The Office of Warrior Care Policy is led by a team of individuals who have dedicated their careers to ensuring that our Nation is providing its Service members with the proper resources to recover, rehabilitate and reintegrate into the services or civilian life upon becoming wounded, ill or injured.
Mr. James Rodriguez is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Warrior Care Policy (WCP), Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this role, Mr. Rodriguez serves as the principal advisor on the coordination of recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration for wounded, ill, and injured Service members across the military departments.
WCP provides DoD policy development, oversight, and performance management to support what remains a highest priority for the Department: ensuring the Nation’s wounded, ill, and injured Service members, their families, and caregivers receive the support they need for recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration. He holds leadership or membership positions on several DoD and interagency workgroups, including the DoD Council on Homelessness, DoD/VA wounded warrior Interagency Care Coordination Committee, the Joint Executive Committee – and its Wounded, Ill, and Injured Committee – the Health Executive Committee, and the Benefits Executive Committee.
Prior to his selection as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Mr. Rodriguez was the Director for Veteran and Wounded Warrior programs and military recruitment at BAE Systems. In that capacity, he was the Corporate Liaison for the White House Joining Forces initiative, to senior military leaders, government officials, and nonprofit organizations, increasing the footprint of our Nation’s wounded, ill, and injured across all spectrums of support and employment.
Mr. Rodriguez served twenty-one years in the United States Marine Corps in numerous leadership and management positions. He deployed to more than 11 countries around the world and served in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Eastern Exit – Somalia, and Operation Enduring Freedom. During his final duty assignment at Balboa Naval Hospital, he was the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Officer in Charge of the Wounded Warrior Battalion, where he was responsible for the transition, education, recovery, and rehabilitation of Service members with service-connected disabilities.
Mr. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Maryland, University College and a Masters of Arts Degree in International Commerce and Policy from the George Mason University School of Public Policy. He is a frequently cited source on wounded, ill, and injured issues in such publications as: Your Next Mission: A Personal Branding Guide for the Military-to-Civilian Transition, by Lida Citroën, the Center for a New American Security’s Employing America’s Veterans: Perspectives from Business, and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ Guide to Leading Policies, Practices & Resources: Supporting the Employment of Veterans & Military Families. Mr. Rodriguez has been featured for his work with Veterans and Wounded Warriors in numerous magazines including “Military Times EDGE,” “Insight Into Diversity,” and “G.I. Jobs.”
Mr. Bret Stevens serves as the Director, Disability Evaluation Systems in the Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). He is responsible for policy development and program oversight related to the Service Secretaries’ operation of the Disability Evaluation System. He also provides policy oversight for the Physical Disability Board of Review, a Congressionally-mandated disability appellate process for former Service members.
Mr. Guy Stratton joined the Office of Warrior Care Policy on May 9, 2012 as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Warrior Care.
Mr. Jeffrey S. Lerner
Director of Education, Employment and Reconditioning Programs
Mr. Jeff Lerner is the Director of Education, Employment and Reconditioning Programs. He is responsible for WCP’s education, employment, and military adaptive sports policies and programs that engage Recovering Service Members to participate in their own recovery process.
Ms. Sandra Mason is responsible for the oversight and operations of the Recovery Coordination Program within the Warrior Care Policy office. She is one of the subject matter experts for the program and has been a part of the program’s development since July 2008. Ms. Mason has worked with all branches of service to ensure that the program’s core curriculum provides the basis for Recovery Care Coordinators to provide assistance and oversight to wounded Service members and their families.
Ms. Barbara Wilson is the Director of Training & Outreach, Warrior Care Policy. She is responsible for policy development and program oversight related to all training and outreach activities. She develops and implements standard training curriculum for Recovery Care Coordinators and plans, develops and executes training curriculum and programs designed to improve implementation of care, management and transition support to wounded, ill and injured Service members. Ms. Wilson is also responsible for increasing the understanding of Warrior Care’s mission, programs and support services through impactful and accessible outreach activities.
Ms. Priscilla Berry serves as the Director, Disability Evaluation System (DES) Operations for the Office of Warrior Care Policy and the Defense Health Agency. The scope of her responsibilities include ensuring the effective and efficient operation of DES processes; the analysis and publication of performance metrics for the Integrated Disability Evaluation System (IDES); development and reporting of DES satisfaction surveys; and, the implementation of policy and regulatory changes into DES business practices. Ms. Berry also oversees the utilization of information technology (IT) systems that directly support the DES, to include initiatives to expand the capabilities and functionality of those systems.
Mr. Al Bruner has served within the Department of Defense with distinction for 30 years in a variety of positions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of human resource management. He is currently the Deputy Director for Disability Evaluation System (DES) Oversight, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Warrior Care Policy (WCP), the Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia.
Mr. Bruner is the key policymaker on the billion dollar DoD DES program including the IDES, Expedited DES, and the Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR). Since assuming his current position, Mr. Bruner has authored 12 Congressional reports, 5 DoD issuances and 14 major DoD policy revisions to include the creation of the original DES Pilot concept—a national security program.
COL Irwin Lenefsky, M.S., Ph.D.
Director, Recovery Care Policy
COL Irwin Lenefsky is the Director of Recovery Care Policy, WCP. He is responsible for policy development and program oversight related to Recovery Care Policy. He is responsible for the all-encompassing RCP quality assurance program. This position is vital to the functioning of the overall WCP program.