U.S. Army Mental Health Survey Concerning Private Firearms Ownership


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P.O.2010
May 25, 2011, 07:18 PM
Recently my command required all Soldiers to attend a survey called STARRS conducted by the University of Michigan and the National Institute of Mental Health. Apparently this survey is being conducted Army wide. The survey, which is 90 minutes long, contains a variety of questions concerning one's mental health to include questions about whether the Soldier abuses drugs or alcohol, assaults others, suffers from depression, mania, psychosis or anxiety, has committed war crimes (the survey specifically asks if you have killed non-combatants, unarmed civilians etc) or is a suicide risk. In other words, it is designed to determine the prevalence of harmful, antisocial or psychotic behaviors. The survey was supposedly voluntary, however, when your commander and first sergeant are present and you aren't allowed to leave if you opt out most Soldiers get the unspoken message and understand that rather than volunteering they have been "voluntold".

You can imagine how surprised and displeased I was to find a page dedicated to gun ownership. The survey specifically asks how many guns you own and have in your home. It goes on to ask whether you carry them, the frequency with which you carry them and where you carry them. The survey also goes further specifically asking whether or not you carry other weapons to include black jacks, mace, tasers, knives etc. One question asked whether you carry weapons when going to the grocery store.

The survey's implication was very clear: if you possess privately owned firearms and/or choose to carry them that behavior is an indication of self destructive or homicidal tendencies on the part of the Soldier, something I deeply resent. When I came to the section that wanted me to detail how many weapons I own and how often I carry them I refused to answer and left the questions blank.

I for one am sick and tired of private firearms ownership being portrayed as a sign of mental illness or a predisposition to commit crime. I am also sick and tired of the U.S. military treating its Soldiers like children and criminals. As a Non-Commissioned Officer with an unblemished service record to be asked whether I am war criminal and a drug addict is bad enough but to lump in my choice to carry firearms off post in compliance with all applicable laws and statutes with that type of behavior is disgusting. Apparently the lawful carry of a firearm to defend yourself and your family is an indicator of mental illness and maladjustment. Wonderful.

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VA27
May 25, 2011, 08:41 PM
Disgusting but not surprising.

Some UM grad students probably applied for a grant from NIMH and got it. So you have liberal students writing the questions, and NIMH is the big dog forcing participation.

Just off the top of my head, I'm thinking (without actually knowing anything about it) that since the suicide rate among soldiers is high (smaller Army means more soldiers serving multiple tours with less time to decompress between tours) that they may be trying to get a handle on the problem and maybe come up with some strategies to reduce the risk of suicide or develop some 'indicators' that may be shown by those most at risk.

Maybe they'll even develop a way to screen recruits who are most at risk beforehand and either address/correct the problem if possible, put them in non-combatant fields or reject them altogether.

If the above surmise is true, then I see it as a laudable project executed in typical bull-in-a-china-shop governmental style.

I could be wrong.

Of course, back in the 60's they just gave us LSD without our knowledge, so a questionnaire seems pretty tame to me.:D

SimplyChad
May 25, 2011, 08:57 PM
I havent had to take it yet but im sure it will come. I do know that through the weapons registration program he on bliss that your Lt or commander can disarm you at any time. Just a simple memo and all your registered weapons must be locked in the MP or Company arms room. Whether you live on post or off. I havent seen It on a company level, but Ive seen almost a Platoon's worth of guys have to turn all there guns in because the didnt reach a level of training there commander decided was necessary "to have the privilege of private gun ownership". And they wonder why so many NCO and jr Officers are leaving.

J-Bar
May 25, 2011, 11:22 PM
Maybe they are trying to prevent another Ft. Hood, but if they only gave the questionnaire to members of one religion they would be accused of discrimination...

Dumb either way, of course...

MarkDido
May 25, 2011, 11:28 PM
Private firearm ownership by military personel did not cause the Ft. Hood tragedy.

crossrhodes
May 25, 2011, 11:30 PM
That failure started well above our paygrades

SimplyChad
May 25, 2011, 11:35 PM
Yep and a E-fuzzy with a 1911 Chl could have stoppe it in it's tracks.

AlexanderA
May 26, 2011, 12:19 AM
If the results are anonymous, and participation is required, a lot of the test-takers will take the opportunity to play with the test-givers' heads. Therefore, the tabulated test results will be worthless. This is how we get statistics that say, for example, that the vast majority of high school students don't know who George Washington was. Don't underestimate the intelligence of people, or their secret desire to "stick it to the Man."

Owen Sparks
May 26, 2011, 12:42 AM
How do they knowif you are telling the truth or not? Most people who plan to commit crimes would probably lie about it if asked.

mr.trooper
May 26, 2011, 01:05 AM
U.S. military treating its Soldiers like children and criminals

Doesn't the military recruit 18 year olds? And cant you get wavers now if you have a criminal record? :confused:

denfoote
May 26, 2011, 04:47 AM
Maybe this what Obama means by "I'm working on gun control under the radar". ;)

vaherder
May 26, 2011, 07:14 AM
Anonymous survey who cares. You should have had fun with it. You drink 2gallons of tequila a day, want to have kinky sex with your CO, cross dress, you have killed thousands of unarmed civilains, drive fast, and you have problems telling the truth.

Back a few years ago my girlfriend was recovering from neck surgery and was in a medical company. As senior NCO she had show up for formation every morning at 600am. They saw this a way of preventing suicides. She loved standing out in the cold and damp weather waiting to be dismissed to go home. And no it didnt lower the suicide rate.

Problem is most COs have no clue about how to take care of their folks. In many cases the senior NCOs and warrant officers are jokes and looking for a piece and how to scam the system.

