During the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War, health problems prevented the deployment of a significant number of Army reservists. As required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, GAO reported on the Army's efforts to assess the health status of its early-deploying reservists (Defense Health Care: Army Needs to Assess the Health Status of All Early-Deploying Reservists (GAO-03-437, Apr. 15, 2003)). GAO was asked to testify on its findings on the Army's health status assessments efforts and the implications of those assessments for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Specifically, GAO was asked to determine if the Army is collecting and maintaining information on reservists' health and review the value and advisability of providing examinations. For its report, GAO reviewed medical records at seven Army early-deploying reserve units to determine the number of required examinations that have been conducted and obtained expert opinion on the value of periodic examinations.
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