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081-831-1053 (SL1) - Practice Individual Preventive Medicine Countermeasures

Standards: Applied preventive medicine countermeasures to protect, as appropriate, against cold, heat, biting insects, diarrhea and dysentery, hearing loss, skin infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and foot problems. Practiced oral hygiene, proper disposal of waste, and Army tobacco use rules.

Conditions: You are a soldier deployed to a unit in the field.  Necessary equipment and materials will vary depending on physical environment and climate: water, food, uniforms, replacement clothing, barrier creams and lotions, standard military skin extended-duration repellent lotion, permethrin aerosol clothing repellent, d-phenothrin aerosol area spray, malaria pills, soap, mosquito bednet, iodine tablets, canteen, covered container, plastic bags, earplugs, foot powder, talcum powder, razor, toothbrush, dental floss, and an entrenching tool.

Standards: Applied preventive medicine countermeasures to protect, as appropriate, against cold, heat, biting insects, diarrhea and dysentery, hearing loss, skin infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and foot problems.  Practiced oral hygiene, proper disposal of waste, and Army tobacco use rules.


Performance Steps

1.   Apply proper preventive medicine measures (PMMs) for protection against cold injuries.

a. Wear layers of loose clothing.

Note.  Minimize sweating.  When clothing becomes wet or dirty, it loses its ability to provide warmth.

(1)  Remove layers of clothing before doing strenuous work.

WARNING: Do not remove protective clothing in a chemical environment

(2)  Replace layers of clothing when your strenuous work is completed.

(3)  Launder clothing regularly.

b. Exercise to increase blood circulation.

(1)  Tighten and relax arm and leg muscles, fingers, and toes.

(2)  Use hands to massage and warm the face.

(3)  Refrain from smoking because it restricts blood flow to the skin.

WARNING: Physical and mental weariness contribute to inactivity, reduced heat, and increased chance for cold injury

c. Change socks.

(1)  Put on dry socks during rest breaks to reduce the risk of frostbite and trench foot.

WARNING: Severe frostbite and trench foot can result in the loss of hands or feet.

(2)  Put damp socks inside the shirt to dry.

d. Prevent dehydration.

(1)  Drink sufficient fluids (potable water, juices, and warm nonalcoholic beverages).

Note.  Drinking a sufficient amount of potable water in cold weather is as important as it is in hot weather.  In cold weather, you may not realize that your body is losing fluids and salt.  Sweat evaporates rapidly or is absorbed so completely by the layers of clothing that it is seldom visible on the skin.

(2)  Rest when possible.

e. Pair with a buddy.

(1)  Remind each other to do warming exercises often.

(2)  Watch for signs of cold injury such as frostbite, trench foot, and hypothermia.

2.   Apply proper PMMs for protection against heat injuries.

a. Drink sufficient amounts of water.

Note.  Your body needs a minimum amount of water for cooling, waste elimination, and metabolism.  Any attempt to train the body to use less water can be harmful and may lead to heat injuries.

(1)  Hourly fluid intake should not exceed 1 ½ quarts of water every hour. Daily fluid intake should not exceed 12 quarts.  If your urine is dark yellow, you are not drinking enough water.

(2)  Fluid intake needs will vary depending on type of work and temperature (see table 081-831-1053-1 and figure 081-831-1053-1).




Table 081-831-1053-1. *Fluid Replacement Policy for Warm Weather
*(Average acclimated soldier wearing BDU, Hot Weather)

Heat Category

WBGT Index ° F

Easy Work

Moderate Work

Hard Work

Work/ Rest

Water intake

Work Rest

Water Intake, Qt/hr

Work Rest

Water Intake, Qt/hr


78 - 81.9





40/20 min



82 - 84.9



50/10 min


30/30 min


3  (yellow)

85 - 87.9



40/20 min


30/30 min



88 - 89.9



30/30 min


20/40 min


5** (black)


50/10 min


20/40 min


10/50 min



Hourly fluid intake should not exceed 1 ½ quarts. Daily fluid intake should not exceed 12 quarts.

