Following allegations that it has wrongly discharged thousands of soldiers
suffering from PTSD and TBI for misconduct, the U.S. Army has announced
a new review of its separation policies. As Military Times reports, the
new investigation was spurred by a dozen senators who publicly called
for an evaluation.
The move stems from an investigative report published by NPR that alleged
that up to 22,000 soldiers had been wrongly and less-than-honorably discharged
because they suffered from combat-related PTSD and TBI. Reporters concluded
that this was the Army's way to quietly reduce the ranks during peace
time—even if it meant denying soldiers in need the care, attention,
and Army benefits they deserved following their traumas.
"We are troubled by recent allegations that the U.S. Army is forcefully
separating for misconduct service members diagnosed with PTSD or TBI,"
Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut wrote on behalf of himself and 11
other fellow senators. "We are concerned that it may be easier to
discharge service members for minor misconduct — possibly related
to mental health issues — than to evaluate them for conditions that
may warrant a medical discharge."
"A Thorough, Multidisciplinary Review"
The Army has since written to Senator Murphy's office and revealed
that a new investigation is underway concerning the alleged PTSD and TBI
separations. "The decision to separate a soldier from the Army for
any reason is not an easy one," wrote Acting Army Secretary Eric
K. Fanning, "which is why we require a thorough review of the facts
in each and every case." A "thorough, multidisciplinary review"
of the misconduct discharges was also pledged in the letter to Murphy's office.
The Army already has in place measures to ensure fair treatment of soldiers
suffering psychological or mental issues and any service member that means
to appeal their discharge status. For instance, over the last 5 years,
58 new behavioral health clinics have been established, which has greatly
increased a soldier's access to consultations.
"We are working diligently to provide soldiers the best medical treatment
available while on active duty," Fanning added in his letter, "and
to transition them seamlessly to the Department of Veterans Affairs for
treatment as they re-enter civilian life.”
If you are facing a criminal allegation or an adverse administrative action,
then we invite you to contact
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