Lack of Leadership is the real problem and not mental health. A good CO takes care of his/her troops. A leader is someone you would gladly follow into combat no matter the consequences. And that may mean you sacrifice your life. You can find many examples on both sides at the Battle of Gettysburg. I met a few good leaders in my 20+ years in the USN.
None of CNOs or Chairman I dealt with had this quality.

Hensatc
May 26, 2011, 09:22 AM
Simply to play devils advocate:
Given the apparent prevalence of, and general negative institutional attitude toward mental health issues (especially in terms of combat vets, PTSD, readjustment etc), couldnt it be that this survey is an attempt to get a better handle on the ACTUAL prevalence in an effort to better address and help the soldiers who need it?

USAF_Vet
May 26, 2011, 10:00 AM
couldnt it be that this survey is an attempt to get a better handle on the ACTUAL prevalence in an effort to better address and help the soldiers who need it?

It could, but with some of the questions being asked, seems fishy. I mean, once they know you have guns, what does it matter if you carry it to the grocery store? Some of the questions seema bit more invasive than they need to be.

achttung
May 26, 2011, 10:22 AM
Yeah... I'd tell them what they DIDN'T want to hear....

Im a perfect angel who would NEVER own a gun.

Doesn't give them anything to cry over.

Toforo
May 26, 2011, 10:29 AM
This isn't the first time for STARRS
(Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers)

The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) (http://www.armystarrs.org/) is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel. The study will run through 2014. However, findings will be reported as they become available, so that the Army may apply them to its ongoing health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention efforts

Previous STARRS results can be seen here -
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/science-news/2011/army-starrs-preliminary-data-reveal-some-potential-predictive-factors-for-suicide.shtml

and here -
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-studies/army-study-to-assess-risk-and-resilience-in-servicemembers-army-starrs-a-partnership-between-nimh-and-the-us-army.shtml

The CURRENT ongoing study of STARRS refered to by the OP is listed here -
http://www.armystarrs.org/

It's goal is...

Army STARRS is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel.
Beginning in 2011, Army STARRS investigators will look for factors that help protect a Soldier’s mental health and those factors that put a Soldier’s mental health at risk. Army STARRS is a five-year study that will run through 2014; however, research findings will be reported as they become available so that they may be applied to ongoing health promotion, risk reduction, and suicide prevention efforts. Because promoting mental health and reducing suicide risk are important for all Americans; the findings from Army STARRS will benefit not only servicemembers but the nation as a whole.

As stated on the site of the current study -
"A participant's answers will never be shared with anyone in the Army unless the Soldier indicates that s/he is in imminent danger of self-harm or harming someone else"

Finally - according to the site -
"Joining Army STARRS is completely voluntary. Responses and personal information will remain strictly confidential. If researchers invite a Soldier to participate, the Soldier can decide whether or not to do so"

.

medalguy
May 26, 2011, 12:41 PM
We had something called the Human Reliability Program when I was in the AF way back in the 70's that was used to transfer a lot of guys out of what they called "sensitive positions" but was used more than a few times to "punish" people who the guy in the upstairs office didn't like, and to reward others. The idea was like this program, to point out those who might be less than reliable in a position of stress, and to keep their fingers off the nuclear button. I don't think there were questions about gun ownership but then that was a long time ago in another galaxy. Point being these questionnaires have been floating around a long time and don't appear to have done a hell of a lot of good.

armoredman
May 26, 2011, 02:24 PM
Sheesh, I had my UZI and AK in the ships armory while on West Pac, and the Captain bought Remington 1100s and a pigeon thrower to use of the aft flight deck. It seems to have changed in only 22 years.

mgmorden
May 26, 2011, 02:30 PM
Don't underestimate the intelligence of people, or their secret desire to "stick it to the Man."

Don't underestimate the statisticians either - they know that a certain percentage of answers are bogus, but most have ways to get around that (larger sample sizes, throwing out of outlying data, etc).

Trust me, the snickering guy who thinks he's ruining an entire survey by lying on it isn't pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. They know about this type of thing, and how to work around it.

Owen Sparks
May 26, 2011, 02:59 PM
But surely the majority of those who did devious things like abuses drugs or alcohol, assaults others, suffers from depression, mania, psychosis or anxiety,or committ war crimes would lie about it? No one would risk answering yes to a question that could get them dishonorably discharged or sent to prison even if the test was supposedly anonomous. Their finger prints ate on it! Most criminals and crazies know to keep their mouth shut.

One-Time
May 26, 2011, 03:16 PM
reminds me of the bases after fort hood that put up a sign that said

"Terrorists dont register their guns! You arent a terrorist are you?"

or something like that

Cosmoline
May 26, 2011, 03:25 PM
That failure started well above our paygrades

It started with the psychs who not only approved the nutcase for a uniform and a commission, but gave him his degree in spite of a "dissertation" that was many cans short of a six pack. The brass's response to the obvious problem was to promote and transfer him.

So now they're setting up a fall guy--soldiers who own firearms.

I agree though trying to screw up the survey is probably not going to do any damage to it.

J_McLeod
May 26, 2011, 03:45 PM
Last time I was in Iraq, the troops got fed up with surveys, and 1/3 of a company just selected the same answer for every question on a safety survey. I've never heard of this survey. If I do have to take I'll probably have some lifestyle changes shortly before. :evil:

The problems with Privately owned weapons on Bliss are probably Illegal. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 included language that forbade the DOD from interfering with privately owned weapon ownership or use off the installation. The CG of Ft. Richardson referenced it when he rescinded his policy letter prohibiting CCW by soldiers.

armoredman
May 26, 2011, 05:49 PM
One Time, this one? Apologies to the original photographer, don't know the name for proper credit.


http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b13/armoredman/Ft_20Benning20Firearms20Registration.jpg

InkEd
May 26, 2011, 06:49 PM
They also don't buy them at Bass Pro, love America or care about any of our laws.

