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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

PTSD a Priority to New Marine Sergeant Major

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Camp Pendleton's Carlton W. Kent is the service's new sergeant major. He will serve as the point man for the Corps' commandant, Gen. James T. Conway, on everything from wartime deployments to health concerns for the enlisted. “My main focus is on the Marines and sailors in combat,” Kent, 49, said yesterday. He was chosen Friday for his new job.

Kent wants to maintain strong leadership for the enlisted ranks as the Corps aims to grow by about 5,000 Marines per year. He also cited a need to fully diagnose and treat service members' mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder. “Some of these young Marines are seeing things that some people don't see in their whole lifetimes,” he said. “I know that PTSD is a priority . . . This issue of PTSD is personal to me, very personal because I have friends who have it.”

Sergeant major is the highest rank achievable by an enlisted service member.

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