Head of military wounded support unit steps down amid DND overhaul

OTTAWA - The director of casualty support management for the military has stepped down amid an overhaul of the system that looks after ill and injured soldiers.

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The Canadian Press has obtained a copy of the internal farewell address of Col. Gerry Blais, who tells Joint Personnel Support Units (JPSU) across the country that he has decided to leave, effective immediately.

He says there is a great deal of change ahead and he doesn't feel he's prepared to lead the unit in its new method of operation.

Last month, The Canadian Press reported that National Defence had embarked on an overhaul of the oft-maligned JPSU system following an internal review that found a myriad of problems with the system, which is supposed to help physically and mentally wounded soldiers heal and return to their units -- or prepare for medical release.

In his message, Blais says he believes the system had accomplished "great things and established a safe place for those who needed it most."

But many have complained that the support units and their subordinate Integrated Personnel Support Centres are chronically short of staff and that soldiers who are transferred into the system feel isolated from the support network of their home combat units.


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