U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from increased musculoskeletal injuries, according to new reports.

“Rising concern over the muscle and bone injuries—as well as the hindrance caused by the cumbersome gear as troops maneuver in Afghanistan’s mountains—prompted Army and Marine Corps leaders and commanders to launch initiatives last month that will introduce lighter equipment for some U.S. troops,” stated an article published by the Washington Post.

“Army leaders and experts say the injuries — linked to the stress of bearing heavy loads during repeated 12- or 15-month combat tours — have increased the number of soldiers categorized as “non-deployable.” Army personnel reported 257,000 acute orthopedic injuries in 2007, up from 247,000 the previous year.”