bring them back on active duty — but it requires a specialized team of professionals knowledgeable in reserve policy, which the reserve personnel management directorate provides.

“We understand the urgency, thus, we are working multiple shifts to sift through screening volunteers to get them at the point of need.”

Soldiers licensed in medical fields are required on priority, but all soldiers are encouraged to join the battle. However, the veterans will not be mobilised in medical jobs.

Young added: “If individuals are already serving in their local communities, we are proud of their service, and want them to continue serving in those communities, as this effort is not to detract from current community support, but to enhance it.”

Potential volunteers may include medical students, retired doctors or former soldiers not involved in the medical community.

Currently, medical military occupational specialties are critically needed. They include critical care nurses, anaesthesiologists, nurse anaesthetists, critical care nurses, nurse practitioners, emergency room nurses and respiratory specialists.

Once volunteer requests have been received, the HRC will validate initial requests and sort them by specialty. The duration of the orders remains open-ended.

The US Army aims to get as many soldiers as quickly as possible and sort them according to their skills, expertise and knowledge.