To deny the SARS-CoV-2 virus easy options for sustained transmission, commanders should model adherence to, and ensure implementation of, social mitigation measures. While some measures can be achieved at the organisational level through policy, every Service person’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic will have differed, affected by a range of personal, occupational and geographical factors. A successful recovery phase for each Service personnel (SP) therefore relies on localised assessments and individualised support plans. The return of SP to the physical environment must be safe, and the financial needs of their whole family must be considered. Commanders must understand the need for balance in supporting social reconnection both personally and in the workplace. Commanders have an important role in the development of SPs’ mental resilience; supporting mental well-being, early recognition of deteriorating mental health and signposting, and compassionate understanding of the needs of SP deployed or bereaved. Disruptions to healthcare service provision will impact the duration of medical downgrading, workforce capacity and operational effectiveness according to extant parameters, which must be understood by commanders. Likewise, functional fitness may have been adversely affected. Physical health and fitness recovery can be supported by time-based extensions to occupational health policy and graduated return to work physical training programmes.
- infectious diseases
- public health
- public health
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Contributors All three authors (HT, OQ and DR) contributed equally to the drafting and editing of the article. This is a personal view based on public health and occupational health knowledge and experience applied to recovery of individual service personnel.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Disclaimer This is a personal view that has not involved any research on human participants and therefore has not required study approval.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.