People often talk about the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other serious injuries for members of the military as if that risk is the same for everyone who is in the service. However, while you could argue that many military jobs are inherently more dangerous than civilian jobs just because of where they take place, that doesn’t mean all is equal.
In an effort to understand the risks that soldiers face, studies have look at rates of head and sensory issues that troops suffer. Here, in order, are the roles with the greatest risks:
- Combat operations control
- Motor vehicle operator and artillery/gunnery
- Armor/amphibious and combat engineering
Those are the cumulative scores. The study also broke things down by head/brain injuries, vision issues, auditory issues and vestibular issues. The top ranking for vision was with military law enforcement officers, but infantry came in first in every other category — along with the cumulative ranking.
This shows that those who join the infantry are simply taking on far more risk than those in other occupations. The nature of the job can really put them in harm’s way, they may see active combat more often and there are large numbers of infantry soldiers in combat zones. As common as this role is within the modern military, it is also the one that has perhaps the greatest chance of having a lasting impact on a person’s life.
Part of that impact could be that a former soldier can no longer work and needs lasting medical assistance. Those who face these challenges need to understand their options when it comes to applying