Report: The Army Is Embracing Drug Waivers To Help Fill Its Ranks

Bullet Points
New Soldiers arriving for their first day of Basic Combat Training, Aug. 19, with Company F, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment on Fort Jackson, S.C. are "welcomed" by drill sergeants.
Army Reserve/Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton

The Army is increasingly relying on waivers for bad conduct or drug use for potential recruits in order to help meet its recruitment goals this fiscal year, the Associated Press reports.

  • Of the waivers issued by the Army in the first six months of fiscal 2018, nearly a full third "were for conduct and drug problems, mainly involving marijuana use," according to recruiting data obtained by the AP.
  • "In 2016, nearly 19% of the waivers were for drug use and conduct," the AP reports. "In 2017 that grew to almost 25%, and for the first half of 2018 it exceeded 30%" — far outstripping the 2% to 12% of waivers issued to the other three core branches of the U.S armed forces.
  • The Army has also increased its use of bonuses by some 30% this fiscal year, according to the AP data, doling out an additional $200 million in bonuses of up to $30,000 for a five-year contract to reel in new soldiers.
  • These measures haven't appeared to help: In April, a separate AP report revealed that the Army had only wrangled 28,000 recruits by the halfway point in the recruiting year, a shortfall that induced the service to revise its goals down from 80,000 to 76,500 recruits for the year.

Given the Army's recruiting shortfall, perhaps the DoD should consider taking another look at the convoluted Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program that's kept some foreign-born recruits from joining the ranks of the armed forces in recent months. Just an idea!


Now you can relive the glory days of screaming "fire for effect" before lobbing rounds down range, and you can do it from the comfort of your own backyard, or living room, without having to worry that some random staff sergeant is going to show up and chew you out for your unsat face scruff and Johnny Bravo 'do.

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The leader of a Chicago-area street gang has been arrested and charged with attempting to aid the ISIS terrorist group, the Department of Justice said Friday.

Jason Brown, also known as "Abdul Ja'Me," allegedly gave $500 on three separate occasions in 2019 to a confidential informant Brown believed would then wire it to an ISIS fighter engaged in combat in Syria. The purported ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, according to a DoJ news release.

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Jacob Daniel Price (Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office)

An ex-Marine faces premeditated murder charges after admitting to killing his parents and the two family dogs, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.

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My brother earned the Medal of Honor for saving countless lives — but only after he was left for dead

"As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night."


Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.

Air Force Master Sgt. John "Chappy" Chapman is my brother. As one of an elite group, Air Force Combat Control — the deadliest and most badass band of brothers to walk a battlefield — John gave his life on March 4, 2002 for brothers he never knew.

They were the brave men who comprised a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) that had been called in to rescue the SEAL Team 6 team (Mako-30) with whom he had been embedded, which left him behind on Takur Ghar, a desolate mountain in Afghanistan that topped out at over 10,000 feet.

As I learned while researching a book about John, the SEAL ground commander, Cmdr. Tim Szymanski, had stupidly and with great hubris insisted on insertion being that night. After many delays, the mission should and could have been pushed one day, but Szymanski ordered the team to proceed as planned, and Britt "Slab" Slabinski, John's team leader, fell into step after another SEAL team refused the mission.

But the "plan" went even more south when they made the rookie move to insert directly atop the mountain — right into the hands of the bad guys they knew were there.

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Sen. Rick Scott is backing a bipartisan bill that would allow service members to essentially sue the United States government for medical malpractice if they are injured in the care of military doctors.

The measure has already passed the House and it has been introduced in the Senate, where Scott says he will sign on as a co-sponsor.

"As a U.S. Senator and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking care of our military members, veterans and their families is my top priority," the Florida Republican said in a statement.

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