"People with a history of â€śself-mutilation,â€ť 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."
This reminds me of the whole "McNamara's 100,000" push back in the 1960s to recruit 100,000 Soldiers who would have been ineligible to enlist due to formerly disqualifying mental or medical conditions. The Army ended up with some real problem children from that experiment
Today, the Army's looking at an 80,000-Soldier recruiting requirement through September, 2018. That's a seriously high hill to climb. So how to solve that? Simple! Lower the standards. Ugh! ;-)
Army now accepting recruits with history of serious mental illnesses