Despite military advances, some soldiers still struggle with access to the Internet

At a U.S. military conference in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, military officials warned that many soldiers and their families still lacked reliable Internet access and other technology.

Capt. Kimberly Elenberg, Deputy Director of Exercise for Personnel and Prevention, said:

So, while we have wonderful tools to use technology to connect with our families, we must still remember that it is not universally accessible or affordable. And we need to be open to many ways to stay connected.

Elenberg’s comments came at a conference media meeting with Army Health and Medical Readiness officials. The team said the leaders are still making a lot of lessons and adjustments, including long-distance work and online medical appointments.

“Many of us have changed the way we do our work and the way we provide our services,” said Dr. Theresa Jackson Santo, head of the public health assessment unit at the Army Public Health Center.

Officials hope to take those changes and integrate them into future employment services, educational opportunities and access to medical care.

But much depends on the broadband Internet access of individual families.

The case is being investigated by one of the initiatives of healthy military communities at the Defense Department building, which began last year. Officials are looking at living conditions in seven states: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma – to see what challenges are facing and where improvements are being made.

Earlier this year, Federal Communications Commission officials announced offers on monthly Internet access accounts and computer upgrades through an emergency broadband user program that could benefit thousands of soldiers and families.

But that program is based on the availability of the Internet in areas around military bases that could be spotted in rural areas.

Meanwhile, military officials continue to look to members of the military and families for relief in a bid to alleviate those issues.

Issues such as stationary changes and cancellations of training were unique to the military community, and other broader issues – such as school dropouts and access to family care – were problems across the country.

Officials said they hope to compile a full list of coronavirus responses and improvements from service members in the coming months.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs, and the White House for military purposes. Since 2004, it has been focusing on military personnel and senior policy in Washington, DC. His work has won numerous awards, including the 2009 Polk Award, the 2010 National Leadership Award, the IAVA Leadership Award for Journalism, and the VFW News Media Award.


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