He's a familiar face on the frontlines of war. General Peter Chiarelli served as Army Vice Chief of Staff for four years before he retired earlier this year. Today he is still on the frontlines, but of a different battle.
Even after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end, they won't be over for up to a quarter of the troops who've spent the last 11 years fighting them, soldiers left to fight their own battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Retired General Peter Chiarelli knows firsthand. As Army Vice Chief of Staff, Chiarelli led efforts to reduce the Army's record suicide rate and remove the stigma of PTSD.
"I reviewed every single suicide in the Army. And that's what really took me to the place I am today," says Chiarelli.
Today he is CEO of One Mind For Research, an organization seeking more solid answers on what's been an inexact science.
"We have not gotten anywhere in having the kind of diagnostics we need to prove with any kind of certainty whether someone has battle fatigue or operational exhaustion as it was called after the Korean war, or in this case post traumatic stress."
It's been called many things. One thing it is not, says General Chiarelli, is a disorder.
"For a soldier who sees the kinds of things soldiers see and experience on the battlefield today, to tell them what they're experiencing is a disorder does a tremendous disservice. It's not a disorder. It's an injury," says Chiarelli.
Removing the stigma is only one step. And treatment, Chiarelli says, can only go so far.
"I want to see the results of that treatment improve over time and I really believe the way you do that is through 'no kidding' research at the scale required to get us the answers we need."
Senator Patty Murray has been a vocal advocate for military veterans who have had their PTSD diagnoses reversed. Now, in part because of her efforts, the US military is reviewing all PTSD diagnoses since 2001.
General Chiarelli calls that the wrong approach. Instead, he says, skip the review, go for the reversal.
"Go ahead and change them all. That will take less time and you will be a lot more correct in righting a wrong if a wrong was done than you will be going back and reviewing records where you don't have good diagnostic tools to be able to make that judgment," he says.
Murray says reviewing PTSD diagnoses is a necessity in evaulation and treatment: "I believe that improving diagnostic tools for the future and going back to ensure that no veteran has been left behind should not be mutually exclusive goals. I have been told by the Pentagon that this review will not endanger the care of current servicemembers, and I am going to hold them to that. This needs to be an all hands on deck approach and I look forward to continuing to work with Gen. Chiarelli to ensure our veterans, service members, and their families get the proper diagnosis and treatment."
The science is promising. General Chiarelli cites recent advances in image scans where scientists are able to isolate the affected part of the brain to determine whether it is post traumatic stress.