from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2013, Issue No. 75
August 22, 2013
Secrecy News Blog: http://blogs.fas.org/secrecy/
MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS SURGE IN THE MILITARY: CRS
Mental health problems in the military are on the rise and pose a growing challenge to active duty forces, the Congressional Research Service said in a major new report on the subject.
"Between 2001 and 2011, the rate of mental health diagnoses among active duty servicemembers increased approximately 65%. A total of 936,283 servicemembers, or former servicemembers during their period of service, have been diagnosed with at least one mental disorder over this time period. Nearly 49% of these servicemembers were diagnosed with more than one mental disorder," the CRS report said.
"Overall, mental health disorders have significant impacts on servicemember health care utilization, disability, and attrition from service. In 2011, mental disorders accounted for more hospitalizations of servicemembers than any other illness and more outpatient care than all illnesses except musculoskeletal injuries and routine medical care."
The CRS cautioned that the data should be kept in perspective, considering the prevalence of mental health concerns among the civilian population. "Research suggests that an estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older experience a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year."
See "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Other Mental Health Problems in the Military: Oversight Issues for Congress," August 8, 2013:
Other noteworthy new or updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from broad public release include the following.
Veterans' Medical Care: FY2014 Appropriations, August 14, 2013:
Military Justice: Courts-Martial, An Overview, August 12, 2013:
In Brief: Assessing DOD's New Strategic Guidance, August 13, 2013:
FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues, August 19, 2013:
GAO Bid Protests: Trends and Analysis, August 9, 2013:
Egypt in Crisis: Issues for Congress, August 19, 2013:
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress, August 20, 2013:
Telecommunications and Media Convergence: Selected Issues for Consideration, August 14, 2013:
THE WARRIOR ETHOS, AND MORE MILITARY DOCTRINE
"Modern combat is chaotic, intense, and shockingly destructive. In your first battle, you will experience the confusing and often terrifying sights, sounds, smells, and dangers of the battlefield--but you must learn to survive and win despite them...."
"You must keep faith with your fellow Soldiers, remember your training, and do your duty to the best of your ability. If you do, and you uphold your Warrior Ethos, you can win and return home with honor."
So begins the Introduction to a newly updated US Army Training Circular on The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (TC 3-21.75, August 2013, very large PDF file), which aims to communicate and instill core military values.
Another newly updated Pentagon publication presents joint doctrine on Homeland Defense (HD). It "defines and clarifies the domestic use of rules of engagement and rules for the use of force in HD operations." And it "Clarifies and elaborates thoroughly the role of planning for cyberspace operations and the duties involved."
The document also provides lots of incidental details of interest, such as a reference to a previously unheard-of Presidential Policy Directive 10 on US Ballistic Missile Defenses. "PPD-10 acknowledges that ballistic missile systems present an increasingly important challenge and threat to the security of the US, its deployed forces, and its allies and partners. PPD-10 provides policy and guidelines for the development and deployment of US BMDs."
See Joint Publication 3-27, Homeland Defense, July 29, 2013:
The Navy has issued new guidance to combat the Insider Threat, as the Army did last month.
The insider threat program places unauthorized disclosures (or "leaks") on a par with espionage or terrorism, and prior to either of them in the official definition. Thus an insider threat, as defined by the Department of Defense, is "a person with authorized access, who uses that access, wittingly or unwittingly, to harm national security interests or national security through unauthorized disclosure, data modification, espionage, terrorism, or kinetic actions resulting in loss or degradation of resources or capabilities."
See Department of the Navy Insider Threat Program, SECNAV Instruction 5510.37, August 8, 2013:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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