Posted on Nov 14, 2017
COL Chief, Land Forces Division
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I'm surprised this hasn't been on RallyPoint. During the increased requirements for the War on Terror, Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army increased its requirements for recruiting and saw a change in the waivers granted to some recruits. Some say this led to discipline problems throughout the force and some of the war crimes committed by those who were more likely to be mentally unstable in war. Should the Army (and the military in general) maintain a strict set of entrance requirements that cannot be waivered? With the debate about those with mental health issues and gun violence on the front burner...is this the type of recruit we are looking for? ***Look at SSG Aaron Case's rebuttal to this argument below. He sheds some light on the article and talks about the Army's response.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/12/army-lifts-ban-recruits-history-self-mutilation-other-mental-health-issues/853131001/
Edited 10 mo ago
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Capt Seid Waddell
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I think that there might be some wiggle room on height/weight for initial induction, but taking in people with known mental issues should not be waived. High stress jobs dealing with high explosives are no place for the unstable, IMHO.
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SGT Frank Pritchett
SGT Frank Pritchett
10 mo
I have had the unique opportunity to have enlisted in the Army in 1974, served through the 80's to 1994; re-enlisted in 2007 and retired in 2015. I have seen a lot of changes that has taken place but the one one change I truly have disliked is the fluctuation in Military Protocol. The guard duties of the 70 served a purpose and our field training into the 80's was fantastic but in the 90's after the Gulf War it seems like NCO's and Officers dropped a lot of necessary training to the point now when a unit goes to NTC for training they are less prepared then when they started a lot of problems could have been worked out at the units FTX or STX but that isn't done any more. 3 days in the field does nothing for preparation of going down range. So fluctuating with the Army changes everything, I might have complained a lot during the 70's and 80's but when I went down range it all came together. The Military needs to go back and re look at the training during the 70's and 80's and think about it.
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SFC J. Fullerton
SFC J. Fullerton
10 mo
Totally agree with the mental health issues. However, a lot of things were a disqualifier or required waivers that kept out otherwise qualified people from joining. Eg; 19 year old high school grad with an "unruly child" charge at 14 gets court ordered counseling and anger management classes. The charge itself is only a minor non-traffic and by itself not a disqualifier. However, the disposition of the charge now requires a psych consult and a waiver.
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Capt Seid Waddell
Capt Seid Waddell
10 mo
SFC J. Fullerton, is that the same thing as the "Juvenile Delinquent" term of earlier times?
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SFC J. Fullerton
SFC J. Fullerton
10 mo
Capt Seid Waddell - Yes, AR 601-210 classifies both terms as the same thing. In my example above, the charge by itself would not require a moral waiver. But because the court record shows a disposition that included counseling and anger management classes, now it becomes a medical issue.
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SSG Recruiter
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Firstly, this article is bullshit. It is greatly exaggerating what is actually happening, and insinuating things that will “stir the pot”. If I wasn’t on mobile I would link to the couple articles where the Army responded to this article, and completely refute what it states.

The Army is not lowering any standards. The change is simply the level at which waivers can be approved at. Previously for example if you had an applicant who went to counseling for depression because their parents got divorced, that applicant would technically be disqualfied or would need a waiver from the Deparrment of the Army. Now that waiver can be processed “in-house” at USAREC, and this otherwise qualified person can enlist.

As for the “alcohol and drug abusers”, there have always been waivers for certain things. Weed is becoming much more socially acceptable, and therefore more widely used. Should we continue to disqualify people for having EVER smoked weed? Now we are further restricting the recruitable pool of people. We aren’t talking about drug dealers, or hard drug users.

As for the self-mutilation, nobody with suidcidal tendencies is just going to get in. The new rules allow individual cases to be reviewed on a whole person concept (ie: this person cut themselves when they were younger, but have since grown and are normal responsible adults now, who additionally have been cleared by a psychologist).

If anything the Army is making it harder to get people in. We have not been able to enlist High School Seniors who score less than 50 for the past 6 months. (Unless certain circumstances are met and then only so many can enlist). Enlisting/shipping off Green Card holders has gotten stricter. The only thing that is realitively easier are Prior Service people, and there are still rules to them.
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COL Chief, Land Forces Division
COL (Join to see)
10 mo
SSG (Join to see), this needs to go to the top of the page, but I can't vote for you more than once. Going to edit the original post to point out your response. Thanks.
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SSG Recruiter
SSG (Join to see)
10 mo
COL (Join to see) thank you sir! It’s frustrating when people with no personal insight jumps to conclusions based off headlines, or badly written articles. If we all did a little more research or waited a bit before forming our opinion we would be in a better place.
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SFC Vet Technician
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I don't think we have a choice. We already face a limited population that even wants to enlist and 10% of that are DQ'd because of lack of general physical fitness. That leaves the option of lowering standards in other areas such as morality and mental fitness (although I question that one with such a large amount of Soldiers that already have issues due to PTSD).
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COL Chief, Land Forces Division
COL (Join to see)
10 mo
SFC (Join to see), unfortunately I have to agree with you. As I've said a couple of times, we can either make a great social investment in the youth of today and tomorrow in order to increase the amount of qualified applicants at a higher standard or we have to lower the standards to meet the requirements for the number of missions we are mandated to perform by congress and the president.
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