Soldier Recovery Units across the country held ceremonies to mark a major milestone in the Army Recovery Care Program restructure: reflagging. ARCP transitions wounded, ill and injured Soldiers back to the force or to veteran status. In November of 2019, it began restructuring to focus on its central mission of complex case management for service members. The ceremonies signal that the effort is not only underway, but on track to be completed in autumn.
“Our Soldiers have been and continue to be our primary focus,” said Col. Curtis Douglass, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Army Recovery Care Program, U.S. Army Medical Command. “Every day, they approach their recoveries with bold determination, and we are committed to doing the same as we provide them with the vital support and resources needed to truly overcome.”
Reflagging ceremonies started showing up on calendars in the spring and continued into the summer. Some units shared their celebrations via social media with those who could not attend in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This historic moment was captured below from the perspectives of those who serve our recovering Soldiers.
During Fort Belvoir SRU’s ceremony on May 28, Capt. Brandon Larson, former Commander for Alpha Company, shared a message about change.
“As we move into a historical moment in our unit’s history, the word that always comes up is change,” Larson said. “I challenge you to be open to change and always remember our mission and our commitment to care for our Soldiers comes first.”
The Fort Drum SRU held their ceremony on June 16. Col. Rob Heath, Commander for Fort Drum Medical Activity, spoke about it in a statement.
“We recognize warrior care as an enduring mission, one that must continue to improve our care for our wounded warriors as missions change,” he said. “This redesignation and restructure will give our medical professionals the added tools they need to safeguard the humanity, confidence and respect of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers while simplifying and streamlining procedures, removing barriers and tailoring services to fit the unique needs of every Soldier.”
The Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston SRU reflagging ceremony was held on June 23. During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Andrea Castillon, Commander for the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston SRU, spoke about the mission.
“Although the WTB [Warrior Transition Battalion] has been deactivated, make no mistake, our mission carries on,” she said. “As we unfurl the colors of the Soldier Recovery Unit, we collectively agree to uphold the non-negotiable obligation to provide outstanding health care and transition services to our Soldiers.”
Lt. Col. Steven Robins, Commander for the Fort Bragg SRU, spoke about the reflagging during a ceremony on June 26.
“This formation, as of a few minutes ago, now designated the Soldier Recovery Unit for Fort Bragg, of civilian employees and military cadre are entirely focused every single day on one thing: aiding Soldiers who are wounded, ill or injured, fighting through the complicated and sometimes exceedingly arduous journey of healing and transitioning either back to duty or into the civilian world,” he said.
The Fort Campbell SRU held their reflagging ceremony on July 10. Brig. Gen. Clair Gill, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Deputy Commanding General for Support, spoke about it in a statement.
“We transitioned from the WTB to the Soldier Recovery Unit, so the name changes but the mission remains the same and our command team remains the same,” he said. “Lt. Col. Holt and Command Sgt. Maj. Rivera are going to continue to lead this organization through taking care of our Soldiers, making sure that they get the services they need.”
On August 28, the Soldier Recovery Brigade National Capital Region held a reflagging ceremony. Col. Jason Hallock, Commander for the Soldier Recovery Unit-National Capital Region, spoke to attendees about the transition.
“Yet, throughout this transformation and change there has remained one constant, and that constant is commitment,” he said. “Your unwavering commitment to our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their families.”
During the ceremony, Col. Jean Barido, Deputy Commanding Officer for Regional Health Command Atlantic, spoke directly to Soldiers in transition.
“To the Soldiers in transition of the new Soldier Recovery Unit here: keep fighting,” she said. “Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever stop striving to achieve your best possible recovery. Your Triad of Care is here to support today and always.”
The restructure not only rebranded the Warrior Care and Transition Program as ARCP, but also renamed WTBs to SRUs. The program will reach full operational capability in October.
ARCP supports Soldiers via 14 SRUs at locations throughout the nation. To date, 81,246 Soldiers have completed the program.
The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army’s wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.