will consider upgrading the other-than-honorable discharges of 73 soldiers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury after a service-wide review found they may not have undergone a required medical examination.
Army Secretary Eric Fanning outlined the results of the review in an Aug. 25 letter
to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., which Murphy’s office posted online Thursday. The review came after a Nov. 4 letter
from Murphy and 11 other Democratic senators to senior Army leaders citing a National Public Radio investigation
that reported more than 20,000 soldiers
with PTSD or TBI diagnoses had been separated for misconduct since 2009.
Fanning’s letter offered discharge figures from January 2009 through July 2015:
- The Army separated 469,294 soldiers, 67,697 of whom “had a behavioral health diagnosis in their record and were separated for misconduct.”
- Of those, 3,327 soldiers had deployed within 24 months of separation and had a PTSD or TBI diagnosis, meaning they should have undergone a pre-separation medical exam to evaluate that diagnosis.
- The vast majority of those soldiers received honorable discharges. Of the 394 who didn’t, 221 received “appropriate behavioral health evaluations” that were available to their commanders when their discharge status was determined.
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