Reblast team

On October 31, 2023, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Commanding General Bryan P. Fenton, Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sergeant Major Shane Shorter and a host of military leaders convened at MGH's Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging for a briefing on the ReBlast study.

ReBlast, a comprehensive, multicenter research collaboration led by MGH, the University of South Florida Institute of Applied Engineering, and USSOCOM, aims to enhance the cognitive performance, combat readiness, and career longevity of Special Operations Forces personnel.

The study represents a partnership that seeks to address critical questions regarding the long-term health of elite warriors affected by repeated blast exposure. The study concluded on February 28, 2023, after 30 active-duty Special Operations Forces personnel completed two-day study visits at the Martinos center for multidisciplinary testing. Additional information regarding the study protocol can be found on

The presence of these distinguished leaders underscores the significance of this research and its potential to revolutionize medical care for the Special Operations Forces community. Currently, there is no validated diagnostic test to guide care for blast-exposed Operators.

The critical need for a diagnostic test that detects brain injury following repeated blast exposure is discussed in a recent paper published by the ReBlast team in Journal of Special Operations Medicine.

The ReBlast study is a testament to the commitment of MGH, USF IAE, and USSOCOM to the well-being of individuals who serve in Special Operations Forces. Retired USSOCOM Commanding General Richard D. Clarke and Retired Chief Master Sergeant Gregory A. Smith previously visited the MGH Martinos Center in April of 2022 for a briefing on the ReBlast study, which was the focus of a SOFCast episode.

By joining forces, USSOCOM, USF IAE, and MGH are taking a vital step toward a future where the impact of repeated blast exposure is well understood, and those who protect our nation receive the best medical care possible.