U.S. Army Now Taking Applicants With Histories of Mental Illness, Drug Abuse, and Self-Mutilation
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Newsweek
Posted: November 27th, 2017
People with a history of mental illness, drug abuse and self-mutilation can now apply to serve in the U.S. Army, according to a report on Sunday, which emerged as a former Air Force recruits mass shooting at a Texas church continues raising questions about the militarys handling of mental health problems. The Army signed off on the change of policy in August but never announced it. Under the new policy, applicants with mental health issues that previously would have barred them from service can ask for waivers allowing them to sign up. This ends an eight-year ban on the waivers that started after a spike in suicides among American fighters. More than 200 active-duty servicemembers have died by suicide every year since 2008, according to Pentagon data. The latest mental health controversy began last week after Devin Kelley ... shot and killed 26 people. Kelley had been kicked out of the Air Force in 2012 for assaulting his wife and infant stepson, and he was also committed to a mental health facility in New Mexico, where he escaped after threatening to kill his superiors. The Air Force said Kelley was ... never entered into a federal criminal database, which would have stopped him from buying weapons. This is the second consecutive year the Army has changed its recruiting standards to meet crushing demands for more troops.
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