After reading what the United States Army just did to its recruiting standards, it is no wonder that retired Army LtCol Allen West has deep concerns. There is no way to sugar -coat the fact that the Army has changed those standards to allow waivers for applicants with mental and behavioral problems. Why in the name of all that is patriotci would the Army do this? Their resoning seems flawed. Read on.
As Written By Allen B. West:
Boy howdy, back this same time of the year in 2013 when we decided to launch allenbwest.com, I never believed there was enough news content for daily commentary. I was terribly wrong. And here I sit in my home office in Dallas just scratching my head in wonder, what is happening to my Army? We’re just coming off Veterans Day weekend and the news is immensely disturbing — heck, troubling. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse than Bradley Manning being set free…Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter being set free…and LT Spenser Rapone, an avowed communist commissioned as an Army officer.
Well, the hits just keep on coming.
As reported by USA Today, “People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
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. 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.
Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” Taylor’s statement to USA TODAY said. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”
But accepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in 2010 and is an expert on waivers for military service. People with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those issues resurface than those who do not, she said. While bipolar disorder can be kept under control with medication, self-mutilation — where people slashing their skin with sharp instruments — may signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.”
I must ask a simple rhetorical question: who is the president, secretary of defense and secretary of the Army? We have just undergone eight years of social engineering in our military and it has caused more problems than fixes. And for those who claim this waiver is needed to meet recruitment goals, that my friends is a bunch of bovine excrement.
What is needed to meet recruitment goals is to reverse the previous eight years of ideological agenda pursuits in our military. There are young men and women in this great nation who are more than willing to step up and serve their nation at this critical time. However, I cannot tell you how many times while traveling, I’ve had parents, mainly moms, confess that they did not want their loved one serving in the Obama military. And sadly, I must be honest, this policy change in the Trump administration has me utterly confused. Who in the heck has made the decision that this is a good thing?
I mean damn, we just had Bradley Manning who suffered from a mental condition called gender dysphoria…and what did the Army do? Paid for a gender reassignment surgery and hormonal therapy. That’s a costly procedure, on the backs of the American taxpayer, to the tune of $30,000. And still the Trump administration, even with a directive from President Trump, has not reversed the Obama-era decree of open service for those suffering from that mental condition. Perhaps that’s what this is all about — setting the stage for open service for those afflicted with that ……
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