Within 365 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Defense shall conduct a rigorous study investigating toxic exposure by members of the Armed Forces deployed to the Karshi-Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan (Air Base), between October 1, 2001, and December 31, 2005.
It is the policy of the United States to prevent suicides, drug-related deaths, and poor behavioral-health outcomes, particularly those that are induced or made worse by prolonged State and local COVID-19 shutdown orders.
It is the policy of the United States to end veteran suicide through the development of a comprehensive plan to empower veterans and end suicide through coordinated suicide prevention efforts, prioritized research activities, and strengthened collaboration across the public and private sectors. This plan shall be known as the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide or PREVENTS (the “roadmap”).
It is the policy of the United States to support practices and programs that ensure that members of the United States Armed Forces receive appropriate credit for their military training and experience, upon request, toward credentialing requirements as a merchant mariner. It is further the policy of the United States to establish and maintain an effective merchant marine program by providing sufficient support and resources to active duty and separating service members who pursue or possess merchant mariner credentials.
It is the policy of the United States to support the health and well-being of uniformed service members and veterans. After serving our Nation, veterans deserve long, fulfilling civilian lives. Accordingly, our Government must improve mental healthcare and access to suicide prevention resources available to veterans, particularly during the critical 1-year period following the transition from uniformed service to civilian life. Most veterans' experience in uniform increases their resilience and broadens the skills they bring to the civilian workforce. Unfortunately, in some cases within the first year following transition, some veterans can have difficulties reintegrating into civilian life after their military experiences and some tragically take their own lives. Veterans, in their first year of separation from uniformed service, experience suicide rates approximately two times higher than the overall veteran suicide rate. To help prevent these tragedies, all veterans should have seamless access to high-quality mental healthcare and suicide prevention resources as they transition, with an emphasis on the 1-year period following separation.
This order is intended to improve accountability and whistleblower protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) to establish within the VA an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and to appoint a Special Assistant to serve as Executive Director of the Office.