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Army to Allow People with Mental Health Conditions to Enlist
15 November 2017, 02:05 | Randall Craig
Army lifts waiver ban for recruits with history of depression: 'It is a red flag'
People with a history of certain mental-health conditions may now apply for waivers to join the U.S. Army.
Elaine Donnelly, founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, toldThe Daily Caller News Foundation that although the Army is now insisting that there hasn't been any reversal of the ban on recruits with serious mental health issues or a history of self-mutilation, the fact is that the Army shouldn't be issuing any waivers for these conditions at all.
Documents obtained over the weekend by USA Today show a willingness to consider applicants with a history of bipolar disorder, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse. Randy Taylor. More medical records mean leaders can make better-informed decisions about recruits with prior mental health issues. In 2009, amid a rash of suicides among soldiers, the Army restricted the use of waivers to allow those with most past mental health issues to join. The Army has struggled to reach goals and has a current goal of recruiting 80,000 soldiers through next September.
Since this announcement came to light there have been psychiatrists speaking out about the potential dangers of expanding the waivers for mental health conditions - that can potentially resurface while in the Army.
The real issue for me is the ability of the US armed forces to offer those with mental-health issues real support-medical and otherwise-especially in light of what soldiers face, either those with diagnoses before they enter the armed forces or those who develop mental-health conditions after.
The Army has long issued waivers to recruits seeking entrance for a wide variety of reasons, including criminal history, medical issues, vision problems and age.
"There's so many gradations of mental illness", Edwards said. The year before, the Army recruited 0.06 precent from Category Four. Appropriate documentation will be reviewed by the Army and a psychological evaluation will be completed, officials told USA Today.
Worse still, mental health problems could present themselves at inopportune times, such as during a combat deployment, she said.
McCain, who held up several Trump nominees last month until he could be briefed to his satisfaction on the administration's approach to Afghanistan, said he would "stop confirming people for jobs" if the Army did not communicate with him and the committee on its new recruiting policy.
But Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, deputy chief of staff for personnel, said that despite USA Today's story, no outright bans on enlistment were lifted. "I'm just not sure that if you take someone in who is doing this things - the cost over time is very, very, very high".
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