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

Bullet Points
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:

Riley Howell

Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.

Read More Show Less
The scene of Monday's plane crash in North Carolina. (North Carolina Department of Transportation/Susan Kinner)

A military plane crashed in North Carolina on Monday, according to the Marine Corps.

The pilot safely ejected before the crash in Craven County, and no deaths have been reported, according to a Facebook post from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Read More Show Less

A U.S. Army National Guardsman convicted of murder in the 2010 fatal shooting of an Afghan man was released Monday morning from a military prison at Fort Leavenworth.

As a white van carried Sgt. Derrick Miller to a parking lot at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, the guardsman's mother, Renee Myers, held an American flag and excitedly said: "Ah, my baby."

"Hey, mom," Miller said as he stepped out of the van after eight years in military prison. He rubbed her back as the two embraced.

Miller's release comes as President Donald Trump is said to be considering pardons for several military members accused or convicted of war crimes, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Read More Show Less
The Hays Country Sheriff's Department in Texas (YouTube screenshot)

Five U.S. Navy sailors have been charged with aggravated sexual assault in connection with a rape reported in Hays County, Texas last year.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Marine Corps Veterans salute during the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial unveiling ceremony in the Camp San Mateo Memorial Garden at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 28, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Rhita Daniel)

California's high cost of living makes it a difficult place for retired military service members to settle down, according to an annual report by financial services website WalletHub.

California — home to the largest number of active-duty troops in the nation — fares poorly in the survey when it comes to affordable housing, homelessness and the proportion of of businesses in the state that are owned by veterans.

Read More Show Less