Oh Boy, People With SEVERE Mental Issues Can Now Get Waivers To Join Military…
One of the greatest issues that some veterans of the military face is dealing with PTSD when they get out. It’s one of the contributing factors that is why we have nearly two dozen active duty or veterans commit suicide on a daily basis.
Now, except for a few folks here and there people that join the military are for the most part well adjusted folks. However, that may all be about to change.
There’s no doubt that the military is a high-stress environment. Applicants are screened to make sure that they’re a good fit for the ups and downs of military life, because, after all, people’s lives are on the line.
Shockingly, the armed forces may soon be getting new recruits who seem to be the opposite of what you’d want in a high-stress career. According to USA Today, the U.S. Army just lifted a ban on waivers for recruits with a history of mental health issues.
Yes, you read that right: The military is so low on qualified applicants that it is opening the doors to people who may not be “A Few Good Men” at first glance.
“People with a history of ‘self-mutilation,’ bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army,” reported the national newspaper.
That policy was quietly rolled out back in August, but just became public after USA Today obtained documents outlining the change. As recruitment has dropped, so have entry standards.
“The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018,” explained the newspaper.
“To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses,” the report continued.
Health experts stated the obvious: suddenly recruiting people who have a history of mental illness might be risky.
“It is a red flag,” stated Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist and retired Army colonel. “The question is, how much of a red flag is it?”
The USA Today report pointed out that disorders such as self-mutilation “may signal deeper mental health issues,” a fact which should probably be filed under “G” for “Gee, ya think?”
In order to defend the questionable policy change, the Army pointed to the availability of more detailed medical records than in the past, which can possibly help the military make better waiver choices.
“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” said Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”
It is unknown how many previously disqualified applicants would be allowed into the military, or if certain specialties would keep the ban in place.
The reality is that the military simply isn’t for everyone. Just as somebody who faints at the sight of blood might not be a good nurse and a person with dyslexia shouldn’t write dictionaries, throwing somebody with bipolar disorder and a history of self-mutilation or attempted suicide into a combat zone is a colossally bad idea.