In the next step toward expanding the reach of chiropractic, Senate Concurrent Resolution 75 was introduced April 10, which would allow doctors of chiropractic to be commissioned as officers into the armed forces.This resolution requests that the Secretary of Defense immediately establish a career path for DCs within all branches of the military. The resolution was referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Forces the same day.
This resolution goes hand-in-hand with House Concurrent Resolution 274, which was introduced by Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), Thelma Drake (R-Va.), Robert Brady (D-Pa.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) on Feb. 13 and also referred to the Armed Services Committee the same day.
The resolution, introduced by Senators Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), states:
Expressing the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should take immediate steps to appoint doctors of chiropractic as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces.
Whereas the Secretary of Defense has statutory authority under section 3070 of title 10, United States Code, to appoint doctors of chiropractic as commissioned officers in the Armed Forces, but has not yet made such appointments;
Whereas the urgent needs of military personnel in the field of operations include access to the widest possible range of health care options, especially in the area of care of the spine and related structures of the body;
Whereas providing military personnel in the field of operations with access to chiropractic care will increase the cost effectiveness of military health care expenditures by taking advantage of the conservative, drugless, and non-surgical care option offered by chiropractic care;
Whereas back injuries are the leading cause of lost service time and disability in the Armed Forces;
Whereas military personnel in the field of operations or on shipboard can access chiropractic care only through commissioned chiropractic officers;
Whereas access to chiropractic care through commissioned chiropractic officers will enhance the combat readiness of military personnel by offering a non-pharmaceutical option for the health care needs of such personnel; and
Whereas the appointment of doctors of chiropractic as commissioned officers will make use of a highly skilled and trained pool of health care professionals and help to meet the growing demand for chiropractic care in the Armed Forces: Now, therefore, be it:
Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That it is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should take immediate steps to establish a career path for doctors of chiropractic to be appointed as commissioned officers in all branches of the Armed Forces for purposes of providing chiropractic services to members of the Armed Forces.
Harkin told the press, "It is time to fully integrate chiropractic care into the active-duty-military and veterans' health care systems. I believe all American's should have options when considering their medical care, including those who are fighting on our front lines."
"This resolution, along with its House counterpart, sends a crystal-clear message to the Department of Defense that Congress wants doctors of chiropractic fully integrated into the Armed Forces health care system," according to American Chiropractic Association President Glenn D. Manceaux, DC.