SharpsDressedMan
May 26, 2011, 06:50 PM
There are a lot of rights you suspend, or give up, when you enlist. As I've stated before, all enlisted men ought not enlist again until these rights are restored. Maybe the military would get the drift. Some rights are inalienable, or at least they used to be.

Heretic
May 26, 2011, 09:51 PM
I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not.

armoredman
May 27, 2011, 12:59 AM
THAT would be worthy of a major media scandal - any proof to that?

achttung
May 27, 2011, 01:17 AM
None of my guns are registered... I must be a terrorist, or at least some sort of criminal, because I've even sold a handgun private party.

Dire_effects
May 27, 2011, 02:46 AM
I'm a terrorist. I have never registered my firearms nor do I plan to.

Loosedhorse
May 27, 2011, 08:23 AM
One question asked whether you carry weapons when going to the grocery store.You are right to be suspicious, but...

This is apparently a new survey. If it is actually meant to be a clinically useful instrument someday, it must undergo testing and refining.

They may find that the questions on gun ownership, carry, and carry of other weapons correlate strongly (as we all know) with other markers of responsibility, protectiveness, preparedness and ease of mind. Or they may find that those questions give them no additional information compared to other questions in the survey, and they will be dropped from future versions of the survey.

It is possible that the motives are anti-2A, and previous medical "studies" and newspaper polls with that agenda give us reason for suspicion. But it ain't necessarily so. We should perhaps remember the apocryphal story that the RAF gave an extensive survey to potential pilots during WWII. They found that one question correlated strongly with their successful pilots: "Do you ride a motorcycle?" I wonder how many thought that that question was being used to screen out the reckless, and so falsely answered "No," hoping to be pilots.

AlexanderA
May 27, 2011, 08:38 AM
I'm a terrorist. I have never registered my firearms nor do I plan to.

Well, some people felt that way during the 1968 machine gun amnesty. So now they have contraband that can send them to prison rather than very valuable assets. The point is that you can't be too rigid about such things.

SharpsDressedMan
May 27, 2011, 01:04 PM
"Amnesty registered weapons are easily located and confiscated, should the government ever want to renege on the amnesty. The unregistered ones are a little harder to conficscate." Adolph Hitler, 1936 :D

hermannr
May 27, 2011, 01:20 PM
It has always been my understanding that basic training and OCS were where the Army wanted to find out if you would break under stress. Has that changed?

As to the STARRS program. If I had to sign it, or it was coaded so the results could come back to identify me...the whole survey would be turned in blank. If I did not have to sign it, it would be filled out accurately.

When I was in (60's and 70's) I did not encounter anything like this. If I had to sign it, I would have a real problem as the information is really none of their business. If the survey was not traceable to an individual, the results would be unreliable and a less than useless waste of time.

oldbear
May 27, 2011, 01:43 PM
It's sad that anyone is forced into taking a survey such as you described, oh-well such is Army life. The only option I see is to lie about every answer, you may be able to force me to answer your questions but you can't force me to tell you the truth.

Nushif
May 27, 2011, 02:50 PM
I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not.

Where did you get that?

Rocketmedic
May 27, 2011, 05:06 PM
Chad, that is illegal. Soldiers assigned to Fort Bliss, or any other DOD post are allowed to maintain our 2nd Amendment rights unless there is official, legal disciplinary action to the contrary (such as an actual court-martial) as long as we are off-post and operating within the laws of the state (Texas). The exception is on-post or on federal land, due to command policies. Any orders to the contrary are in violation of Congress and should politely be treated as such- you can simply reference the Act and let your CO read away. If he keeps on it, go over his head and contact IG.

Furthermore, if you are forced to surrender your firearms, DO NOT turn them in to your unit. Family, the Rod and Gun Club, or the MP armory are ALL preferable to your unit arms room.

Registration is the worst option, and according to the Act, it is no longer mandatory. A lot of our leaders are trying to 'look out for us' by violating the rights that we do have, and it pisses me off, and that's why I'm leaving. To me, NCO is just another way to say "incompetent, power-hungry, slacker", but that's the caliber of leadership we have in 3-41 Infantry.

Get out and work a real job and don't tell the government about your legally-owned weapons. Registration precedes confiscation- just ask Australians!

SharpsDressedMan
May 27, 2011, 06:51 PM
Rocketmedic has the definitive answer. I concur. "Get out and work a real job and don't tell the government about your legally-owned weapons. Registration precedes confiscation- just ask Australians!"

Tim the student
May 27, 2011, 06:55 PM
I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not.

If that in any way is true, there is a whole lot more to it than what you state.

Ask me how I know...

vaherder
May 27, 2011, 07:16 PM
Quote:
"I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not."

Really? PTSD and receiving counseling doesnt effect your security clearance in most cases. Lets see my girlfriend got out of the USA in Fall of 2009 and she has purchased a few handguns, shotguns and rifles since getting out. She purchased her first Maxus within 30 days of leaving Army and she did time in a medical company.

Site please?

Sorry you are full of it.

SimplyChad
May 27, 2011, 07:29 PM
Well if they are listed as mentally adjunct and discharged for PTSD I think that would do it.

guntech59
May 27, 2011, 07:50 PM
I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not.
Either you misunderstood or you were lied to.

Toforo
May 27, 2011, 09:31 PM
Well if they are listed as mentally adjunct and discharged for PTSD I think that would do it.
Incorrect.
The only mental competency factor is what's listed on BATFE Form when you buy a gun at an FFL

"Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?"

