Army Offers Waivers to Recruits with Mental Illness

Still struggling to meet its recruiting numbers, the Army will now open the door to those with a history of mental health conditions.

The Army is trying to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018.  Last year, it accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests and offered waivers for marijuana use to reach its goal of 69,000.

The Army also is offering more bonuses to those who sign up for service.

Now it is accepting those with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug or alcohol abuse. 

“My concern would be for those that had drug or alcohol dependency, and also those who had to take medication for mood such as bipolar and other things,” says Army Major Charles “Bill McClain, (ret).

“I read one example where somebody did something when they were 10-years-old, the mutilation thing, and I could see where that would probably work,” he says.  “A lot of us did things at 10-years-old we wouldn't want to be held against us when we wanted to serve our country.”

McClain says you have to trust those in charge know what they're doing.

“I am sure in the offices of the Pentagon when these decisions were made to do this, they were not taken lightly at all,” he says.  “I'm sure there were many, many difficult questions and several meetings before the decision was made to proceed in this way.”

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