*Work/rest times and fluid replacement volumes will sustain performance and hydration for at least 4 hours of work in the specified heat category. Individual water needs will vary ¼ quarts per hour.
*NL = no limit to work time per hour. Rest means minimal physical activity (sitting or standing) and should be accomplished in shade if possible.
Wearing body armor adds 5 degrees Fahrenheit to WBGT Index.

*Wearing all MOPP overgarments adds 10 degrees Fahrenheit to WBGT Index.

**Suspend physical training and strenuous activity. If an operational (nontraining) mission requires strenuous activity, enforce water intake to minimize expected heat injuries.












*Examples of Categories of Work

Easy Work

Moderate Work

Hard Work

Weapon maintenance

Walking on hard surface at 2.5 mph,
  30-lb load.

Manual of arms.

Marksmanship training.

Drill and ceremony.

Walking on loose sand at 2.5 mph, no load.

Walking on hard surface at 3.5 mph, < 40-lb load.



Individual movement techniques, such as low crawl, high crawl.

Defensive position construction.

Field assaults.

Walking on loose sand at 2.5 mph with load.

Walking on hard surface at 3.5 mph,
³ 40-lb load.

Figure 081-831-1053-1. Examples of work categories


(3)  Drink extra water before combat operations.

(4)  Maintain excess water in your system for strength and alertness.

(5)  Protect yourself from dehydration and heat injuries associated with wearing full chemical protective gear.

b. Rest whenever possible.

(1)  Take rest breaks in accordance with the heat condition table as the tactical situation permits.

(2)  Use rest breaks to drink water and to cool off.

c. Eat meals.

(1)  Eat regular meals daily to replace salt lost through heavy sweating.

(2)  Eat something at each meal, even if you are not hungry.

Note.  Usually, eating field rations or liberal salting of the garrison diet will provide enough salt.  Excess intake of salt should be avoided.

d. Protect yourself from exposure.

(1)  Wear uniform properly.

(2)  Provide shade whenever possible.

(3)  Use barrier creams and lotions.

3.   Apply proper PMMs for protection against arthropod (insect) bites and arthropod-borne diseases.

a. Apply extended-duration arthropod repellent lotion.

Note.  Extended-duration arthropod repellent lotion can be used on the skin.

(1)  Apply lotion on exposed skin except the eyes, lips, and sensitive skin.

(2)  Spread lotion two inches under edges of battle dress uniform (BDU).

(3)  Keep the lotion away from flame or excessive heat.

(4)  Wipe hands after application.

Note.  Do not wear after-shave lotion or cologne in the field; they attract biting or stinging arthropods (insects).

b. Apply permethrin clothing repellent.  Use either the IDAA kit (most effective) or the aerosol formulation.

(1)  Apply permethrin according to the product label.

(2)  Use only on fabric.

(3)  Do not apply to skin.

(4)  Do not treat BDUs while being worn.

(5)  Treat outside of BDU, insect headnet, and mosquito bednet.

(6)  Do not treat underwear or inside the cap.

(7)  Avoid breathing vapors.

(8)  Dry clothing (BDUs) thoroughly prior to wearing.

c. Wear uniform properly.

(1)  Tuck pant legs into boots, roll sleeves down, and close collar.

(2)  Wear uniform loosely.

(3)  Check clothing frequently.

(4)  Use buddy system to check areas of body not easily seen during self-examination.

d. Take malaria pills to protect against malaria parasites.  (Use in the manner prescribed for your unit.)

e. Clean and inspect yourself.  Wash yourself daily or as often as the tactical situation permits.

f.  Clean and inspect your clothing.

(1)  Wash your uniform to remove arthropods and their eggs.

(2)  Use available military laundry service or scrub your clothing and yourself with soap and water.

g. Use your bednet when sleeping.

(1)  Suspend bednet above sleeping area.

(2)  Tuck edges of bednet under the sleeping pad or bag.

(3)  Treat the bednet with permethrin aerosol clothing repellent.

(4)  Spray interior space with d-phenothrin aerosol spray insecticide.

