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The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (NDAA 2008) requires the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to jointly develop and implement comprehensive policies on the care, management, and transition of recovering servicemembers. The Senior Oversight Committee (SOC)--jointly chaired by DOD and VA leadership--has assumed responsibility for these policies. The NDAA 2008 also requires GAO to report on the progress DOD and VA make in developing and implementing the policies. This statement provides preliminary information on (1) the progress DOD and VA have made in jointly developing the comprehensive policies required in the NDAA 2008 and (2) the challenges DOD and VA are encountering in the joint development and initial implementation of these policies. GAO determined the current status of policy development by assessing the status reported by SOC officials and analyzing supporting documentation. To identify challenges, GAO interviewed the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Executive Director and Chief of Staff of the SOC, the departmental co-leads for most of the SOC work groups, the Acting Director of DOD's Office of Transition Policy and Care Coordination, and other knowledgeable officials.

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