Tags: Veterans | GAO | troops | PTSD | discharged | misconduct

GAO: Thousands of Troops With PTSD Discharged for Misconduct

Image: GAO: Thousands of Troops With PTSD Discharged for Misconduct
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By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 12:40 PM

Several thousand members of the United States Armed Forces who were discharged in recent years had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other conditions that may have contributed to their behavior, a government study found.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that 57,141 of the 91,764 service members discharged from the military from 2011-2015 — a figure that amounts to 62 percent — suffered from conditions stemming from their time in the uniform.

Notable findings in the data:

  • 16 percent suffered from PTSD or PTI.
  • 84 percent suffered from other conditions such as alcohol-related disorders.
  • 23 percent of those suffering from disorders received an "other than honorable" characterization of their time in the uniform, which put their eligibility for receiving VA health benefits at risk.

The GAO discovered that the policies regarding PTSD and PTI for each of the branches of service are not always consistent with that of the Department of Defense.

"For example, contrary to DOD policy, Navy policy does not require a medical examination — or screening — for certain service members being separated in lieu of trial by court-martial to assess whether a PTSD or TBI diagnosis is a mitigating factor in the misconduct charged," the GAO report reads.

"In addition, GAO found that two of the four military services have TBI training polices that are inconsistent with DOD policy."

The results of a study published last year, meanwhile, found that soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were more likely to develop PTSD if they receive a concussion or another brain injury.

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Several thousand members of the United States Armed Forces who were discharged in recent years had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other conditions that may have contributed to their behavior...
GAO, troops, PTSD, discharged, misconduct
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2017-40-18
Thursday, 18 May 2017 12:40 PM
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