Government rules the proverbial roost when it comes to failure. Example: the failure in reporting military crimes to the federal database (see Pentagon Knew of Lapse in Military Crime Reporting. Did Nothing…). Or other examples, like overreaching programs called welfare, Obamacare, and other “ares” that play off the word care. They don’t.
The governing body’s latest bad decision is re-allowing persons with serious mental health conditions to enlist in the Army. Cause that’s helpful.
People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
So the government is lifting the ban because, meh, it’s just suicide. No biggy. It’s only troops killing themselves. So, in order to meet recruitment numbers, let’s just ignore a ban that was enforced to save lives. Chalk it up to collateral damage.
While bipolar disorder can be kept under control with medication, self-mutilation — where people slashing their skin with sharp instruments — may signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
If self-mutilation occurs in a military setting, Ritchie said, it could be disruptive for a unit. A soldier slashing his or her own skin could result in blood on the floor, the assumption of a suicide attempt and the potential need for medical evacuation from a war zone or other austere place.
No crap. Seeing one’s battalion member slashing their flesh would be quite the disturbance. Just like seeing a male penis in the women soldier’s showers would cause discomfort and/or disruption of duties (see Breaking: Trump Signs Order Restricting Transgender Soldiers From Military Service).
Guidance for screening potential recruits with histories that include self-mutilation make clear that the applicant must provide “appropriate documentation” to obtain the waiver, according a September memo to commanders.
Look, we all know someone who deals with mental health issues. We aren’t saying these people are less human than you or I. But the Army had these measures in place for a reason. Thrusting such peoples in stressful situations with a gun in hand is Einstein’s formula for a giant crap fest.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the military isn’t the place for tolerance, understanding, or social experiments. Not sorry.