Ft. Polk Army Hearing Program
The mission of the Army Hearing Program (AHP) is to maximize Soldier and DA Civilian hearing and communication abilities through hearing readiness, clinical and operational hearing services, and hearing conservation, thus contributing to survivability, lethality, mission effectiveness, and quality of life.
Fort Polk’s AHP provides care for active-duty Soldiers and noise-exposed DA Civilian employees enrolled in the Hearing Conservation Program. Services provided include annual monitoring audiometry services, individual hearing protection detection device fitting, hearing program officer courses, hearing health education, and comprehensive diagnostic hearing testing.
The AHP combines hearing readiness, clinical hearing services, operational hearing services, and hearing conservation into one program in an effort to prevent noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) in Soldiers and noise-exposed DA Civilians. Hearing is a critical sense used by Soldiers that increases their survivability and lethality, and ensures maximum combat effectiveness.
Good hearing acuity in an absolute requirement in order to perform such combat related tasks as localizing sound, gauging auditory distance, identifying a sound source, and understanding verbal orders and radio communications. Hearing provides an indispensable amount of information on the battlefield and can mean the difference between life and death in combat, as well as in training.
Annual Unit Hearing Test
Unit hearing tests may be obtained through scheduled appointments at Fort Polk’s Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) clinic. Additionally, any service member may obtain a hearing test during walk-in hours at the AHP clinic. Appointments are available Monday through Friday for scheduled unit hearing screenings for units requiring multiple individuals be tested.
Unit Hearing Program Officers (HPOs)
Unit HPOs must be on appointment orders from their unit and complete the 1.5 hour HPO blackboard course, to include a final exam and course survey. The HPO will have to upload their appointment orders first to gain access to the course. To receive the web address and instructions to enroll in the blackboard course please contact the Fort Polk Army Hearing Program clinic at 337-531-2693.
Roles and responsibilities of an HPO are outlined in DA PAM 40-501 and include:
- establishing and promoting the individual’s unit hearing conservation program
- draft/update a unit hearing conservation standard operating procedure (SOP)
- provide a supply of hearing protection and carrying cases
- ensure all Soldiers have an updated annual hearing test by maintaining and monitoring unit hearing readiness
- ensure Soldiers attend annual hearing health education operational and occupational briefings
- serve as the unit's point of contact to the Fort Polk Army Hearing Program.
Unit Hearing Health Education Briefings
The AHP Manager or staff will provide a hearing health education briefing to units upon request. Each unit should receive a hearing health education briefing annually. In order to schedule, please contact the AHP at 337-531-2693.
CAOHC approved Army Hearing Conservation Technician Certification Courses
This course is designed for Department of Defense military personnel or DOD civilians, who have Hearing Program duties assigned, specifically use of the Defense Occupational and Environmental Readiness System – Hearing Conservation (DOEHRS-HC) as part of their work responsibilities. This course is provided bi-annually at Fort Polk for Fort Polk service members, DOD civilians and outlying National Guard/Reserve units.
Please contact the AHP for available course dates at 337-531-2693. If this timeline does not work within your needs, please visit the following link for a list of all available Army Hearing Conservation Technician Certification Course: https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/workplacehealth/hrc/Pages/Training.aspx.