Someone said #supportthetroops?
On the brink of a political season stuffed with humorous innuendo about the American candidate and the union state, we finally have some powerful individuals fighting for our armies and their small armies. Talk a couple of warrior salute! Secretary of Defense and Troop Support Advocate, Ashton B. Carter sought approval through the Pentagon to devise a revolutionary action plan that appealed to the masses to enlist and retain a generation of young recruits and they’re pleased with: sperm and egg freezing.
The United States military is currently making major headlines since the latest news about women being allowed to fight – now it is just as big! Our current military service is sorely missing in family-friendly initiatives that cater to lots of discord and fear amongst troops of varied branches. The Department of Defense wants to shift its focus to longer maternity leave, better child care and the creation of lactation rooms in military amenities, in addition to sperm and egg freezing. Despite the delays, setting up a pilot program that offers to pay our armed forces to preserve their reproductive cells is the ultimate goal.
By design, we will give men and ladies in uniform the complete peace of mind of securing their future with the potential to still have kids. Even if they were injured in battle or suffered other adverse circumstances, there would be options and advanced technology available to them. Prior to this punishment, numerous veterans who had suffered injuries to their reproductive organs in war had lost their opportunity to reproduce. Many people have lobbied for fertility replacement packages or for the Department of Defense to pay for these therapies up front. This program is meant to serve our soldiers as they’ve served us.
Specifically encouraging women’s combat, the program directly serves women pursuing militia careers during their 20s and 30s – the brief window of peak years when many go into childbirth or after motherhood. Freezing eggs provides the flexibleness to remain active and/or while they’re stationed abroad. Standardly speaking, since after a decade women tend to drop to 30 percent lower retention rates than their male counterparts, this reduces an enormous hurdle that captivates more individuals. “Even though fertility peaks between the ages of 25-30, women can access these services at a time that is convenient for them. Personally or professionally,” says fertility expert Dr. Peter Clatsky.
As one of the world’s largest firms, the Pentagon is leading this proposal with valuable resources to make sure its success. Although, high-tech companies like Facebook and Apple have confirmed their acceptance of “egg insurance” (which may cost up to $10,000), as they’ve a powerful need to hire more female candidates for employment. However, even with such apparently positive intentions to improve reproductive strategies and fertility issues, Department of Defense officials still must navigate the legal and ethical questions that are raised. After all, the practice of freezing eggs and sperm is not like cooking a frozen dinner in a microwave. Complications and ineffective results may still arise. The procedure is still progressive and developing. It is extremely important to educate our service members with the right information that provides realistic expectations. In particular, treatment may require several attempts and is quite expensive. The board needs to assess the value measure of fertility coverage vs. impact on recruitment and retention. The Pentagon estimates that the program could total about $150 million over a five year span. Ideally, it would be extended through Tricare, a reasonable military health care plan.
The outlined memo is being drafted on the subject for review in the coming weeks, applicable to active duty participants, and re-evaluated in two years, until a final decision is made permanent. Because Millennials’ cultural influence places more emphasis on work-life balance than previous generations, this program’s obligations may only have the power to keep our military intact and build stronger family environments.