Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences Mental illness in a given year according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI.) Or 4 3.8 million or 18.5 percent. There is an approximation of 1 in 25 adults in America or 9.8 million or 4.0 percent who experience serious mental illnesses which interferes or limits one or more major life activities. Out of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S.A., there were 10.2 million adults who had a co-occurring mental illness. And 41 percent with a mental illness obtained treatment.

Who is being waived?

The following individuals can ask for a waiver to join the Army:

  • History of self-mutilation;
  • Bipolar disorder;
  • Depression; and
  • Drug and alcohol abuse.

The sacrifice of a band in order to increase numbers

The outcome of this rescinded mental illness Ban came on the heels of the challenge to recruit 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet the previous year’s goal of 69,000, the Army received a higher number of recruits who did poorly on aptitude tests. The Army also raised the number of waivers extended to marijuana use and offered bonuses in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

What happened to allow the ban to be lifted?

The Army chose to lift the ban since the Army has greater access to medical information about each possible recruit, responded Lt.

Col. Randy Taylor who is an Army spokesman. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories” added Taylor. In the year 2009, the Army issued the ban or waivers due to the outbreak of suicides among troops and Veterans.

The wet-behind-the-ears Private meets a self-mutilator

I am personally familiar with bipolar.

I know how it feels to be caught in the middle of an episode at the office. There is no way I would want to be on the battlefield, driving a tank or jumping out of an airplane. The officers have enough to deal with making sure everybody goes home in one piece. They do not need to be saddled with the extra burden of not knowing when the bipolar person is going to go off.

By my experiences, someone who self-mutilates is demonstrating a deeper mental issue. This activity would be "distracting and disruptive" to the other troops.

Just imagine, this is your first tour of duty. You are riding in a truck to your destination in the hot desert. You just graduated from high school. You watched your mom wipe the tears from her eyes when the bus rolled on. Now you are sitting in a truck, scared to death holding back tears and the guy next to you is cutting his arm. “What the?” This could lead to the question of a suicide attempt. A special medical team would have to be called in.

So, how many waivers?

The Army was mum on how many waivers or how many had been issued. There is data in October that supports the supposition that the Army is still accepting troops who barely qualify or at all.

The 2017 fiscal year showed that the Army reached their recruiting goals by accepting more poorly equipped troops. The Army recruited in the ballpark of 69,000 soldiers. Out of that number, only 1.9% belonged to the Category Four. This is a term used to identify troops who have the lowest category on a military aptitude test.

During the year 2016, 0.6 percent came from Category Four. There is a mandate from the Pentagon that asserts the services can accept no more than 4 percent. The waivers for marijuana usage jumped from 191 in 2016 to 506 in 2017. And it is illegal while in uniform.