When one thinks of being a member of the armed forces, many things come to mind, service of country, camaraderie, and seeing the world are tops on the bright side. The darker side reflects concern over engaging in violence, breaking things and killing people and personal risk. Through all that such endeavors bring, the correction of military records is a personal and critical responsibility.

The number of events the department of defense is involved with throughout the world is surprising for those not immediately involved. In one fashion or another, nearly every crisis, natural disaster or political upheaval elicits military engagement. The men and women of the armed forces are thus thrust into dangerous areas whether or not there are hostilities.

A healthy individual is more resistant to disease and more easily adapts to changing environments. That is why the services mandate a high level of fitness, physical and mental. Keeping its members ready requires a consistent fitness program, training for combat skills, and medical assessment and preparation.

Physical training ensures one is prepared for the rigors of deployment, difficult schedules and battlefield deprivation. Athletes have a greater potential for injury than the average citizen due to repeated exposure, and so do soldiers. Regular runners risk sprained ankles, knee injuries and strained muscles, add in a backpack full of equipment and the risk increases.

Preparation for the battlefield means that soldiers must have experience in like conditions. Most casualties in any war occur at the beginning, with its members least experienced. Training exercises are necessarily rugged and as close to the battlefield experience as possible. Even absent live fire, there will always be some level of risk and injury to participating members,

No nation can predict where the next conflict stemming form a challenge to its nation interest will occur, and so service members must be able to deploy to any environment, from sea warfare to jungle combat. Each of these environments provide a unique risk to the fighting men and women, as well as differing foods, insects and diseases. The array of vaccinations and other preventive medicines must be leading edge science an is therefore constantly changing.

Those who engage in combat must also prepare for the horrors of warfare, including the maimed, tortured and killed, something the mind is never really ready for. Children and civilians used as combatants, the aftermath of chemical and biological agents used on innocents are all things military personnel see in war. The experiences have grave consequences for the soldiers which can last for the rest of their lives.

In order to ensure their experiences, good and bad, are preserved, the armed forces maintains careful data on every members service career and experiences. With such a large force, especially including retired veterans, the amount of data is enormous and unwieldy. Any system is vulnerable to errors in recording. Maintenance and storage, even state of the art digital ones, and so a process for correction of military records accessible to all veterans is vital for accuracy and fairness.

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