(5)  Avoid breathing vapors.

(6)  Do not use permethrin clothing repellent or d-phenothrin aerosol spray insecticide on skin.

4.   Apply proper PMMs for protection against water-borne and food-borne diseases.

a. Identify the indications of diarrhea and dysentery.

(1)  Diarrhea is an intestinal disorder characterized by abnormally frequent and watery bowel movements.

(2)  Dysentery is an infectious disease characterized by stomach pain and diarrhea with passage of mucus and blood.

b. Purify your drinking water if treated water is not available.

Note.  Before using iodine tablets, check them for physical change.  If they are old, they can lose their disinfecting ability.  Tablets that are not uniformly steel gray or that are stuck together or crumbled should not be used.

(1)  Fill your canteen with the cleanest, clearest water available.

(2)  Add iodine tablets.

(a)   Add two tablets to a one-quart canteen of water.

(b)   Double the amount of tablets if a two-quart canteen is used.

(3)  Replace the cap.

(4)  Wait five minutes for the tablets to dissolve.

(5)  Shake the canteen to mix the contents.

(6)  Disinfect the canteen cap threads.

(a)   Loosen the cap.

(b)   Tip the canteen over and squeeze to allow leakage around the canteen threads.

(c)   Turn the canteen right side up.

(d)   Tighten the cap.

(7)  Wait 30 additional minutes before drinking.

c. Obtain food and drink from an approved source.

(1)  Obtain food, drink, and ice only from medically approved sources.

Note.  Do not obtain food, drink, and ice from vendors unless medical personnel have approved them.

(2)  Obtain food from the dining facility when possible.

d. Wash your hands for at least 30 seconds-

(1)  After using the latrine.

(2)  Before touching eating utensils or food.

(3)  After eating.

(4)  After smoking.

e. Dispose of food waste properly.

(1)  Place it in a covered container to keep pests out and to prevent breeding of flies.

(2)  Use plastic bags if you have dumpster-type receptacles and regular waste pick-up.

(3)  Bury waste if you are in the field and do not have waste pick-up or other disposal methods available.

Note.  Before burying any waste, obtain prior approval by contacting either the logistics or the preventive medicine section.

5.   Apply proper PMMs for protection against hearing loss.

a. Wear protective devices such as earplugs, ear canal caps, or earmuffs.

b. Wear vehicle headgear such as helicopter crew helmets and armored vehicle crew helmets.

c. Keep hearing protection devices clean to avoid ear infections.

d. Avoid noise and/or limit the time in noise hazardous areas.

6.   Apply proper PMMs to prevent skin infections.

a. Bathe frequently.  Take a full bath at least once every week.  If showers or baths are not available, use a washcloth daily to wash.

(1)  Genital area.

(2)  Armpits.

(3)  Feet.

(4)  Other areas where you sweat or which become wet (between thighs or, for females, under breasts).

b. Keep skin dry.

(1)  Use foot powder on your feet (especially if you have had fungal infections in the past).

(2)  Use talcum powder in areas where wetness is a problem.  (Cornstarch may be used as a substitute for talcum powder.)

c. Change to clean clothing after a full bath.

(1)  Wear loose-fitting uniforms to allow for better ventilation and blood circulation.

(2)  Wear proper clothing.

Note.  Do not wear nylon or silk-type undergarments.  Cotton undergarments allow more evaporation of moisture.

d. Shave facial hair often enough to be clean shaven (males only) to allow a tight fit of the protective mask.

7.   Apply proper PMMs for care of the feet.

a. Before movement.

(1)  Wear the proper type of footgear correctly fitted and broken in.

(2)  Wear clean socks free of holes or knotty darns.

(3)  Use foot powder.

(4)  Treat and protect blisters, pressure spots, and infections before movement.

b. During movement.

(1)  Keep feet as dry as possible.

(2)  Change socks (if possible) for dry ones when they become damp or wet.

(3)  Dry socks by putting them under your shirt around your waist.

(4)  Relieve tender pressure spots on the feet by adjusting gear.

