receiving significant support by federal and industrial funds should continue, and therefore, DoD investment is not recommended at this time.
Since military operations are frequently stressful and may be carried out in very hostile environments, it is important to understand the role that the body's immune function plays in helping the soldier cope and to consider ways in which immune responses may be controlled or enhanced to maximize the individual's ability to perform. Awareness of this research field and investment in selected research of potential significance to the military mission should be continued. The military must keep apprised of research findings on the influence of nutritional status on immune function.
Research on possible vaccine programs that may protect soldiers from infectious diseases frequently encountered in military operations should be supported, particularly when the potential infections are not usually a problem in the civilian sector. Oral vaccine development should be encouraged. Preliminary research at U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases to develop militarily important oral vaccines should be expanded. Research should be initiated or funded to develop transgenic plants that can produce antibodies against infections or toxins of unique military importance and to assess the influence of nutritional status on the response of military personnel to vaccinations.
The development of techniques and equipment that would permit evaluation of cognitive performance of individuals while actually performing their operational tasks should be supported, with the caveat that such techniques must be validated and as much information gathered as possible in controlled laboratory environments prior to field testing. When special modification is required for use in military equipment, support should be given to such development (for example, miniaturization).
The Committee on Military Nutrition Research is pleased to have participated with the Military Nutrition Division (currently the Military Nutrition and Biochemical Division), U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in progress relating to the nutrition, performance, and health of U.S. military personnel. The CMNR hopes that this information will be valuable to the U.S. Department of Defense in developing programs that continue to improve the performance and lifelong health and well-being of service personnel.