...in plain language - has a court ever ruled that you are mentally and/or physically incompetent and unable to manage your own affairs - i.e. alzhiemers, severe dementia, etc...

Unless a person is suffering from SEVERE PTSD which COULD/MIGHT/MAYBE requires a guardian, caretaker and couldn't manage their daily affairs without professional assistance, PTSD is NOT a factor.

It's NOT a mental illness

Additionally, while IN the service and after out of the service, a veteran's active duty military records are as confidential and private as their post-service medical records and are NOT "public record" - to include those veterans currently seeking treatment at Veteran's Administration Hospitals and clinics.

The paths don't cross.


.

threefeathers
May 27, 2011, 09:40 PM
Hi, I have PTSD and get my treatments at the VA, not many nowadays but keep in touch.
I would think very hard about either not taking the survey or marking all A on the answers.
If you have essay I would write the first paragraph of the Code of Conduct on all of them

Nushif
May 28, 2011, 12:36 AM
Get out and work a real job and [...]

You lost me there. Hate to say it. And I'm not even an NCO.

Rocketmedic
May 28, 2011, 12:48 AM
Come to 1/1AD and you'll see why the Army is what it is today, brother.

Luckily, El Paso is fairly firearms-friendly. There's some great ranges and a pretty active community, although the gun show is a joke.

model 649
May 28, 2011, 12:58 AM
Questionnaires are amonge the least desirable ways of getting reliable information for study. They are very easily mis-informed. Why all the fuss?

Josh

J_McLeod
May 28, 2011, 01:35 AM
Come to 1/1AD and you'll see why the Army is what it is today, brother.

Luckily, El Paso is fairly firearms-friendly. There's some great ranges and a pretty active community, although the gun show is a joke.
1/1 AD is one of the newly formed Stryker Brigades, isn't it? I was in 4/2 ID when it was formed, and there it was horrible. We had some similar issues, and all kinds of other issues, and it was one of the worst experiences in my career, and many soldiers felt the same way. They Army has a horrible method of doing that. 5'2 ID had all the same problems as us.

Dire_effects
May 28, 2011, 02:25 PM
I can be very rigid about not registering my firearms. See, the second amendment enumerates our RIGHT, handed down by our creator to bear arms.

Marbury v. Madison states that any law repugnant to the Constitution is not valid. ( paraphrased)

So, anything that would "infringe" on my RIGHT to bear arms would be an illegal law.

May god have mercy on their souls if they come after the guns of Americans, because I'm sure they will get none from patriots.

Burt Blade
May 28, 2011, 10:24 PM
Tyrants have contempt for Liberty, and our Constitution which protects our Liberty.

You are not a tyrant, are you?

Shadow 7D
May 29, 2011, 04:01 AM
I would HATE to try to certify a survey by inflicting it on the army

ONE of three things will happen
All answers marked A or pattern, I've done really nice patters, worked out a flower pattern once.

all answers the 'normal' expected answer, hell on the statical reliability model, and there should be questions in the survey to 'detect' that sort of answerer

the self 'censer' even worse than above as it will skirt quite a few of the detection questions.

And of course my favorite, almost a military special - - the obscene language version of 'no thank you' I had a friend work out a pattern for that, but I could never remember it.

Radagast
May 29, 2011, 05:09 AM
As an Australian I have to agree with Rocketmedic. Registration does preceed confiscation. Para P16-40, Bul M5 polymer 1911, Beretta Tomcat, Beretta Elite II, S&W Model 60, 640 & 66 were my personal casualties in the war on guns. I replaced them with firearms that are compliant with the current laws, but there is nothing to stop the politicians from coming around again.

When mental health 'professionals' start asking about personal firearms a polite none of your business is required. At least here in Australia the gun control lobby was founded with a grant from the psychiatric college, is run out of the University of Sydneys mental health area and every mass shooter we have had has been in the mental health system first. When they are competent enough to recognise a nutter and not set him loose on society, then they might have reason to ask questions.

I'm in a different country, so your mileage may vary, but the fact that the people responsible for training, hiring and promoting the Fort Hood shooter have not been publicly dismissed, while an army wide questionaire about individual gun ownership has been distributed suggests that the same mind set of never aknowledging professional failures while using private gun ownership as a whipping boy exists in the USA too.

Shadow 7D
May 29, 2011, 05:27 AM
Radagast
Don't worry, I guess that sentiment flies free, cause we got it here too.
in the military, they have an issue
seems the guys who REALLY need and would benefit from mental health, don't. They fear the system for good reason, and understand that the system screws you. That tracks out to the Veterans

questionnaires like this aren't well received.

SlamFire1
May 29, 2011, 07:31 AM
I for one am sick and tired of private firearms ownership being portrayed as a sign of mental illness or a predisposition to commit crime. I am also sick and tired of the U.S. military treating its Soldiers like children and criminals. As a Non-Commissioned Officer with an unblemished service record to be asked whether I am war criminal and a drug addict is bad enough but to lump in my choice to carry firearms off post in compliance with all applicable laws and statutes with that type of behavior is disgusting. Apparently the lawful carry of a firearm to defend yourself and your family is an indicator of mental illness and maladjustment. Wonderful.

Kind of sounds like split personality disorder? After all they are giving you access to mortars, artillery, tanks, nuclear bombs by God! And yet they are afraid of you having access to weapons. Real Cuckoo behavior.

But you did understand, after you take the King’s Shilling they own you?

Your owners are subject to weird mood changes.

Rule number two of the Government is minimize scandal, and rule number three is path of least resistance.

Some pansy shrink head in an air conditioned office came up with a profile and they are trying to find who fits. To minimize scandal.

