ICA Thanks Senate Armed Services Committee for Report Language in the National Defense Authorization Report of FY2022

By Beth Clay

October 14, 2022, Falls Church, VA, Today the ICA sent a letter thanking the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee for language in the National Defense Authorization Report of FY 2022 related to the commissioning of Doctors of Chiropractic in the military. Almost 30 years ago, in 1993, the ICA played a significant role in the passage of Section 505 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (Public Law 102-484) which authorized the military departments to appoint “chiropractors who are qualified under regulations” issued by the military departments as commissioned officers in the Army Medical Specialist Corps, Navy Medical Service Corps, or Air Force Biomedical Service Corps.

While the ICA reported last year finding an active duty military officer who is a doctor of chiropractic, his duties within the military were not related to delivering chiropractic care. There are over 1.4 milllion active duty military personnel and over 330 reserve military personnel relying on the military health system for care. That symstem, currently has less than 100 chiropractors delivering chiropractic care at military facilities. These doctors are not active duty military members. They are either hired as civilian employees or as contractors. The mission of the military health system also includes that they are to provide medical benefit commensurate with the service and sacrifice of more than 9.6 million active duty personnel, military retirees and their families.

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Jim Inhoff (R-OK) and members of the committee have now directed the Secretary of Defense to brief both the Senate and House Armed Services Committee by March 1, 2022 on their assessment of the feasibility of using the Department’s statutory authority to commission chiropractors as military officers. The Committee instructed the Secretary to include in the assessment the following:

  1. Any combatant commander requirements for chiropractors as part of operating or generating forces;
  2. The potential role of military chiropractors in deployed medical units;
  3. The conditions under which the Department would deem military chiropractors as a critical wartime medical
    specialty; and
  4. Any recommendations, as may be required, for the committees to clarify related authorities or adjust end-
    strength allowances for the commissioning of chiropractors as military officers.

ICA Executive Director, Beth Clay explained, “The Senate and House include requests such as this in the report that accompanies the appropriations bill, because there are strict limits on what will be included in the actual bill. The accompanying report provide the details. It is in these reports that legislators will offer official praise and consternation, and in this instance, instructions for actions to be taken which includes a report back to the Committee in a relatively short period of time (six months).” `

We have many supporters on Capitol Hill. We feel it is important to say thank you when they take action that will advance the profession. A link to our letter is provided below.

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