The RAND Corporation recently published a groundbreaking report, Hidden Heroes America's Military Caregivers, which depicts the immense scope of military caregiver work in the United States as well as detailing the shortfalls of current veteran’s care policies and programs. The study distinguishes between healthcare providers and military caregivers, with the latter group assisting with activities related to daily living, rather than diagnosing or prescribing treatment. RAND estimates that 5.5 million military care givers support at least 3.8 million disabled veterans nationwide with roughly 20% of military caregivers assisting post-9/11 veterans. This article will provide a summary of the report’s key findings with respect to military caregivers and the efficacy military caregiver related of Government programs.
RAND Report on Military Caregivers
DoD Struggles with R&D
Department of Defense officials have been increasingly concerned with the deteriorating state of the US military’s technological superiority as a result of low cost disruptive technologies.
The proliferation of low cost, disruptive technologies coincides with a dramatic decrease in publicly funded defense Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) spending from the DoD: the FY 2014 budget allocated just $63 billion to RDT&E, compared to the nearly $80 billion allocated in FY 2009. Additionally, US private sector RDT&E defense spending has fallen dramatically in terms of percentage, as well, with the largest US Defense contractors reinvesting only 1-2% of sales back into R&D. In response, senior DoD leadership has developed new initiatives to foster innovation and maximize reduced budgets through new technological offset strategies, cost sharing between close US allies, and acquisition reforms.
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