Your chain of command, going well past the Pentagon, does not like the fact that more Soldiers suicide than get killed in combat, find it embarrassing when a Soldier suffering PTSD goes nut case and wacks a few family members, and is caught butt naked when a Medical Doctor they trusted , Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, turns out to be a Jihadi and takes out 13 soldiers.

It is all about control. And it is the path of least resistance. It is a lot easier to implement controls on a submissive work force than fix the long deployments and get us out of an unpopular war.

Just stick it out, there will be more idiocy from the guys in charge, there will be different idiocy from the next group. In time all polices end up back at the starting point.

Thank you for your service to our country.

Owen Sparks
May 29, 2011, 01:25 PM
Your chain of command, going well past the Pentagon, does not like the fact that more Soldiers suicide than get killed in combat, find it embarrassing when a Soldier suffering PTSD goes nut case and wacks a few family members, and is caught butt naked when a Medical Doctor they trusted , Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, turns out to be a Jihadi and takes out 13 soldiers.


Could it be that people with suisidal tendancies are drawn to dangerous occupations like the military? There is also a high rate of suicide for risk takers with other dangerous lifestyles such as recreational drug users.

Shadow 7D
May 29, 2011, 01:51 PM
Actually there is SOME (I'll give you a little bit)
of truth in that

But it's a HUGE step from someone with a risk taking personality to suicide, most of the family issues are from stupid policies that interfere with family time and family member deciding that since they don't have to deal with it, the won't.

Rocketmedic
May 29, 2011, 08:21 PM
It is indeed one of the new Stryker brigades, and it totally sucks. We couldn't fight our way out of a wet paper bag.

Shadow 7D
May 29, 2011, 10:03 PM
Rocket, YOU don't get to say that until your NCO navigates you in the middle of a Impact area, when it's HOT...

Yeah, he was banned from giving directions after that.

SimplyChad
May 29, 2011, 10:52 PM
K guys back on the topic.

J_McLeod
May 29, 2011, 11:08 PM
It is indeed one of the new Stryker brigades, and it totally sucks. We couldn't fight our way out of a wet paper bag.




it took 4 years before 4/2ID's leadership started to get it right. Even then, some of it sucked.

Rocketmedic
May 30, 2011, 02:09 AM
Don't worry. One of our brilliant NCO squad leaders gave a platoon three times the max dose of Benadryl with the mistaken idea that it would 'help them sleep because they're grumpy and irritable because it's hot.'

Benadryl is pretty much the opposite of right for heat exhaustion. But he's an NCO, and so can do no wrong!

Back to the guns- registering them on-post isn't a bad thing in and of itself. However, there's always the likelyhood that the information will be used against us- and if firearms are further restricted, you can bet that leaders will rapidly enhance their own careers by taking our guns. Nothing makes an LT or SFC look better on his evaluations then swift, rapid, effective implementation of orders and policy.

J_McLeod
May 30, 2011, 02:36 AM
Don't take it on post, no need to register. I'll never live on post again.

Onmilo
May 30, 2011, 02:38 AM
Send your troops down the same dangerous path day after day.
Don't let them win.
Let them watch their buddies die by the hands of an enemy that won't show himself.
Prevent him from conducting meaningful operations.
Let him watch a few more friends die, let him receive a purple heart for his visible injuries.
Make them play border guard between two borders that don't want them there.
Prevent him from conducting any missions that solve any problems.

Question their mental state when and if they make it home.

Yeah,,,,sounds like business as usual,,,,:mad:

Bonesinium
May 30, 2011, 04:37 AM
Sounds like a lot of misunderstanding in the posts above. If you could see things from a different viewpoint you might have a change of opinion. Unfortunately nobody can see all the different viewpoints so there will always be mixed and contrasting opinions.

Please don't think I am saying any of you are wrong, or even that I am disagreeing. Just stating that sometimes there are reasons for things that aren't seen.

Shadow 7D
May 30, 2011, 05:59 AM
Uh, you said nothing other than there are differing opinions...

So you had nothing to say?
huh?

Ben86
May 30, 2011, 07:13 AM
What's likely going on is an effort to link gun ownership and insanity. They hope that when a handful of soldiers crack they can point and say "See he owns guns." This effort will fail as many more sane people own guns than insane. Just leave it blank, it's none of their business.

It is alarming the anti-gun culture that exists in the modern military. It's paradoxical.

Neverwinter
May 30, 2011, 02:52 PM
What's likely going on is an effort to link gun ownership and insanity. They hope that when a handful of soldiers crack they can point and say "See he owns guns." This effort will fail as many more sane people own guns than insane. Just leave it blank, it's none of their business.

It is alarming the anti-gun culture that exists in the modern military. It's paradoxical.
What about the possibility for distribution of access to mental health treatment based on correlations about susceptibility to conditions such as PTSD? If being a gun owner is a sign of elevated risk, shouldn't the resources be spent to address that?

Shadow 7D
May 30, 2011, 03:22 PM
You don't get it.
Mental Health
in the military is VERY STRONGLY LINKED to
Loss of advancement opportunity
loss of friends
ridicule

THERE is a HUGE amount of negativity associated with mental health
link that NEGATIVITY - with the truthful paranoia that arises from being in an ARMED profession with supervisors and policies that are blatantly ANTI GUN....

Neverwinter
May 30, 2011, 03:53 PM
You don't get it.
Mental Health
in the military is VERY STRONGLY LINKED to
Loss of advancement opportunity
loss of friends
ridicule

THERE is a HUGE amount of negativity associated with mental health
link that NEGATIVITY - with the truthful paranoia that arises from being in an ARMED profession with supervisors and policies that are blatantly ANTI GUN....
It sounds like there's a systemic problem with a negative perception of mental health within the military. That kind of ignorance regarding treatment can only contribute to the numbers of people that go undiagnosed and untreated. How many timebombs do we have in the military waiting to go off? Is something rotten in the state of Denmark?

