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Office of the Special Assistant for Military Deployments Office of the Special Assistant for Military Deployments About Us Current Deployments Medical Readiness Past Deployments Contact Us News Current Issues Lessons Learned FAQs Search

Depleted Uranium
Lessons Learned Links
Non-Traditional Threats
Capabilities & Limitations


A major shortcoming was inadequate communication between DoD leadership and deployed personnel concerning health risks. Many veterans had unanswered health-related questions about smoke from oil well fires, battlefield exposures to depleted uranium, unexplained vaccines and medications, alarms sounding from nearby chemical detectors, Scud missiles impacting or flying close overhead, and incomplete medical records. When Gulf War veterans reported symptoms and illnesses after their return, DoD did not provide an adequate or thorough explanation. Faith in the government's commitment to safeguarding servicemembers' and veterans' health and providing responsive care became seriously eroded. Since none of these shortcomings were unique to the Gulf War, it became apparent to this office that DoD needed to make a sustained effort to concentrate on veterans’ health issues resulting from its numerous deployments. To this end, Deputy Secretary of Defense Rudy deLeon broadened the scope of the Gulf War illnesses office to include medical readiness and military deployments by creating a permanent Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Gulf War Illnesses, Medical Readiness and Military Deployments.(OSA). DoD will continue to be concerned with Gulf War veterans’ illnesses, past, present or future.