Military policy and Vets issues
Opening Millennial funk
Mental and Physical Health
In 2006, despite a congressional order, ordering assessing the mental health of all deploying troops fewer than one in 300 troops saw a mental health professional before deploying to Iraq (1 ).
It was also reported in 2006 that American troops, that suffered from mental illness were being sent back to combat. Psychiatrist Dr. Arthur S. Blank said "I'm concerned that people who are symptomatic are being sent back. That has not happened before in our country," (2 ).
This must have continued because in 2008 medically unfit or troops that were considered borderline were being sent to the Middle East so the Army can meet "deployable strength," (3 ).
"moral" health of the entire military body
It was reported in 2008 that the level of "moral waivers," for entering US Military has increased. Moral Waivers allow troops with criminal records, emotional problems, and weak educational backgrounds to serve. Moral waivers in 2001 totaled 7,640, it's increased to 11,018 in 2005 (4 ).
It was also reported in 2007 that the number of convicted felons entering the US Military increased 824 in 2004 to 1,605 in 2006. 43,977 people who committed serious misdemeanors such as assault were given moral Waivers. 58,561 illegal drug users were given Moral Waivers (5 ).
There is concern over troop strength former Secretary of State Colin Powell said "The active army is about broken," in 2007. Fifteen percent of troops in 2006 were given Moral Waivers. 82 percent of people joining the Army have a high school diploma or its equivalent. This is below the Army's benchmark of 90 percent and its the lowest since 1981(6 ).
A sign of hope?
What a difference a year makes! It was reported in 2009 that the US military complete its best recruiting year since 1973. The armed forces met all its recruiting goals and 96% of recruits had a high school diploma (7 ) .