It looks like some with PTSD are being hosed.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/us/a-military-diagnosis-pe...In recent weeks, questions about whether the Army manipulates psychiatric diagnoses to save money have been raised at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., where soldiers undergoing medical evaluations before discharge complained that psychiatrists rescinded PTSD diagnoses, leaving the soldiers with diagnoses like personality disorder that did not qualify them for medical discharges.In a memorandum, an Army ombudsman wrote that a doctor from the base hospital, Madigan Army Medical Center, said that one diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder can cost $1.5 million in benefits over a soldier’s lifetime. The doctor also counseled his colleagues to be good stewards of taxpayer money by not “rubber-stamping” such diagnoses.In the wake of those complaints, the Army has removed the head of Madigan and suspended two doctors at a special forensic psychiatric unit. It has also reviewed the cases of 14 soldiers and reinstituted PTSD diagnoses for 6 of them.The military is downsizing & RIFing personnel. It could be that the resulting force will be less combat effective.http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htatrit/articles/20120310.a...Already, senior army officials are talking openly about putting more emphasis on marching and similar drills, as well as greater attention to wearing uniforms correctly and saluting every time you are supposed to. More effort will be directed at improving appearances. On the positive side there will be growing emphasis on being physically fit, with more soldiers discharged for being too fat or unable to pass the physical fitness test.But overall, emphasis will shift from being combat ready to appearing (especially to politicians and the media) combat ready. The troops call this "mickey mouse" (or a lot of less printable phrases).It was noted as far back as World War II, when detailed records of troop performance were first compiled and analyzed, that some troops were worth making an effort to keep. But there were problems. A disproportionate number of troops that excelled in combat also had disciplinary problems when off the battlefield. The conventional wisdom was that someone with a "taste for combat" also lacked respect for authority or an inclination to look and act like a "good soldier" should. Research since World War II has shown that risk-taking behavior is the basis of brave acts, as well as criminal ones, drug use, and addiction to things like gambling and dangerous sports. The "best people" for combat are not best suited for peacetime military service. Thus it is likely that the most capable combat troops and leaders will get RIFed, while their more tractable, if less combat worthy, comrades will be encouraged to stay. I wonder if these most effective combat troops should be cut loose as our country seem intent on ramping up fer an Iran adventure.
Heh, it's not like one might, say, kill about 16 Afghan civilians in a PTSD invoked Rage...
"...The "best people" for combat are not best suited for peacetime military service. Thus it is likely that the most capable combat troops and leaders will get RIFed, while their more tractable, if less combat worthy, comrades will be encouraged to stay. ..."............"Those who don't learn from History are destined to repeat it"Vietnam era: "RIF" (Reduction in Force)Prime performers were not IDed and kept.The Azz kissers git promoted, more rank - yet worthless, wrt real Mission capabilites.I noted the fitness item prior to these loooong non-wars, while out on my morning jogs, a lot of Troops couldn't perform on foot for long.They were, early on, without weapons and equipment, then later, they were able to bear their weight and their kit and weapons also.->Effective Management - Quality Controls<-
The NYTimes article has me wondering if we should return to the draft. And immediately pay the $ cost of war.Yes a drafted military is a less effective military. Why would I propose a return to the draft?1)Our society now has a very limited exposure to the human cost of war. 2)Our society has NO immediate $ cost of war as those costs are rolled onto the annual deficit spending.3) Our professional military personnel have repeated exposure to combat-3 or 4 tours-resulting in physical & mental injuries. And after the repeated dehumanizing exposure to war, atrocities are more likely to occur. And worse how the repeated exposure to war affect our citizen/soldiers.4)It is likely that senior military officers are screwing over some of our military personnel to keep costs down; especially as our country no longer afford perpetual war.I suspect if the population had exposure to the $ & human cost of war. There would be less desire for military adventures.And we owe our veterans for their service rather than weaseling out of our obligation via personality disorder discharges. Its amazing that these personality disorders weren't while they were in country; but are obvious versus a PSTD diagnosis would result in a $1 million future obligation to the troop.One might say "Hey the recruit signed on the dotted line; no one twisted their arm." I think it unlikely that a 18-22 yr old has any realistic idea of military life or the risk they are taking on. So it is incumbent on our nation to choose wisely on what wars we engage in.Our nation [politicians & citizens alike] has been much too eager to take on a war in which we have NO conception of the culture of the invaded country & how it will affect mission. Well nothing will change. But I feel better for my rant.
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