In 2004, Army Secretary Les Brownlee directed the establishment of the Disabled Soldier Support System (DS3), later renamed the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), to provide advocacy in response to the needs of the most severely wounded, injured, or ill Soldiers as a result of wounds, injuries, or illness incurred since September, 11 2001 and to reaffirm the Army’s commitment to “never leave a fallen comrade.”
Congressionally mandated through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2008, and part of the Army Warrior Care and Transition Program, AW2 is the U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for all wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, veterans, and their families, wherever they are located.
To date the WCT’s AW2 program has resolved more than 78,000 issues for more than 30,000 Soldiers, veterans and their families in areas such as finance, employment, awards, education, continuation on duty, veterans’ benefits and health care.
WCT’s AW2 program has also provided dedicated support to its Soldiers and veterans on Team Army at the Warrior Games. Seven AW2 Symposiums have resulted in significant changes to policies, regulations and legislation, to include:
Currently the program is a vital part of the Army's Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) under the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM). Through the combined efforts of the Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and AW2, the WCTP provides personalized support to more than 16,000 Soldiers and veterans throughout the recovery and transition process.
Building on their breadth of experience in supporting the most severely wounded, ill and injured, WCT’s AW2 program provides services to all recovering Soldiers assigned or attached to a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). The program’s expertise has impacted almost every aspect of the recovering Soldier’s experience, from the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) and career and employment readiness to adaptive reconditioning and linkage with federal, state and community support resources and benefits.
Upon entry to the WTU, each Soldier is assigned an AW2 Recovery Care Coordinator (RCC), who fulfills the DoD requirements of the RCC and the Lead Coordinator (LC), with primary oversight for implementation of the Soldier's
CTP and helps guide the Soldier throughout the recovery and transition
AW2 RCCs are integrated into the WTU’s interdisciplinary team of medical and non-medical professionals where they help facilitate the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) goals, as well as educate the Soldier on available benefits and resources, ensures continuity of care as the Soldier recovers and rehabilitates, and transfers the responsibility to the Veterans Affairs LC for post transition support and services.
For those Soldiers that meet AW2 eligibility, once the Soldier transitions from the WTU, they are transferred from an AW2 RCC to a regional AW2 Advocate closest to their community who specializes in managing veterans until a point where they are fully transitioned to the Department of Veterans Affairs and other federal, state and local agencies for enduring support at which time they become part of the AW2 Alumni Program (AWAP). There are currently more than 12,000 AW2 alumni.
Did You Know?
WCT is committed to providing relevant information on topics important to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, Families and the professionals who support them. Our Did You Know? series offers a detailed snap shot at specific elements of the Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP).
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