2006-07-08

personality disorders disharge up 20% - u.s. army

one year ago the army changed the rules on discharges to retain folks that would have been dismissed. check this quote from slate.com on 2005-06-05:

Now comes a new Army directive that attempts to alleviate the personnel crunch by retaining soldiers who are earmarked for early discharge during their first term of enlistment because of alcohol or drug abuse, unsatisfactory performance, or being overweight, among other reasons. By retaining these soldiers, the Army lowers the quality of its force and places a heavy burden on commanders who have to take the poor performers into harm's way. This is a quick fix that may create more problems than it solves.

in fact, things at the army are getting worse. today, the associated press is reporting that disharges due to 'personality disorder' are up - 20% over 2001 levels:

The Army discharged 805 soldiers for personality disorders in 2001, 734 in 2002, 980 in 2003, 988 in 2004 and 1,038 in 2005.

of course, the most recent, and public, result of this kind of problem can be seen in the story of the alleged rape and killing of an iraqi woman and her family by a u.s. soldier:

An affidavit submitted by FBI Special Agent Gregor J. Ahlers in Kentucky said military personnel files showed that a "personality disorder" led to the discharge, which apparently was approved at least two months ago.

i suspect this is not the only case where unstable americans have been given a uniform and a gun and placed on the line.



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