HorseSoldier
May 30, 2011, 04:03 PM
The military has tried to get really PTSD/depression/mental health friendly since the war started, since they keep breaking Joes down range. But that's the official stance, not the day to day practice. And no one in their right mind (no pun intended) would trust the "we're okay with mental health issues" policy to continue once peace breaks back out and people start scrabbling over draw down level promotion slots, etc.

AirForceShooter
May 30, 2011, 04:41 PM
So now we have the DOD telling everyone troops are really as crazy as they thought.
That will really help them getting a job.

AFS
formerly a baby killer.

BHP FAN
May 30, 2011, 04:42 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stryker

J_McLeod
May 30, 2011, 04:49 PM
+1. That's the official policy, but not what actually happens. Even they officials aren't making the right changes to make a difference.

BLACKHAWKNJ
May 30, 2011, 06:05 PM
In the 1960s the Soviet Union dealt with dissidents by labeling them as "mental" and locking them up "for their own good". In the military's case I wonder if the training methods are at fault. When I went through BCT we received bayonet training-"WHAT'S THE SPIRIT OF THE BAYONET! TO KILL!!!"
and troops in Vietnam were attacked as cold blood killers who would gun down anyone in their way-"Babykillers!" was a common epithet. Now in today's "kinder, gentler effeminate action" military the idea that war means combat and combat means killing has been discarded in favored of uniformed social work.
I note the Army I served in 1967-1971 was something of a pantywaist outfit.
Rifle and pistol teams had disappeared, and those who tried to revive them were slapped down, the gun enthusiast was derided as a nut.
Also I wonder about PTSD, it's become an all purpose explanation and excuse-like "autism" or "schizoprhenia". In the 1970s there were all sorts of lurid stories about the "crazed Vietnam vet." On close examination it was found that many of those claiming PTSD had been disciplinary problems, drug users, received an OTH discharge-and thought getting it upgraded was a simple admnistrative matter. Many were found to have either never served in Vietnam or were rear echelon types who saw no combat.
And you have an anti-gun administration that derides gun owners as "bitter individuals who cling to guns and religion". Naturally they will try to paint gun owners as mental cases in need of medication and too untrustworthy to have
"Second Amendment PRIVILEGES".

Nushif
May 30, 2011, 07:03 PM
Blackhawk ... you sound bitter.

106rr
May 30, 2011, 07:28 PM
Part of the survey is designed to exonerate the govt from blame because the new anti malarial drug mandated by the military causes suicide. Suicide is one of the possible side effects of the new drug. That is probably the reason why non combatants are now committing suicide. You will notice that the STARRS survey does not mention anto malarials. This new drug is not related to the old style anti malarials.

Ben86
May 31, 2011, 12:33 AM
What about the possibility for distribution of access to mental health treatment based on correlations about susceptibility to conditions such as PTSD?

Susceptibility to PTSD because you own a gun? I think PTSD is a little overrated, but of course I support treatment for it and believe it should be available to all our veterans at any point in their life. I don't think gun ownership is a sign of PTSD.

If being a gun owner is a sign of elevated risk, shouldn't the resources be spent to address that?

Being a gun owner is not a sign of mental illness, never has, never will be. It is just a tool. Cars kill millions each year. I own two cars, does that make me more likely to have mental illness? Sure some crazy people own guns, but there are much more reliable signs of mental illness that even a newbie psychiatrist fresh out of school should know.

CathyGo
May 31, 2011, 01:29 AM
You think any of us actually take the dioxycyline? Vivid nightmares and other psychological side effects are not good in a pill specifically given to troops in combat zones. That the Army hasn't been called out on that yet is ridiculous.

Neverwinter
May 31, 2011, 01:32 AM
Susceptibility to PTSD because you own a gun? I think PTSD is a little overrated, but of course I support treatment for it and believe it should be available to all our veterans at any point in their life. I don't think gun ownership is a sign of PTSD.



Being a gun owner is not a sign of mental illness, never has, never will be. It is just a tool. Cars kill millions each year. I own two cars, does that make me more likely to have mental illness? Sure some crazy people own guns, but there are much more reliable signs of mental illness that even a newbie psychiatrist fresh out of school should know.
Would they even submit to an examination by the psychiatrist given the stigma associated with it?

If you're interested in the incidence of mental illness among car owners, you're free to conduct such a study.

CathyGo
May 31, 2011, 01:51 AM
Army mental docs don't give exams. You spend a maximum of 10-15 minutes and come out with a label(PTSD) and a prescription. Yet another reason people won't go to them.

OldChemSoldier
May 31, 2011, 02:22 AM
I have been told the soldiers discharged from the military cannot but a gun anymore. Something about PTSD. It's in their records, whether they have it or not.
Even if PTSD is in your medical records when you separate from service, and even if you are receiving VA compensation for PTSD, you can still purchase firearms and obtain a CCW. If you are declared mentally unfit by a court (civilian judge) and someone is appointed to manage your affairs, then that will most likely be reported to the folks who manage the National database in WV.

Shadow 7D
May 31, 2011, 04:13 AM
CathyGo
Doxy is an antibiotic
It's the otherstuff that some have had/claim messes with your head,
and yes, my unit took theirs, but then we where there for winter both times, so we didn't have to take it long. And, I don't know about your unit, but there was a pill formation, and everybody got checked.

Ben86
June 1, 2011, 01:06 AM
Would they even submit to an examination by the psychiatrist given the stigma associated with it?