(5)  Dust the feet with foot powder once or twice daily.

c. Inspect feet at rest periods.

(1)  Wash feet during the noon break if possible.

(2)  Raise feet while resting to help reduce congestion and swelling.

d. Take care of blisters.

(1)  Wash the blister and the surrounding area with soap and water.

(2)  Seek medical treatment for painful blisters or signs of infection such as redness, throbbing, and drainage.

8.   Practice good oral hygiene.

a. Brush your teeth after every meal if possible.

b. Use dental floss at least once a day.

c. Rinse your mouth with potable water after brushing and flossing.

9.   Protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

a. Use a condom (rubber).

Note.  Individuals should use a condom during vaginal, anal, or oral sex when there is a possibility of acquiring an infection.

b. Avoid high-risk sexual behaviors.

(1)  Having more than one sexual partner.

(2)  Changing sex partners frequently.

(3)  Having sex with casual partners, prostitutes, or their clients.

(4)  Sexual practices such as anal sex.

c. Control alcohol intake (it affects your ability to use safe sex practices).

10. Protect against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS.

Note.  HIV is contagious in the same way STDs are contagious.  Infection can result from a sexual relationship with an infected person.  Sexual contact is not the only way to contract HIV but is a major contributor.

a. Prevent sexual transmission-know your partner.  Avoid having sex with persons who might be infected with HIV.  At highest risk are those who have more than one sex partner, or who have unprotected sex with casual partners, prostitutes or their clients, partners who are HIV infected, or who share needles with others,

b. Prevent transmission through shared needles or syringes-do not use injected, nonprescribed drugs.

Note.  There is presently no cure for AIDS and no vaccine to prevent HIV infection.

11. Apply proper PMMs for disposal of waste.

a. For human waste-

(1)  Use unit latrine.

(2)  Use cat-hole latrine.

(a)   Use only on the march.

(b)   Cover immediately after use.

(3)  Use a straddle trench for 1-3 day bivouac.

b. For other waste-

(1)  Bury-less than one week in the field.

(2)  Incinerate -longer than one week in the field.

12. Apply the Army's tobacco use policies.

a. Effects of tobacco use.

(1)  Long term health costs.

(2)  Diseases/conditions related to tobacco use.

(3)  Effects on health of nonsmokers.

(4)  Use of smokeless tobacco.

b. Effects on soldiers' performance and health.

(1)  Increases number of sick call visits.

(2)  Decreases readiness.

(3)  Decreases night vision.

(4)  Decreases hand-eye coordination.

(5)  Decreases stamina.

(6)  Increases cold weather injuries.

(7)  Increases overall number of injuries.

(8)  Leads to addiction.

c. Army tobacco policies in accordance with AR 600-63.

d. Available resources for tobacco use cessation.

Evaluation Preparation: 

Setup:  Evaluate this task during a field training exercise (FTX) or during a normal training session.  If the evaluation is conducted during an FTX, the environmental and physical conditions at the FTX will be used as the scenario for which preventive medicine countermeasures are implemented.  If the evaluation is done during a normal training session, create the scenario to include environmental and physical conditions.

Brief Soldier:  Tell the soldier he will be evaluated on his ability to apply the appropriate preventive medicine countermeasures.  The soldier will respond to appropriate performance measures.

Performance Measures



1.   Protected against cold.



2.   Protected against heat.



3.   Protected against arthropod bites and arthropod-borne diseases.



4.   Protected against water-borne and food-borne diseases.



5.   Protected against hearing loss.



6.   Prevented skin infections.



7.   Provided care for the feet.



8.   Practiced good oral hygiene.



9.   Protected against sexually transmitted diseases.



10. Protected against AIDS.



11. Disposed of waste properly.



12. Identified the Army's policies of tobacco use.



Evaluation Guidance:  Score the soldier GO if all performance measures are passed.  Score the soldier NO GO if any performance measure is failed.  If the soldier scores NO GO, show what was done wrong and how to do it correctly.







AR 600-63



FM 21-10



FM 4-25.11