Army Secretary John M. McHugh said in a statement that the Army will work to place behavioral health experts "at the command and installation levels to provide better consultation, guidance, coordination and recommendations to improve behavioral health care for our soldiers."
The task force found that of the soldiers surveyed, 37 percent had never received any information about the Army's disability evaluation system or had to seek the information out on their own. It also said it was confusing and inefficient for troops to navigate the vastly different disability systems maintained by the Army and the Veterans Administration.
The Army and VA plan to have a joint disability system, by which health care providers in either organization will have access to records, by 2017.
"Some changes can be made immediately," McHugh said. "Others will require more time and coordination. Importantly, this report reviewed our systems holistically — recommending not only short-term solutions, but longer term, systemic changes that will make care and treatment of our soldiers and family members more effective."
Associated Press writer Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.
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