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Appendix K

Contents

APPENDIX K

HEADQUARTERS
GROUND FORCE REPLACEMENT SYSTEM
European Theater of Operations

CIRCULAR
APO 887

No. 55
13 DECEMBER 1944


    1. PREVENTION OF TRENCH FOOT-1. References: War Department Circular 312, 1944; Circular 108, European Theater of Operations, 1944; Medical Bulletin 25; Circular Letters 126 and 134, Office of Chief Surgeon, European Theater of Operations, 1944.
    2. Trench Foot has recently come to the fore-front as a major cause of casualties among combat troops in this Theater. This serious condition is largely preventable, provided the individual is instructed and takes certain basic measures to prevent it.
    3. All members of the Ground Force Replacement System must be made fully aware of this problem. The Replacement System can and will make a material contribution towards its solution by properly indoctrinating replacements during the time they are under this command. Each man who is thereby spared the development of this condition is one more fighting man with his unit, and one fewer casualty that requires replacement.
    4. It is urgent that each replacement passing through the Ground Force Replacement System is given adequate instructions to inform him of the individual measures for successfully preventing this disability. Instructions will be concerned with effective measures to be taken under field conditions and will be presented in such a manner as to impress the man with the seriousness of the condition.
    5. Depot Commanders will designate instructors in sufficient numbers to give small group instruction to replacements under their control. Instruction in this will be included in the initial orientation given all incoming replacements, and in addition the training program given all replacements during their stay in the Replacement System will include a minimum of 1 hour each week on this subject.
    6. The following points will be stressed:
        a.The seriousness of the condition to the individual, both as to immediate dangers and the permanent injuries that may result therefrom.
        b. The seriousness of the problem to the War Effort in this Theater.
        c. Factors contributing to its development, with special emphasis on the role of conditions causing impairment of the circulation.
        d. The preventable nature of the condition with practical preventative measures, including class demonstrations and practice by each individual. Included will be examinations to see that shoes and socks are properly fitted and the shoes or boots are habitually laced loosely; massage of the foot; exercise of the toes and ankles, both with and without shoes on; postural exercises of the foot.
    7. The instructors to be used for this will secure the advice and assistance of the unit medical officers. It is recommended that men designated as instructors visit hospitals in the vicinity of the depot in company with some of their unit medical officers, and there see actual cases of Trench Foot so that they may be more conversant with and aware of the seriousness of this condition


542

By command of Brigadier General MATCHETT:
    CHARLES H. VALENTINE,
    Colonel, G. S. C.,
    Chief of Staff.

OFFICIAL:
    F. G. GARRISON,
    Major, A. G. D.,
    Adjutant General.

DISTRIBUTION: "C."
    Less Non-GFRS Units.