A history of mental health issues no longer automatically disqualifies you from joining the Army.
An unannounced policy change in August allows potential recruits with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse to seek a waiver. The ban was put in place in 2009 after a rash of suicides among troops.
The Army has been struggling to meet recruitment goals. 2017’s quota is 80,000 recruits — that’s 11,000 more than 2016. (USA Today)
- A spokesman says the Army has more access to better medical records, and can make individual assessments rather than rely on a total ban.
- Sure, let’s arm and train a bunch more guys like Devin Kelley. What could possibly go wrong?
- Pentagon officials have long resisted re-instituting the draft, but we made need compulsory service if we can’t fill the ranks.
- The Army has the biggest recruiting challenge, since joining often means boots on the ground in a hostile country.