The Army Radiation Safety Program
R.N. Cherry, Jr.
Recently, the U.S. Army changed the way it runs its radiation safety program. Previously, the Army Medical Department, the Army Corp of Engineers, and the Army Material Command had responsibility for developing Army radiation safety policies for different aspects of the overall Army radiation safety program. Radiation safety authority and responsibility crossed command lines. Different parts of the Army followed different policies. Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA) was not directly involved in making Army radiation safety policy and had no subject matter expert to oversee and manage Army radiation safety. It became apparent in the early nineties that this way of doing Army radiation safety business was no longer adequate. Increased scrutiny form Federal regulatory authorities and the proliferating use of radioactive commodities, lasers, and radiofrequency sources required consolidation of Army radiation safety policy-making at HQDA level. Staffing processes and command decisions resulted in Army Regulation (AR) 11-9, "The Army Radiation Safety Program." AR 11-9 establishes centralized radiation safety policy-making at HQDA and the position of Army Radiation Safety Officer in the Office of the Chief of Staff, Army. It aligns radiation safety authority and responsibility together in the Army chain of command with decentralized execution of Army radiation safety policies. It has resulted in increase radiation safety awareness throughout the Army and full participation of all major Army commands in the Army radiation safety program.
This abstract was presented at the 34th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety and ALARA Considerations for the 21st Century", Regulatory Considerations Session, 2/4/2001 - 2/7/2001, held in Anaheim, CA.