At Invictus Games, DoD Promotes Strength Through International Collaboration

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Lakin Booker, right, the gold medalist in the women's lightweight powerlifting event, and British Royal Navy weapons engineer Mickaela Richards, the silver medalist, pose for a photo during the 2014 Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, Sept. 14, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justyn Freeman)

In less than 2 months, a team of 115 active-duty and veteran athletes will represent the United States at the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. The Invictus games are an international sporting competition for wounded, ill and injured service members.

DoD’s participation in this year’s games is the continuation of an ongoing effort to build and maintain an international coalition dedicated to developing effective programs and policies for the 21st-century warrior, said James Rodriguez, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for warrior care policy.

This commitment to collaboration was most recently on display during the Warrior Care in the 21st Century Symposium held in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Oct. 20-22, he said. Thirteen nations joined DoD at the symposium for multilateral discussions on topics covering readiness, recovery, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-military support.

The symposium built upon conversations that began with the United States-United Kingdom Task Force Working Group and the 2014 Recovery Summit, in which 27 nations came together to share best practices, lessons learned and fact-based evidence gathered on warrior care during the previous 14 years of sustained conflicts.