US Army lifts ban on recruits with mental health history

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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore GOP strategist: "There needs to be a repudiation" of Roy Moore by Republicans World leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report MORE (R-Ariz.) is again threatening to hold up Pentagon nominees, this time over a news report about the Army granting mental health waivers to recruits.

The new recruiting policy, first reported by USA Today, has been established to help the Army add 80,000 troops by September 2018.

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. "These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories".

The Center for Military Readiness, a right-wing military policy organization, also announced its opposition to the new policy, saying the army should think seriously about why qualified recruits, as opposed to those with serious mental issues, are not signing up in sufficient quantities.

"Recent reports that the Army has changed medical entrance standards for those with mental health issues are inaccurate", Seamands said in the statement.

Mental illness behaviors can also disrupt the functioning of units and affect other soldiers.

Taylor justified the new policy by referencing "meritorious cases" that had been disqualified due to events that had taken place when they were children.

The Army's decision has raised concerns among mental health professionals.

According to USA Today, the Army enacted the policy in August with no announcement.

The Army has a poor history with soldiers who have been accepted under the standard bar of entry requirements.

This is the second year in a row that the Army has offered waivers to those traditionally seen as less-desirable applicants.

For example, a history of self-mutilation, such as cutting or burning, typically is a chronic condition and a sign of additional mental health problems, said Dr. Charles A. Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist who teaches at the University of New Haven and Yale University in CT.

Kelley followed eight other USA veterans to carry out shooting sprees since 2009, each case tied to inadequately-addressed mental health issues. The year before, the Army recruited 0.06 precent from Category Four.

In the same period, waivers for marijuana use more than doubled, jumping from 191 to 506. While in 2014, the Army paid $8.2 million in bonuses, the number skyrocketed to $424 in 2017.

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