In 2017, the U.S. Government updated its Central Command (CENTCOM) screening standards from MOD 12 to MOD 13. Then, in October 2019, it released MOD 14.
What do these standards entail?
In short, they’re requirements that personnel must meet before they can be deployed to the USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR). Spanning more than four million square miles and encompassing 20 nations, the AOR stretches from Northeast Africa across the Middle East to Central and South Asia.
These CENTCOM MODS consist of physical and psychological standards that uniformed service members, U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contractor employees, government civilian employees, and volunteers must pass prior to AOR deployment.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at what MOD 14 entails. We’ll also explore how contractors working for the U.S. military can perform in-depth health screenings to ensure their workforce meets the requirements.
Why Is MOD 14 Required?
It’s no secret that deployed environments can be physically and psychologically demanding. In addition to the stress related to a deployed individual’s job responsibilities, there are also environmental factors to contend with, including:
- Extreme temperatures
- Sleep deprivation and disruption
- Restricted dietary options
- Poor air quality
In addition, these conditions can also exacerbate any pre-existing or chronic medical conditions. As such, it’s important to ensure that everyone who visits the CENTCOM AOR is fit for the job.
At a minimum, CENTCOM requires that all deployed individuals be physically fit enough to perform the following tasks:
- Wear ballistic, respiratory, chemical, safety, and biological personal protection equipment as required
- Use necessary prophylactic medications
- Ingress/egress in emergency situations with low risk to themselves or others
Though these tasks sound relatively straightforward, there is a range of conditions that could render someone incapable of performing them, including:
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Orthopedic conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Endocrine conditions
- Musculoskeletal condition
- Psychological conditions
- Infectious diseases
- Seizure disorders
- Severe migraine headaches
- Vertiginous/motion sickness disorders
- Stinging insect allergies
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Certain eye, ear, nose, throat, and dental conditions
A more complete and thorough list of those conditions can be found here.
Thus, MOD 14, as well as the MODS that came before it, set health and fitness standards that deployable employees must meet before moving forward.
Updates From MOD 13
Before MOD 13 was in place, MOD 12 controlled the CENTCOM fitness standards. When MOD 13 was implemented, the biggest change was the inclusion of such standards for mental health disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Yet, MOD 13 is less than three years old. Why was MOD 14 necessary?
In short, this MOD takes a firmer stance on medical waivers. With such stringent guidelines in place, there are naturally many conditions that could render an employee non-deployable. Under MOD 14, some of those conditions can be overwritten with an approved medical waiver.
With MOD 13, an individual’s doctor could sign such a waiver, permitting him or her to enter the AOR despite the presence of a condition deemed non-deployable by CENTCOM.
Under MOD 14, only a CENTCOM Surgeon and/or a Service Component Surgeon have the authority to sign and submit such waivers. That means that the following personnel do not have this authority anymore:
- Medical evaluating entities
- Deploying platforms
- Military commanders
Other notable changes in MOD 14 include:
- Changing the language around mental health issues from “Psychiatric Conditions” to “Behavioral Health Conditions” and “Behavioral Health Disorders”
- Only endorsing the Fifth Edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)”
- Loosening the Body Mass Index (BMI) cutoff from 35 to 40
MOD 14 Drug Testing Requirements
As expected, MOD 14 also includes specific procedures that U.S. government contractors must follow when performing these health screens on their employees.
This includes testing for the presence of several different drugs, including but not limited to:
- Amphetamine (AMP)
- Barbiturates (BAR)
- Cocaine (COC)
- Opiates (OPI)
- Cannabis (THC)
- Benzodiazepines (BZO)
- Methamphetamine (MET)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Methadone (MTD)
- Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCA)
In most instances, the presence of any of these drugs is enough to render an employee non-deployable. However, there are some cases in which a CENTCOM Surgeon or Service Component Surgeon can issue a waiver that describes the clinical indications of a listed medication.
In this description, the surgeon must include verification that the medications help control an underlying condition and a reason for avoiding cessation. If an employee requires medications to be taken as needed, or PRN, the surgeon must include in the waiver request a description of their typical use.
However, unless a waiver is issued and approved, CENTCOM considers all of the above drugs and medications (along with many more) disqualifying for deployment. Thus, it’s critical to perform an extensive drug screening to ensure your employees are up to speed on all of the health requirements expected of them.
Note that anyone with a confirmed Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is not eligible for a waiver. The same applies to anyone who is currently enrolled in a service-specific substance abuse program.
Mod 14 Prekit
As an employer, you might not have the time or resources required to screen individually for the presence of all of these drugs. That’s why we’ve created our Mod 14 Prekit.
This rapid drug test solution helps you scan for the presence of all of the above drugs, taking the guesswork and legwork out of this compliance process.
All Your Drug Testing Needs, Covered
Whether you’re a government contractor testing your employees to comply with the MOD 14 standards or a concerned parent looking to find out if your child is abusing drugs, you need a go-to drug testing resource.
That’s where we come in.
We provide a wide range of drug testing products, ranging from alcohol tests and saliva drug tests to dip cards and hair follicle drug tests. Take a look around our online shop to find what you need. If you have any questions, get in touch today!