I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying given the false stigma of crazy gun owners they should be submitted to further examination if it is discovered they own guns?

If you're interested in the incidence of mental illness among car owners, you're free to conduct such a study.

No thank you. But, I care to venture that I will find that mental illness and car ownership are unrelated. Much like gun ownership. Most likely more sane people own guns and cars than insane people. It would be a useless study to prove the obvious.

Chindo18Z
June 1, 2011, 01:18 AM
Shadow 7D: The other drug you were trying to remember is Mefloqine (Lariam). This is a synthetic quinine tablet reputed to cause certain mental issues (schizoid behavior / bizarre dreams) among a certain percentage of those dosed. I took it for a year in the 'Stan. No problems.

CathyGo: Doxycycline (an antibiotic) is also used as a preventative treatment for malaria. Have taken that one during trips to Africa. No reports (that I'm aware of) of any mental health side effects.

Gordon
June 1, 2011, 01:37 AM
"Army Mental Docs" preach radical muslim thought and nobody raises an eyebrow until they slaughter the soldiers? Why don't they give a radical muslim survey?

olafhardtB
June 1, 2011, 01:44 AM
I once told my doctor at the VA that all of these guys volunteering for the army were crazy and in a few years she was going to have to deal with them. I explained that I knew this to be true because I o
volunteered, later volunteered for Vietnam where I volunteered for lots of special missions and I knew I was crazy. She said she is retiring.

Shadow 7D
June 1, 2011, 02:40 AM
HeHe thats funny
I jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, only had an engine fall off once, and the bastard didn't even let us out, really an engine fell off and you want to land, no thank, I'll take the fire escape before the wheels fall off...

Yeah, Larium, I never got the dreams, did get woken up by the platoon sleepwalker running, (in his bivy sack) having a not nice dream, and listened to the morning "well I had a dream about X" last night. No psychosis, no schizophrenia, But then the guys I was with, we might have written it off as normal.

CathyGo
June 1, 2011, 03:09 AM
I'm fully aware that it is an antibiotic. That doesn't make it harmless. I'm also aware that most places specify 3 months as the upper limit. We are expected to take it daily for over a year. The vivid nightmare thing happened to people I'm currently with NOT people on the other drug.

We don't have pill formation because even our leadership won't take the stuff.

It is nice to have a supply of antibiotics for stuff like infected cuts or bad acne breakouts. That's about the limits of its usefullness.

SlamFire1
June 1, 2011, 09:59 AM
Your chain of command, going well past the Pentagon, does not like the fact that more Soldiers suicide than get killed in combat, find it embarrassing when a Soldier suffering PTSD goes nut case and wacks a few family members, and is caught butt naked when a Medical Doctor they trusted , Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, turns out to be a Jihadi and takes out 13 soldiers. Could it be that people with suisidal tendancies are drawn to dangerous occupations like the military? There is also a high rate of suicide for risk takers with other dangerous lifestyles such as recreational drug users.
I read an article about suicide rates among population groups and why people kill themselves. It is a complicated subject. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126971.900-why-do-some-people-kill-themselves.html

Someone who develops anorexia is 50 to 60 times more likely to kill themselves than people in the general population. No other group has a suicide rate anywhere near as high.

Soldiers and police who have been shot at or seen their colleagues injured or killed are known to become inured to the idea of their own death. Both groups also have a higher-than-normal suicide rate. Similarly, doctors and surgeons who witness pain, injury and death are more likely to be able to contemplate it for themselves - the suicide rate for doctors is significantly higher than for the general population.

The article states there are two conditions necessary for suicide:

First, the person must have a serious desire to die. This usually comes about when people feel they are an intolerable burden on others, while also feeling isolated from people who might provide a sense of belonging.

Second, and most important, the person must overcome the self-preservation instinct.

Given that many American Soldiers have seen combat, been on long deployments, the frequency of deployments is higher than it has ever been, this is negatively effecting the morale of the military community. Many Soldiers are extremely depressed.

The command structure is extremely worried about the incidents of suicide, Jihadi actions, spousal killings.. They noticed a high use of firearms in these incidents and are therefore populating a database.

You have to seriously consider your responses as your answers may have long term repercussions. Once they stamp you with the label “Armed Nutcase”, the ink won’t come off.

For all tests, you must put yourself in the mind set of “what are they looking for”, and “how do I appear to be the most normal, predictable, and obedient employee in the world”. The organization is looking for people who are totally committed to the goals of the organization. Big organizations are totally psychopathic and consider their personnel as disposable for the goals of the organization. They want calm and productive livestock. Even as they ship you off to the abattoir.

henschman
June 1, 2011, 11:26 AM
The fact that the test asked about gun ownership doesn't necessarily mean they consider it to be a sign of mental illness -- they could have just been trying to find out what percentage of people who report signs of mental illness also own/carry firearms.

Though I don't find this survey to be particularly offensive the way you describe it, this thread has brought up a lot of other instances of negative things servicemen have to endure. Just several more reasons why I will never enlist.

Chindo18Z
June 1, 2011, 01:55 PM
We don't have pill formation because even our leadership won't take the stuff.

Enjoy Malaria.

Ya know, a few years ago, a Liberia-deployed USMC unit took the same attitude...28% of the force contracted Malaria and the CoC was relieved.

http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-10383.html

http://www.ajtmh.org/content/83/2/258.abstract

I've been deploying in an out of malarial climes for years with Army Special Forces and we have yet to see anyone have issues with Doxycycline. We don't get Malaria either...all except for one guy too smart for his own good. He didn't adhere to the prophylaxis, definitely got Malaria, and had to be medevaced from the middle of nowhere while on a combat operation. :rolleyes:


With regard to Military Mental Health Surveys, PTSD, firearms ownership, etc. ...

