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Gen. Dempsey Discusses Military Action in the Ebola Crisis

By General Martin E. Dempsey

As you know, our nation has called upon our military to help contain the Ebola virus in West Africa.  In answering that call, we’re doing what we do best—leveraging our unique capabilities to support the international and the U.S. effort in response to this crisis.  This mission is a national security priority.

While our mission in West Africa will not include direct patient care, the safety and health of the men and women of our Joint Force – and our families – remains of the utmost importance to me and the Joint Chiefs. 

We’re making sure the men and women who deploy are provided with the right training and the proper protective equipment.   We have ensured the highest medical and safety protocols are in place before, during, and after deployment.  During deployment, the chain of command will conduct daily temperature and symptoms checks.  Prior to bringing them home, we will conduct controlled assessments based on the degree to which they’ve been exposed and risk.  We will also ensure daily monitoring by leadership for 21 days upon return to quickly identify any signs of illness. And we continue to assess any possible precautions.

Our training and equipment is the best in the world.  And our leadership and our discipline will ensure that we accomplish our mission effectively and safely.  While we have every interest in keeping this terrible disease an away game, domestically, we will also have a team of medical experts on standby to assist our civilian professionals if they’re needed.

I thank you for what you do every day – with professionalism and with courage – on behalf of our nation.  I’m proud to serve with you.