How Many Troops Did The Pentagon Boot Out Over Botched Drug Tests?

Bullet Points
Urine
U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Daniel A. Wulz

The Department of Defense announced a two-day pause to court-martial and administrative separation proceedings involving the wrongful use of controlled substances, due to worries over the integrity of the lab tests involved — a move that could also cast a pall over past drug-related dismissals, Military Times reports.


  • A May 2018 study conducted by the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory, which oversees drug-related urinalysis testing for the service, found that potential leaks between urine samples during transport could result in cross-contamination of drug-free samples with "hot" urine, tainting the samples of ostensibly innocent airmen.
  • The Air Force reached that conclusion through a series of experiments involving shipping urine samples in various configurations to check for contamination. "When ADFTL received the boxes, they were both soaked with urine," the study says, making it officially my favorite government report ever.
  • In announcing the pause, the DoD general counsel stated that all officer elimination actions “will need a closer look to ensure they are not a part of a current situation with the drug lab testing procedures" — basically, to ensure that hard-working officers aren't having their careers ruined over a lab error.
  • This is going to cause a lot of problems for drug violations past and present. “This definitely raises doubt in the system,” Tully Rinckey law firm founding partner and former active-duty JAG Greg Rinckey told Military Times. “There are a lot of defenses that can be raised now that call into question all of the drug testing.”

The Pentagon's pause comes just over a year after every U.S. military base implemented brand-new drug testing procedures to test for substances beyond the traditional marijuana, cocaine, and LSD, to include opioids like oxycodone and synthetic cannabinoids. And it raises an interesting question: How many active-duty U.S. troops had their careers ended over some loose piss? Something tells me we'll never know the answer.

Read the ADFTL study report below:

Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory Study Of Sample Leakage During Shipment by Jared Keller

WATCH NEXT:

The Air Force is urging airmen to avoid using any products with cannabidiol oil, also known as CBD oil. Why? Because products with CBD oil can make airmen test positive during a urine test for the presence of marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law.

The Air Force announcement comes three months after the Department of Defense reminded service members that CBD use is "completely forbidden."

Read More Show Less

Two U.S. troops were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday in a helicopter crash, military officials have announced.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.

In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.

Read More Show Less
Chief Master Sgt. Jason Morehouse. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.

Read More Show Less
Roxanne Roellchen interacts with her sons in their family's new home, which they moved into after experiencing roaches, leaks and black mold at another property, at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas U.S. November 16, 2019. (Reuters/Callaghan O'Hare)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.

At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.

Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.

Read More Show Less