1. Military surveys are usually conducted, monitored, collated, and updated by a wide range of contracted providers; these folks have a paid job as long as they continuously process troops through their program and show an ability to deliver product. It isn't that their motives are suspect or that there isn't a need to react to a problem or social issue, but... no data showing a problem = no further employment. Be careful how you answer such questions, as your individual labeling becomes an indelible fact...and the folks doing the labeling tend to have a myopic vision that seeks to label everyone. Admit to having three or four drinks at a Memorial Day BBQ on a health assessment survey, and some social worker will be ready to label you as a Binge Drinker and recommend Substance Abuse Counseling. Admit to problems sleeping upon return from deployment and the fact that you saw a dead person in a car wreck and some Health Care Provider may decide you have borderline PTSD. I'm oversimplifying, but you'd be amazed at some of the Soldier misdiagnoses I've seen. Especially where they fail to diagnose someone who has legitimately rung every bell for exhibiting clinical PTSD / TBI... and then wonder why that service member spiraled out of control.

2. Some government or military surveys are indeed the pet rocks of someone attempting to secure grant money. Occasionally, force-wide surveys are simply vehicles to collect enough data for someone's advanced degree dissertation. Permission to execute such a survey is simply leveraged through job position and as another dubious enterprise from the "Good Idea Fairy". The military makes for a uniquely large captive audience and sampling pool for those inclined to do research and able to get permission to do so.

3. The military is an institution that is existentially concerned with enforcing control, order, and discipline among its personnel. The command hierarchy is NOT a culture of gun enthusiasts, although many senior folks are avid hunters, shooters, and outdoorsmen. The climate is more reminiscent of a class-stratified socialist society, where guns are "OK" for the more reliably proven career employees, but general and unconstrained ownership at lower levels is regarded as a potential headache. Unlike in civilian society, military commanders exercise broad powers to permit, forbid, proscribe, or regulate the actions and activities of their employees, both on and off duty. Historically, most base or large unit commanders prefer not having to deal with firearms as a social issue and regard weapon ownership as something to be tightly controlled (in the same manner as military issue weapons). In other words...best locked up when not in "sporting" use at the range.

4. The military, more than any other large employer in American society, finds itself in the recurring glare of public scrutiny. Especially by the media looking for a story, social activists or engineers looking to further an agenda, and congress-critters posturing for voters. If Soldiers commit suicide, the issue is elevated into the national news cycle. If Microsoft employees do the same, there isn't a blip on the radar.

Not enough body armor in the combat zone? Implement a full tilt over-reactive pendulum swing to ensure that everyone gets so much body armor to wear that they can no longer function while walking. Legitimate stories of poor health care for combat veterans result in much needed improvement, but at the same time, cause every functionary in the system to stretch the definitions of things like PTSD.

Pretty soon, there is an effort to grasp at straws when confronting issues like elevated suicide rates among the employee population. The leadership desperately feels the need to do something. They are being raked over the coals on a daily basis by vacuous reporters on cable news. They are losing people to something they can't quite put their arms around. Shazzam...we wind up with surveys designed by social workers and executed by the latest medical consultant to sidle up to the Federal contracting nipple.

Several millions of dollars later, a lengthy report will detail the fact that service members have been rode hard and put away wet since starting regularly recurring overseas deployments from ~1995 until present. Our units have been in a succession of Peace Enforcement or Combat operations for over 15 years, with back-to-back multiple deployments for almost all. THAT's the well-spring of increased suicides, divorces, etc. There is no Selective Service Draft and there is no National War Effort on the part of American Society. The same relatively small force of professional volunteers keep going back to the grindstone...over and over. The first term enlistees and junior officers have the usual tough experiences of combat. Those that stay for a career just get to absorb those experiences repeatedly. The culture calcifies into one which regards lengthy tours in the combat zone as just the normal cost of doing business. Additionally, each cyclical batch of fresh leaders & commanders is determined to win the war on their short watch; there is short thrift for those who can't hack it. Everyone (including loved ones back at home) is expected to "suck it up". Unfortunately, not everyone can. Personal problems are inevitable and some choose to take a permanent way out. It's a tough lifestyle.

The causality of suicides in the military is not really that complicated.

Neverwinter
June 1, 2011, 09:06 PM
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you saying given the false stigma of crazy gun owners they should be submitted to further examination if it is discovered they own guns?No, the question was "Would they even submit to an examination by the psychiatrist given the stigma associated with the possible outcome of the mental health examination?"

Subsequent replies have indicated that they would, but would simply lie on them. That response will lead to misdiagnoses, and it might be the norm.

SlamFire1
June 2, 2011, 09:03 AM
What an outstanding, well thought out, and reasoned post Chindo18Z.

Usmc-1
June 3, 2011, 08:38 AM
Then again , why wouldnt they buy them at Bass Pro shops , if they havent committed a crime (yet) , they can buy them anywhere just like everyone else , personally unless you have citizenship you shouldnt be allowed to buy a firearm here in our country , I dont know of too many countries that allow foreigners to buy /own firearms !

Ben86
June 3, 2011, 10:08 AM
personally unless you have citizenship you shouldnt be allowed to buy a firearm here in our country , I dont know of too many countries that allow foreigners to buy /own firearms !

I don't know of too many countries that let their citizens buy firearms!

I have to disagree with you about the citizenship requirement though. My wife is a lawful permanent resident and has lived here for about 8 years now and is working on her citizenship. She has never been arrested or even got a traffic ticket, I see no reason why she shouldn't be able to buy a gun. As long as they are here legally in the first place and are law abiding otherwise I see no problem.

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